The Insider: Full steam ahead for clean and easy dishes

Washing up by hand can be a quick and simple way to clean your dishes, but it's possible to save time, money, water and effort if you invest in a good dishwasher.

The type of dishwasher that best suits you will probably depend on how many people there are in your household or how often you entertain.

"A full-size dishwasher holds up to 14 place settings – an enormous 147 plates, bowls, cups, saucers, knives, forks and spoons," says Martyn Hocking, editor of Which?. "Smaller households, or those with less space, might want to opt for slimline models. You can even get table-top styles that are a bit bigger than a microwave and ideal for people who live on their own."

The type and number of programs vary between different models. As well as standard wash cycles, most also have eco programs that save water and electricity, and some have half-load programs.

Other options to look out for include intensive programs, which are designed to clean extremely dirty pots and pans, delicate programs for fine china and glassware, and programs specifically for use with three-in-one tablets which combine detergent, rinse aid and dishwasher salt.

You don't have to buy a dishwasher with lots of different programs to get a good machine though, as most people tend to use just the main and energy-save programs.

The Bosch SMS69L09 (£508), above left, is one of the top-performing full-size dishwashers in Which?'s tests. As well as being one of the quietest machines Which? has tested, it is cavernous inside and is particularly good at drying dishes – leaving very few watermarks. Its water and energy use are also good for a large machine.

According to Which?, the highest-scoring slimline model is currently the Miele G120SC (£657), above right. It cleans crockery, cutlery and glassware well, on both the main and the eco program, and is also a good choice if you're after a quiet machine. It's easy to use and the main program is shorter than some models, at just two hours.

Which?'s latest reliability survey found that Bosch, Siemens, Neff and Miele dishwashers were the most reliable.

Where to buy

It's a good idea to look at the model you're interested in to check the displays and controls are easy to use, but even the largest retailers only have limited stocks on display in store. If you can't find the model you want near to where you live, retailers such as John Lewis and Currys will order appliances for you from their online catalogue or another branch, while independents will often track down models for you.

Alternatively, many manufacturers, including Bosch, keep lists of dealers that you can access by calling their customer care telephone line or on the company's website.

Questions to ask...

How flexible is the space?

Some models have adjustable or removable lower baskets, height-adjustable or tilting upper baskets, and cutlery baskets with a removable top.

What handy features does it have?

Look for lights that warn you when the rinse-aid or salt need topping up, as well as timer or delayed start functions so you can set your machine to run overnight.

What safety features does it have?

Dishwashers use strong chemical detergents and scaldingly hot water, yet only a few models have child-safety locks to stop the door being opened while the machine is running. Most machines have anti-flood devices.

How eco-friendly is it?

Dishwashers are graded "A" to "G" for energy efficiency, with "A" being the most efficient. Choosing the energy-save program uses less water and electricity, but there's no standard definition, so one machine's standard program may be more economical than another model's energy-save program.

How easy to use are the controls?

They can come with concealed controls, raised or flush buttons, or electronic touch pads. Check they are big enough to read, and easy to operate.

The Insider is written by Which?, the independent consumer champion. For more information go to www.which.co.uk/dishwashers. To get three issues of Which? magazine for a special price of £3, call 01992 822800 and quote INADVICE.

theinsider@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
books
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

    £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

    DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, Linux, Shell, Bash)

    £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...

    Data Scientist (SQL, PHP, RSPSS, CPLEX, SARS, AI) - London

    £60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...

    Financial Technical Consultant (C++, C#, Finance, MSc, PhD)

    £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Financial Technical Consultant (C++, C#, F...

    Day In a Page

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference