Dishwashers: How to buy the best dishwasher Dishwasher programs
The program you set your dishwasher to run on will have a considerable impact on the time it takes to wash your dishes, the temperature of the water and the water and energy used.
Here, we explain which program to use for each type of load, and how to be greener with your dishwasher.
Main dishwasher program
Main or normal programs wash at about 65 degrees and you'll find one on almost all dishwashers.
This program is fine for most normal loads, but if you use the energy-save or eco program you will be able to save some water and energy.
Energy-save or eco dishwasher program
This is the most environmentally-friendly way of washing your dishes.
Energy-save or eco programs use less water and energy than the main program but washes at lower temperatures. It takes longer than the standard wash-program, but the results are similar.
Intensive dishwasher program
Intensive dishwasher programs are great for very dirty pots, pans and dishes that would normally need soaking.
To deal with baked-on stains, intensive programs use more energy and water than either the main or the energy-save programs.
Delicate dishwasher program
Delicate dishwasher programs are for china or glassware. To help avoid chipping, make sure china and glass items don't touch anything else in the dishwasher.
Half-load dishwasher program
If you don't have too much to wash you might consider using the half-load program, but this will only save 10-25% on water and energy.
So they're much less efficient than waiting until you've got a full load and then using the energy-save program.
Automatic dishwasher program
If your dishwasher doesn't have an obvious main program, it's likely to use a sensor to detect how dirty the water in the machine is and then set the water temperature and wash duration.
Automatic programs like this vary the temperature they wash at, so for very dirty pots this is likely to be about 70°C, and for a standard mixed load this is more likely to be about 60°C to 65°C.