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Choosing a Dishwasher



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Let’s talk dishwashers.

I feel like the dishwasher often becomes the afterthought in the process of designing a kitchen. They are (mostly) all the same size and all do the same things… right? The fridge and the fancy stove get all the glory… but in reality, the dishwasher can have a huge impact on the overall function and style of your kitchen.

I have had dishwashers I love… and dishwashers I care not to mention. Both experiences led me to take a deep dive into the selection of this much-used appliance for our new kitchen.

When deciding on a staple appliance or piece of furniture, research is king. It is not the fun part of a renovation (or the easiest), but well-researched decisions vs impulse purchases can really help with buyers’ remorse. As I started my research for a new dishwasher, I narrowed down the main features I wanted which really helped me get to a few options quickly.

I ultimately decided on this dishwasher from Bosch and it arrives on Monday! I will keep you updated once I get a few loads under my belt.

My Top 5 features I looked for was the performance, quietness, design, loading function, and reliability.


Washing & Drying. You need your dishwasher to do both of these things… really well. It’s hard to determine this without actually using it first. Combing through reviews and ratings was my best option for deciding on overall performance. I paid attention to consistency between user reviews as well as the old fashioned referrals from friends and family.

Most dishwashers are moving to a condensation drying system which is more hygienic and energy-efficient. This lack of a heating element has also come with the performance issue of dishes remaining “wet” after a drying cycle. Pay close attention to how certain models are addressing this issue. Most brands are adding an AutoOpen drying technology that will automatically open the door slightly at the end of the cycle to help with the drying process and allow moisture to escape. The Bosch that I chose features a CrystalDry technology that turns moisture into heat… getting dishes extra dry. Sounds technical I know… but the idea of not having to “dry” my dishes is exciting nonetheless.


This feature is pretty straight forward. No one wants to hear their dishwasher while having an after-dinner conversation. Every dishwasher will have a rating of noise level measured in decibels. The lower the better. Anything under 44 seems to be relatively quiet. Higher-end models will be 38-40. Less is more!


A panel-ready dishwasher allows a statement sink and cabinet color to take center stage.

Kitchen via Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Kitchen Second Round10

Think about how the style will fit into your overall kitchen design. I knew I had statement appliances in my design. It was important for me to have a panel-ready design so it could seamlessly fit into the cabinetry as opposed to competing with the other style components of the kitchen. Other things to think about would be the handle design, color, and smudge-proof technology. All of these factors will affect your overall happiness with it on a daily basis. The key point here is to look at this appliance as a design element, not just a functional must-have.

I love how this stainless steel dishwasher compliments the faucet, wood cabinets, and black accents. There are no other appliances to compete with it and the design is a perfect match for the overall aesthetic.

Kitchen via @floras4spring

This galley kitchen at the #MidwestMalibuCottage gets a modern makeover fit for the 21st century. ???? See the full space with link in bio. ☝️ For material sources (including @rejuvenation) head to @kielaaron's Instagram!  #kitchenrenovation #renovationdiary #houseflip #milwaukee #WI #kitchenmakeover

Loading Function

This is where personal preference starts to come in. My number one feature that I wanted was a 3rd rack. There are several brands offering this now. Frigidaire and Miele both have excellent options in addition to Bosch. Other features include things like dedicated nozzles to wash bottles and moveable top racks (up and down to accommodate larger pans). Take some time to inventory how you use your dishwasher and find features that will work for you!


This is where hours of reading reviews come in for me. There is no better advertiser than a customer that is using the product. I will usually go to multiple sites and read reviews and look for key trends between them. 20 reviews stating the same frustration with dry time is probably something to consider. 1 angry review about the horrible customer service is not something I will give much thought to.

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