What to expect from a dishwasher under $500
You get what you pay for, and this is no exception with a dishwasher. Paying under $500 for a dishwasher doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice on quality, but it does mean that its size will be affected. With size comes capacity which is why it’s important to focus on the details of any new dishwasher.
Dishwashers under $400 or even $500 are normally priced at this level because they are smaller and more compact. They can be placed on the floor or even on a countertop. This is great if you have a kitchen that does not have a built-in space for a dishwasher.
Key features to look for in a dishwasher under $500
The standard size for a dishwasher is 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 35 inches high. Most models will come with adjustable-height legs to ensure a more accurate fit. There are also compact, or apartment-sized dishwashers that measure maximum 18 inches wide, 25 inches high, and 24 inches deep. All four dishwashers reviewed in this guide measure around 17 inches wide, 21 inches high, and 21 inches deep. Be aware, though, that many measure slightly off these standard sizes. Always make sure you measure the dishwasher space and not just your current dishwasher when you are looking to replace it. If your kitchen is fairly compact, consider getting a 18-inch dishwasher. Also, an integrated dishwasher might be a good way out in case your space is limited.
Before you purchase a dishwasher, think about how you will be using it. Are you a single person who only has a few people over at a time? Are you a family of five that hosts large gatherings each week? How many people will be dirtying dishes is correlated to how big a capacity of a dishwasher you will need. While the SPT SD-2224DS has a capacity of seven-place settings, the other three dishwashers reviewed have a capacity of six-place settings.
There’s no point in buying a dishwasher with a smaller capacity when you need to wash dishes after a family get together. Having stacks of plates waiting for the current cycle to run its course is just a mockery of your attempts to clean the kitchen. Likewise, save a bit of money and purchase a dishwasher with a smaller capacity if you don’t expect to be cooking for large groups of people.
Number of cycles
The more options, the better. Having different types of cycles means that you can ensure the right type of cleaning is happening for your dishes. If you don’t like having to wash all the pots and pans after an elaborate meal, then look for a dishwasher that has a scrub cycle. If you are just one or two and often run small loads, look for a quick wash feature to help save money on your electricity bill. Not all dishes are created equal, and different cycles are needed to take care of them all.
Hot water connection and water heating
It’s extremely important that your dishwasher can connect to a hot water source. Without so, your dishes will not become clean. The highest temperature that a dishwasher can reach varies among models, so do your research. A water heating temperature above 140℉ is what to aim for. Any lower and you just can’t be assured that all the grime will be cleaned off your pots and pans.
Most compact dishwashers are able to connect with a standard kitchen faucet. If this is where you want to connect your dishwasher to, be sure that there is space next to your sink. While tubing can be extended, if there is no room on your countertop for the tube to reach a water source, then your dishwasher simply won’t work.
Water consumption is important to consider when purchasing a dishwasher under $500 as it will determine how large your utility bill will be. The standard water consumption for dishwashers is 2.85 gallons, which both the EdgeStar DWP62WH and the SPT SD-2224DS have. If you want an eco-friendly, Energy Star certified dishwasher, look towards the hOmeLabs HME010033N.
A standard warranty for dishwashers is one-year limited. This way you are covered for the first year of your dishwasher’s life and can have peace of mind if anything breaks. If you anticipate using your dishwasher on a frequent basis and are not at all handy, then you can always look into extended warranties or service plans that will help for future problems.
Safety and care
A dishwasher is an electrical appliance, and care needs to be taken with it. Always make sure that there is ample room between your dishwasher and the wall or cabinet. This allows for heat to circulate and cool the machine down before overheating. As a lot of water is involved, check periodically that there are no exposed wires or open control panels. Any exposure to water could result in a fire. As a rule, kitchens should have a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher, and if yours doesn’t, it is high time to update the room.
Take care of your dishwasher so that it lasts its full lifetime. Most warranties only cover the first year, so be sure to regularly clean your dishwasher so that no food particles become stuck. See our FAQ section to learn more about routine cleaning.