Sears Knowledge Center


Dishwasher Buying Guide

Say hello to the kitchen appliance that keeps on giving

Whether you're building your home and buying a dishwasher for the first time, or renovating your kitchen, new dishwasher models can offer a variety of benefits from shortened cleaning cycles to a heavy-duty pots and pans mode. If you wash a lot of dishes and want something that's powerful enough to handle the job... read more

Dishwasher Comparisons

Built in vs Portable Dishwashers

Built-in vs. Portable Dishwashers

When you've just finished enjoying a delicious meal with the people who matter most, the last thing you want to do is wash the dishes. The dishwasher is a favorite kitchen appliance because you can easily load dirty tableware in your dishwasher, and after the touch of a button, continue enjoying your guests instead of hand washing every dish. If you're looking for a new dishwasher, you'll need to decide whether you want a built-in or portable model.

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stainless steel vs plastic dishwasher tub material

Plastic vs. Stainless Steel Dishwasher Tub Material

The interior of dishwashers are made in two different tub materials, plastic or stainless steel. If you're not familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of each tub type, look at this comparison between plastic and stainless steel tub materials to help you decide which interior type will be better for your new dishwasher.

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Liquid vs Powder vs Pac

Liquid vs. Powder vs. Pac Detergent

Liquid, powder and pac detergents are the main soap types you can use with your dishwasher. Most of the time personal preference will dictate which you’ll use, but there are definitely some key differences between these three agents. Having a better understanding of the advantages and limitations of each detergent type will help you to choose which is best depending on how heavily soiled your dishware tends to get.

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Dishwasher Features

What is Decibel Range for a Dishwasher?

The decibel range associated with your dishwasher measures the sound you'll hear when it's running. The higher the decibel level, the louder your machine will be when it's in use. Standard decibel levels of 51 and higher will project as much sound as a conversation between several people, so watching TV or post-dinner conversation can be difficult if you're running your dishwasher simultaneously. Quiet dishwashers have a decibel range between 46 and 50, and while you'll still be able to hear your dishwasher running, it'll be a less disruptive background noise. 

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Decibel range

What is the ADA Compliance for Dishwashers?

ADA compliance allows persons with disabilities to have easy access to their appliances. For a dishwasher to be ADA compliant, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all controls on a dishwasher be within arm's reach. Compliant models sit between 15- and 48-inches above the floor. Controls, always on the front of the machine, are made to be easily operated with one hand.

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ADA Compliance

What are Soil Sensors in a Dishwasher?

Soil sensors in a dishwasher assess the soil-level of your dishes and then automatically adjust the amount of energy and water required to get your dishware clean. Instead of you determining which type of wash cycle you need, your dishwasher can sense it for you. If you have a habit of soaking and pre-rinsing your dishes before you load them into the dishwasher, for example, soil sensors will detect that not as much energy and water will be required during the wash cycle.  

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Soil Sensors

Dishwasher Cycles

Dishwasher quick rinse cycle

What is a Dishwasher Quick Rinse Cycle?

The quick rinse cycle is a brief pre-wash option in your dishwasher that doesn't require dishwashing detergent. This rinse cycle is an option in about half of dishwasher models. The cycle uses warm water to remove excess food particles and caked-on stains before the cleaning cycle.  This way, you don't have to manually rinse your dishes in the sink before loading the dishwasher. You can run the quick rinse cycle immediately before washing your dishes, or you can use quick rinse as an individual cycle. The quick rinse is also a great way to rinse new dishes or glasses that don't need a full wash.

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SmartWash® Cycle

What is the SmartWash® Cycle?

Specific to Kenmore dishwashers, the SmartWash® Cycle automatically adjusts the amount of water and energy each time you run the dishwasher. First, the machine detects the soil level of the dishes and computes the load size. The amount of water and correlating energy level is adjusted accordingly for an easy clean, so you don't have to look back through the dirty dishes you've loaded and fidget with cycle settings.

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Dishwasher Cleaning Care and Tips

How to Properly Load your Dishwasher

There are many ways to load your dishwasher, and there are more efficient options than just your personal preferences. It's important to be mindful of how you organize your dishware on the racks before running a cycle so you can protect your dishes, maximize space and run your dishwasher less often. Knowing how and where to load certain kitchen items can also help ensure that the water stream and suds reach and clean every piece of dishware to perfection. 

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How to properly load your dishwasher

How to Determine Which Dishwasher Cycle to Use

If you aren't sure which of the multiple settings on your dishwasher to use, remember that cycles vary in speed, water temperature and pressure, and in the number of washes and rinses produced before switching to the dry cycle. Standard dishwashers will have light, normal and heavy wash cycles. Newer models come equipped with additional specialty cycles for customized cleaning.

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Determine which cycle to use

How to Eliminate Odor in Your Dishwasher

There's something about a musty smell coming from your dishwasher that makes putting your clean dishes away feel wrong. Even if the cycle is complete and your dishwashing detergent leaves your dishware sparkly, radiant and smelling fresh, a foul-smelling interior makes the whole process of cleaning seem counterproductive. 

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How to eliminate odor in your dishwasher

Product Insights

Maytag Dishwashers

Product Insights: Maytag Dishwashers

These dishwashers are built with the Maytag® dependability you expect with new features that make them even more reliable. Packed with sturdy stainless steel parts,  you can see and feel the powerful features that work to clean your dirtiest dishes.

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Check it Out: Frigidaire Dishwashers

Product Insights: Frigidaire Dishwashers

The new lineup of Frigidaire® Gallery® and Frigidaire Professional® dishwashers are designed and built to deliver superior cleaning and drying performance. This ensures that dishes are clean and dry the first time — no do-overs needed!

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Electrolux Dishwashers

Product Insights: Electrolux Dishwashers

The new Electrolux dishwasher lineup combines industry-leading innovation with a wealth of professional experience. The design behind every Electrolux appliance is inspired by the consumers who rely on them every day — and with 40 million appliances sold annually, there is a lot of inspiration to be had!

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LG Dishwashers

Product Insights: LG Dishwashers

The LG dishwasher lineup offers sleek styling and powerful performance that makes dishes shine. With intuitive controls, adjustable racks and a large load capacity, LG dishwashers make kitchen cleanup a breeze.

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Top Sellers