How to Use Your Dishwasher

CR helps you get most out of enhanced features and state-of-the-art tech

On the outside, dishwashers look pretty much the same as they have for decades. Inside, however, technological innovations such as electronic sensors and filters have revolutionized how today’s dishwashers work.

“Manufacturers are constantly trying to improve these appliances,” says Larry Ciufo, the engineer who oversees CR’s dishwasher tests. “But they already do such a good job at cleaning that new features don’t often change our test results much. What they probably do affect are predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings.”

These ratings, based on data from CR’s member survey, show whether you’re likely to run into problems with a dishwasher, and whether members like a product from a given brand well enough to recommend it.

At least two factors may help explain the differences in these scores: an increase in repairs and the learning curve for actually using the dishwashers themselves.

“Innovation is always somewhat of a risk because the more gadgets you put on a machine, the more there is to break, and the more it’ll cost to fix,” says Ciufo. And having to adapt to new technology—especially when it comes to something as routine as doing the dishes—could also affect a consumer’s satisfaction.

Here are CR’s tips to make the most of these features so that your dishes come out squeaky clean every time.
Remember to Clean the Filter


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