If there are more than two in the family, if at least two meals a day are eaten at home and/or if you entertain frequently, then a dishwasher would be a considerable asset in your kitchen. It would save time, energy and possibly even the china, since a dishwasherwill not have the mishaps to which human hands are prone. The criteria when judging which make and model you want aret capacity, performance and looks. Exterior size is generally 600 mm (2ft) width, 600 mm (2 ft) depth and 820-850 mm (2 ft 9 in) height. Maximum capacity is for fourteen pIace-settings, though the average washer holds twelve settings, and of course, there is no need to fill up in one go.
Dishes can be fed in over the course of a day and then dealt with in one large evening wash. However, even on this basis a small family would have difficulty satisfying such a ravenous appetite for dirty dishes and there are certainly machines with a smaller capacity. The smallest take about three tabIe-settings. Unlike the large machines which normally fit under a work surface or are built in at a higher level, and which are usually plumbed in to the water supply, these sit on top of the work surface and can have a simple hose connection (though they can be plumbed in if required). Suitable for an elderly couple or person living alone, these smaller machines are pleasant luxuries, though anyone with a quick or impatient temperament would probably rather wash the relatively few dishes involved by hand. Performance of many of the machines is sophisticated-in some cases ludicrously so,for l cannot thinkit is necessary to have the thirteen programmes claimed by at least one manufacturer. Such embarras de richesses! But it is certainly important to choose a machine which copes with pans, which has a programme to cope with lightly soiled dishes as well as the real dirties, and one which has been insulated to make it quieter (scme older models are bad in this respect). lf you live in a hard water area choose a model with an integral water softener. Not surprisingly the ubiquitous microchip has found its way into some dishwashers. Its principal advantage is that a larger number of functions and options can be foused in its tiny control package, with sophisticated programming helping to save electricity. When it comes to appearance, dishwashers are reasonably designed, though some control panels are inevitably more streamlined and simpler to understand than others.
Some have heater graphics and some are in pleasant, appropriate colours, whilst others are crude and brash. I particularly object to the machine whose plastic switches are in two shades of mauve though this is, I admit, a subjective approach when used with rigid kitchens. White doors are white doors, but apparently, offensive to some, so many machines have an optional decor frame into which a panel may be fitted to match your kitchen – or even to contrast with it. And some unit manufacturers offer separate doors behind which your dishwasher (and washing machine) may be completely concealed.