Choosing the Best Dishwasher – Part 2

Choosing the Best Dishwasher – Part 2

Posted by Sherijan Ivan Dela Cruz on 16th Aug 2022

We delve into cycles and options – and how quiet they should be.

Previously in our Article Series: Choosing the Best Dishwasher, we tackled the top two considerations when buying for your next machine. Cleaning performance is the linchpin of all good dishwashers, complemented by reliable drying capabilities. With these considerations settled, you're off to a great start. For this article, we'll be discussing the built-in cycles and options that come with these machines, and the acceptable level of noise they should produce during operation.

To review the previous article, click this link.

3) Cycles and Options

For those that haven’t already done lots of research about dishwashers, you might be puzzled as to how wash cycles actually work. What sets one apart from another? To put it simply, there are three main variables from one cycle to the next:

  • Cycle duration
  • Water temperature
  • Intensity of wash (water pressure and amount of water used)

While each brand has distinct names for their cycles, most dishwashers offer a universal set of related cycles for specific tasks. You need to take note, however, that a machine with a lot of wash cycles and options does not automatically make it better. There are machines with fewer cycles that are powerful enough for different kinds of dishware. Quality over quantity – a basic rule in purchasing.

Popular Wash Cycles

Normal Cycle

The most advanced and energy-efficient drying technique is the use of a stainless steel tub. This technology allows for condensation-based drying that won’t melt plastics or bake on food, but works wonderfully to remove moisture from dishes at the end of each cycle.

Quick Cycle

Most brands label it as Express Cycle or One-Hour Cycle. This type of wash uses warmer water with added pressure for speed cleaning dishes with an average soil level.

Heavy Cycle

This cycle is for heavily soiled dishes and dishware that have dry, sticky, baked-on gunk. Mostly used for pots and pans. Heavy Cycle uses more water (that is pressured, by the way) at higher temperatures for a longer washing time.

Auto Cycle

For more advanced machines, you can find "Sensor Wash" or "Smart Wash" as a propriety label for auto cycle. It is very popular, quickly becoming a standard feature as smarter and more modern models are released. Soil sensors detect the level of grime from the water and decide the washing time, intensity, and heat temperature. It is a very efficient option if you have mixed dishes and cannot decide on a washing cycle.

Custom Wash Options

In addition to wash cycles, brands integrate their custom wash options that help you add more heat, time, and other adjustments.


Beko 45 dBA 8-Program Dishwasher DDT38530XIH

Link to product

Special Features:

  • AquaIntense – intense water pressure and innovative 180-degree rotating sprays with 360-degree rotating heads for multiple wash programs
  • SilentTech for quiet cleaning
  • Full-sized 3rd rack
  • LED spot

4) Quiet Performance

As kitchen designs evolve toward open floor plans and often near family rooms, having a noisy dishwasher isn't a smart choice. You want to be able to run a wash and still be in or near the kitchen and dining area while the machine does its work. That won't be possible if the dishwasher noise is so loud that you have to shout over it. Fortunately, there are plenty of dishwashers available that offer impressively quiet operations. You just have to know how to understand decibel ratings and how they'll affect your machine's cost.

The volume of a normal conversation between two people is usually between 55-65 dB. A quiet library is around 40dB. So you ideally want to find a dishwasher that falls somewhere between those two ranges.

As dishwasher innovations have increased, so have the insulation materials and overall build quality during the last decade. That means quieter machines at lower prices. Generally, dishwasher noise levels fall into three general areas—greater than 50dB (noisy), between 44 dB and 49dB (moderately quiet), and less than 44dB (extremely quiet.)

For the average home environment, any dishwasher below 49dB won’t be an enormous nuisance. But if you are particularly sensitive to noise and want to operate your dishwasher without even noticing its noise, you’ll want a quieter model. That being said, once you go below 44dB the differences in volume aren’t even noticeable to the human ear in a home environment. That doesn’t mean that dishwashers that advertise 44dB noise are useless, only that you shouldn’t let that be the deciding factor when making a purchase. Anything lower than 49dB will serve you perfectly.


Samsung StormWash™ 42 dBA Dishwasher DW80R7061U

Link to product:

Special Features:

  • Whisper Quiet Cleaning – virtually silent cleaning operation for a quieter kitchen at 42 dBA sound level
  • StormWash™
  • AutoRelease™ Door
  • Adjustable Rack

For the next and last article in this series, we'll wrap it up with smart connectivity, the reliability of your machine, and the design language that fits your kitchen.

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