Dishwasher Features Explained

05 May, 2015

Dishwasher Features Explained
We’ve already broken down the features for refrigerators in our “What’s the Feature?” series. Next up, the dishwasher. Refer to our guide below to learn more about the essential dishwasher features to consider when purchasing a new model – straight from the experts at hhgregg!

Expert answers provided by Daryl Massy, Senior Appliance Buyer.

Wash cycle

What is it? The time that the dishwasher dedicates to washing and drying your dishes.

Why is it important? The wash cycle is the reason why you buy a dishwasher!

How many wash cycles are ideal depending on your lifestyle? Five is an average number of cycles (normal, sensor, 1-hour, heavy, rinse) that can meet most lifestyles.

Of the many wash cycles available, which ones are the most important? The most important options are sani-rinse and heated dry. Sensor would also be recommended because it can adapt to different loads and soil levels.


What is it? Dishwashers are measured by the amount of place-settings that can be loaded into them (for example, a dinner plate, salad plate, saucer/coffee cup, bowl and glass, and a spoon, fork and knife).

Why is it important? Capacity is not as important in dishwashers compared to appliances like refrigerators because you need to have space between the dishes in order to get proper cleaning.

What capacities are recommended for different lifestyles? Instead of focusing on capacity, look for convenience features such as adjustable upper racks, light item clips, cup shelves, additional cleaning zones (target clean, pro scrub, bottle jets), third rack, and location of the silverware basket.

Sound reduction system

What is it? It reduces the level of noise the dishwasher makes – dishwasher sound is measured in decibel levels at an independent lab.

Why is it important? The lower the decibel, the quieter the dishwasher. Keep in mind that the human ear cannot distinguish a two-decibel difference (for example, you could not tell the difference between 48 and 50 decibels).

Energy Guide label

What is it? A tag that ships with all units that shows the annual kilowatt usage per year (energy used).

Why is it important? It also shows the estimated dollar amount to run the unit for a year.

What’s a reasonable kWh range for a dishwasher? The Department of Energy (DOE) sets a minimum standard that all dishwashers must meet to be sold in the U.S. To earn the Energy Star label, a dishwasher must be less than 295 kWh/year and less than 4.25 gallons of water/cycle.

Are there any other essential dishwasher features to consider?

There are two different configurations with dishwashers when it comes to their appearance: the buttons or controls can be located on the front of the unit, or they can be on top of the door so they are out of sight when the door is closed.

Stay tuned for more “What’s the Feature?” posts to come!

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