Life's too short to wash up
Many people still think that a dishwasher is a luxury item, and government statistics show that more households have microwaves, tumble dryers and satellite dishes than dishwashers. But used in the right way, these appliances have both ecological and economic benefits. A common misconception, for example, is that a dishwasher uses more water than washing up by hand.
A dishwasher can save you much time and energy, and help towards reducing your outgoings by savings on water and electricity bills. You can save on the amount of water used by setting an eco/energy programme, and if you are a household with an economy 7 meter and a dishwasher with a delayed start facility, the machine can be set to run at night using a lower tariff.
Depending upon the make and model of your dishwasher, by using clever sensors some programmes offer less water usage by constantly checking the soiled condition of the water during the cycle, whilst still maintaining the highest standards of cleaning and giving sparkling results!
A dishwasher can save you time by freeing you from the kitchen sink, and by stacking it during the day until a full load is reached, you can then set it to run at your convenience. So a dishwasher helps keep your kitchen clean and tidy with no dirty dishes on show and in your way.
Dishwashers incorporate many features and benefits including indicator lights (so you can see where the machine is in the cycle); child safety locks; delayed start buttons; flexible racks and baskets, including allowing for cleaning of large items; anti-flood devices for your peace of mind; and of course energy-saving programmes. New advances in higher end machines include a third shelf at the top for cutlery and so on, freeing up space on the lower racks. Some models even offer a front door salt-loading feature, to make adding salt to the dispenser reservoir easier.
A good buy is the John Lewis JLDWS1226, a triple A+ rated machine, which only uses a miserly 12 litres of water on its ECO wash. This model is stainless steel, but it's also available in white in our shops. If your budget allows, the Siemens SN26T295GB has 14 place settings and includes the latest Zeolith® drying technology; a class of naturally-occurring minerals with the astonishing ability to absorb water molecules and then release them as energy to ensure very dry items at the end of the cycle. This dishwasher has been awarded the WHICH? Dishwasher "Best Buy" award.
There are several choices you need to consider when buying a dishwasher to suit your needs. A compact or table top model is good if you live alone or are a small family, or you intend to use the machine only occasionally, as it's limited to fewer place settings than usual. The Zanussi ZSF2450 Compact would be worth considering, and if you're short on floor space there are slimline versions available such as the John Lewis JLDWS907 in stainless steel, a welcome addition to any space-challenged contemporary kitchen! A full-sized machine is perfect for the larger family or those who like to cook a lot, as there's more room for your pots and pans. Both standard and slim line models are available as built-in and semi-integrated appliances.
Do use dishwasher salt and rinse aid with any machine and wherever you live; these help to keep your dishwasher clean and efficient, and ensure a superior result with shining cutlery and glass. You might also find it helpful, if you live in a hard water area, to try one of these little Magnoball anti-limescale balls to prevent limescale build-up. Always use a detergent that's manufactured specifically for use in dishwashers, and then sit back and let the machine do the work for you!