Dishwasher Features – Must Haves for a New Dishwasher

For those who would rather do any other household tasks than wash dishes, it can be devastating when your dishwasher breaks and can’t be repaired. Before the service technician has even pulled out of your driveway, you’re on your computer shopping for a new dishwasher. Don’t be too hasty. There are dishwasher features available now that your old one may not have had. It is important to do some research and decide which features are mandatory when choosing a new dishwasher.

Dishwasher Features You Need to Consider

When shopping for a dishwasher, start with the basics.


One of the first dishwasher features you need to consider is a more practical one. Most dishwasher components are steel or plastic. While you can’t avoid plastic completely when purchasing a new dishwasher, the more stainless steel there is, the better. Stainless steel is more durable than plastic and won’t crack, rust, or corrode. It also can withstand the heat inside the dishwasher better than plastic.

If possible, choose a model with a stainless steel interior and spryer arm. A steel sprayer arm will be more durable than a plastic one. A steel interior provides better insulation than a plastic one and will reduce the amount of noise while the dishwasher is running. Dishwasher noise is measured in decibels and most models fall into the 50-decibel range. The quietest model comes at about 38 decibels and the loudest at 60 decibels, which is close to the sound of a plane flying overhead. With today’s open-concept home designs, a loud dishwasher could be an issue.


Unless you are doing a remodel, you will want to purchase the same-size dishwasher you had before to avoid any modifications to your cabinetry. In many kitchens, that would be the standard built-in size – 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 35 inches high. Standard models also come with adjustable feet, allowing the height to be adjusted. Options beyond the standard-size dishwasher include larger models measuring 30 or 36 inches wide or apartment-size models that measure 18” wide. There are also drawer dishwashers, which save on space but have a much smaller capacity, measuring only 19 inches tall and 24 to 30 inches wide.

Once you’ve determined the size of your new dishwasher and what materials it is made of, it is time to drill down to some of the finer dishwasher features.

Adjustable Racks

Some models have racks that can be reconfigured, allowing your dishwasher to better accommodate your dishes and kitchenware.

Silverware Tray

The position of the silverware tray is strictly a matter of personal preference. Some models have it off to the side on the bottom rack, and others have it on the inside of the door. Both locations provide the same level of cleaning. However, the door tray gives you more room for larger items on the bottom rack.


Hidden Controls

Some dishwashers have the controls on the top instead of on the front of the door. This is an aesthetic feature rather than a functional one. It just means you have to open the door to access the controls.

Soil Sensor

This dishwasher feature is indicative of today’s advanced technology. Models with a soil sensor will automatically adjust to how soiled the dishes are to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned.

Washing Cycles

The number of cycles a dishwasher has can vary, depending on the model. The most common option is three cycles –  light, normal, and heavy. Other cycles include the rise-and-hold cycle which allows you to rinse dishes that may sit for a while until you have a full load. There is also the steam cycle for sanitizing and the heated drying cycle, so dishes can go right from the dishwasher into the cabinets. And, last but not least, there is the hard food cycle. This dishwasher feature is perfect for those who don’t rinse or scrape the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.


There are two types of dishwasher filters. A manual filter will trap food particles but will have to be removed and cleaned regularly. Models with a hard food cycle will typically have a grinding filter, similar to a garbage disposal, to completely eliminate food particles. 

Child Safety Lock

If you have small children this can be one of the most important dishwasher features. It will keep them safe and prevent them from damaging the machine while exploring it. 


Choosing the Perfect Dishwasher

The appliance experts at Jersey Coast Appliance can guide you through all the different dishwasher features and help you choose the best model for your home. We carry a great selection of top-name appliances, provide professional appliance repair, and have served Toms River and the surrounding communities for over 40 years. Contact us or stop in for all your appliance needs. 


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