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Dishwashers provide a combination of efficiency and convenience, eliminating the need to wash most dishes by hand. They come in several colors including white, black and stainless steel, with a variety of features and settings so you can adjust them to your specific needs. At Staples, you'll find several models from brands such as Danby and Magic Chef.
Place Settings and Wash Cycles Dishwashers come in many sizes, measured by the amount of place settings you can fit inside. Smaller units can hold up to six place settings, while larger models have space for eight. Most units come with a separate cup rack and a basket to organize and separate your cutlery. Bottom racks accommodate small and large plates, pots and pans, and bowls.
All models come with several wash cycles so you can pick one that works for each load. Rapid and economic modes conserve energy and water, giving dishes a quick washing without using the heated drying function. Normal is a standard setting for dishes that have a light covering while heavy or intensive cleaning modes are best suited for loads that have dried-on food or dishes that sit for awhile before washing. Use the glass mode when tending to fragile items, such as glasses, china and crystal.
Control and Energy-Efficient Features Many dishwashers come with built-in controls in either dial or push-button format. They let you change the settings, start, pause and cancel cycles. Some have a delay start function that lets you set the unit to start at a specified time in the future and includes 2, 4, 6 or 8-hour options. Most dishwashers have a rinse aid dispenser that helps to eliminate spots on your clean dishes and all accommodate powder, liquid and tablet detergents with an automatic dispensing mechanism. Some have dual compartments that let you add more detergent for larger loads.
Anti-flood devices help prevent overflowing and damage to floors. In select units, you'll find a hygienic drying mechanism that uses internal heat instead of external air to dry the dishes. Water softening systems work well for households or offices with hard water, and indicator lights let you know when the rinse aid is low and when the unit is in operation. Some models come with an Energy Star rating and some have low-water consumption designs that use between 3 and 3.5 gallons per wash load to help you save money on utilities.
Space-Savings Models Those who lack the space for a built-in dishwasher should consider a portable or countertop model. Both types easily hook up to a sink tap, making them suitable for kitchen or basement use. They work well in man caves or wet bars as a convenient cleaning option. Countertop units fit under most upper kitchen cabinets and take up little space, about the same as a large microwave. They measure up to 18 inches (h) x 22 inches (w) x 20 inches (d). Portable models have castor wheels that make them easy to maneuver and you can store them away in a closet when not in use.