Did you know that you can save time and reduce your utility bills by using an efficient, modern dishwasher, instead of washing by hand? Experts have compared dishwashers and washing up based on their use of time, water and energy.
According to studies, it can take up to 9 minutes to load a dishwasher with dirty plates and unload a dishwasher when everything is clean. This compares to up to a full hour to wash the same load by hand. This means switching to a dishwasher could give you back up to a week of your time every year.
Typically, most dishwashers use 12 Litres of water to wash a full family load of plates and dishes. Some, like Beko's QDW696, use only 6 litres of water. The same load could use up to 49 litres of water when washing by hand and a lot of power to heat. A dishwasher uses exactly the right amount of water and heat to make your dishes sparklingly clean.
What do the energy ratings mean?
All dishwashers will have an energy label and this provides a good indication of how much energy and water it will use.
All dishwashers are graded A+++ to D for energy efficiency, with A+++ being the most efficient and cheapest to run. The energy ratings are determined by testing the energy consumed washing a collection of soiled tableware and dishes using the standard cycle recommended by the manufacturer.
The better the energy efficiency the more money you save on your utility bills. All B&Q dishwashers are rated A to A+++.
Integrated or freestanding?
Many of us love the streamlined look. An integrated dishwasher, concealed by a cupboard door, fits the bill.
The main reason people choose a built-in dishwasher is that they prefer the sleek, streamlined look. Because it’s hidden behind a cupboard door, it blends in well with the kitchen’s overall appearance.
It’s a popular choice if you’re planning to renovate your whole kitchen, and can choose your new look from scratch. But of course an integrated dishwasher can still fit in with your current design if you’re not going for a complete overhaul.
What’s different about an integrated dishwasher?
They’re slightly smaller than freestanding dishwashers – typically 55cm deep and 80–82cm high – to allow for the concealing cupboard front, and the starting prices are a little higher.
Most integrated dishwashers come with a timer function, inbuilt noise reduction systems, and score the maximum energy efficiency rating.
Choose an integrated dishwasher if:
- You’re renovating your kitchen
- You want to make best use of limited space
- You prefer a streamlined look, with appliances behind cupboard doors
Full-size or slimline?
Full-sized dishwashers can handle up to 13 place settings of dishes, glasses and cutlery in one wash. Choose from a range of energy efficient dishwashers, such as a Beko EcoSmart Dishwasher, and dishwashers with quick wash and half load programmes, saving you time and money.
Go for a full-size, 60cm-wide dishwasher if:
- Your family is medium-sized or large: a full-size dishwasher washes 12–14 place settings
- You cook most meals from scratch
With a width of just 45cm, slimline dishwashers range can handle up to 10 place settings while fitting snugly into any sized kitchen. Perfect for city-sized apartments or small country dwellings, the Beko slimline dishwashers have a quick clean programme and are energy efficient with a half load setting.
Choose a 45cm-wide slimline dishwasher if:
- You don’t have much spare cupboard space in your kitchen
- There are only two or three people in your household
- You don’t have enough dishes to fill a full-size dishwasher (a slimline model can hold 8–10 place settings)
Getting the most from your dishwasher
Getting the most out of your dishwasher
To get the most out of your Dishwasher you should choose a good dishwashing powder. There is great range of products which can not only clean your plates and dishes but keep their sparkling shine for longer and are protected wash after wash.
Generally larger and dirtier items are best on the bottom rack, cups, glasses and less soiled items should be put on the top rack.
Get rid of excess food
Always scrape off excess food before loading, and use the pre-wash programme on heavily soiled items.
When you only have a small load to wash, it’s best to use a half load programme. This will cut down on water usage and also means you don’t have to wait days for the dishwasher to be full.
With cutlery, make sure to avoid nesting so that water can rinse over all surfaces. Have some standing upright and some facing downwards. Since safety comes first, long or sharp knives should face downwards.
To clean heavily soiled items like pots, pans and cookware, wash them in an intensive cycle with a higher temperature to get rid of tough stains.
Look after your glasses
To help prevent glass erosion, only clean your glasses at low wash temperatures. Check the dishwasher manual to find out more about the glass or gentle programs. Look after your glasses to help prevent glass erosion, only clean your glasses at low wash temperatures. Check the dishwasher manual to find out more about the glass or gentle programs.
Understanding your dishwasher
Besides sparing you from scrubbing madly at pots and pans while sweating over a sink of hot soapy water, most dishwashers offer a range of benefits through a series of programmes (like those on a washing machine).
Here are some typical examples of the dishwasher modes:
Think of this as a dishwasher's default mode - basic dishwashing at around 65 degrees, guaranteeing a thorough clean.
Eco (or Energy Saving) mode
This programme generally uses less water at lower temperatures. Good news for the environment - and your utility bills over the course of a year.
Some dirt and grease on pots and pans can be incredibly stubborn - no matter how much you rinse before dishwashing. This programme usually takes care of the most awkward grime (though it will use more energy and water than Normal mode).
Ideal if you've had the Queen round for afternoon tea and can't face washing up your finest bone china by hand. This programme's also gentle on your precious glassware.
Half load mode
Often, this programme only saves around 10%-25% of water - so it's usually best to wait till you have a full load. It's sometimes called Fast mode, and is handy if you need items washed quickly.
Much as you'd expect, this programme does all the thinking for you. It works out how dirty the load is, what temperature is needed and how long to run for - so you can sit back and put your feet up.