How to Choose the Right Dishwasher

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Most dishwashers offer the same basic washing cycles like light, normal and heavy, which are mainly used for pots and pans. Specialized cycles add extra cleaning power or tackle different types of dishwashing chores. The more cycles and options you have, the more you can customize cleaning for different types of loads. However, selecting additional, specialized cycles will make the wash time longer.

Here are some specialized cycles you might want to consider:

NSF-certified sanitizing rinse

This heats the final rinse water to a very high temperature to kill germs on dishes and cookware, which is great for cleaning baby bottles or cutting boards and provides an extra measure of prevention during cold and flu season. NSF Certified dishwashers are independently tested to confirm the sanitizing cycle reduces bacteria by 99.9 percent.

Steam clean

Dishwashers with steam-cleaning options use steam in different ways, depending on the manufacturer. Some have a cycle that pre-scrubs the dishes, using steam to soak and melt away caked-on food. With some, you can add a steam option to a traditional cycle for more cleaning power. And some have a special setting that only uses steam to clean fragile dishes.

China, crystal or glass-care cycle
This provides shorter wash and rinses cycles with cooler water for delicate dishes

Extra rinse or rinse/hold
If you’re not ready to run a full load, rinse your dirty dishes with this 5- to 10-minute rinse cycle to prevent a stuck-on mess that’s tougher to clean up later.