Best Dishwashers of 2021
Five standouts from CR's ratings of dishwashers include models from Bosch and Thermador
Dishwasher manufacturers continue to add bonus features, such as automatic door opening, special wash jets, an infolight to let you know when your dishes are done, and WiFi connectivity. But as you stand in front of a sink stacked with dirty dishes, you need an appliance that aces its primary job—getting dirty dishes spotless.
The testers at Consumer Reports keep that top of mind, of course, in our dishwasher lab. But we also keep an eye on consumer behavior.
“Most consumers still rinse their dishes before loading the dishwasher,” says Larry Ciufo, who oversees CR’s dishwasher tests. The thing is, rinsing your dishes is a waste. When you do, the soil sensor determines that the dishes aren’t all that dirty. As a result, the machine uses less water and runs a shorter cycle, which can leave food stuck on your plates.
“That’s why we made our cleaning tests tougher by coating plates with baked-on food—instead of food that’s somewhat easily rinsed off,” Ciufo says.
We spend 28 hours in the lab evaluating each dishwasher. Our testers load each model with 10 place settings of white ceramic dishes with baked-on food, then run the load on the normal cycle or its equivalent. When the cycle is complete, we use a photo-imaging machine to determine precisely how clean each dish is.