Your dishwasher is supposed to actually wash your dishes — you aren't supposed to spend time or water at the sink washing the dishes that you're about to send through the dishwasher. At the very most, you should only need to use a rubber scraper and remove the large chunks of food from the dishes. But now, that might not even be a necessary step to take. Here, you'll find a few features to look for in your new dishwasher to take all of the work out of doing dishes each day.
Look for a Built-In Grinder
Many of the lower-end dishwasher models won't have a built-in grinder, but if you look a few levels up, you'll find dishwashers that have food grinders built right into them. These units do not require you to wash the food off of the dishes before they're loaded into the machine.
All you'll need to do is load the machine and let it do all of the work. It will presoak the dishes to wash the food away. The food is caught in a screen in the bottom of the dishwasher. It is then pushed through the grinding feature of the unit and sent into the wastewater system.
The only real downside to this feature is the fact that it can begin to stink if you don't take the time to clean it, just like the garbage disposal in your sink. The good news is that it's easy to clean the unit — you just buy a dishwasher cleaning product and run a short cycle to clean the unit. Between cleanings, you can pour lemon juice or white vinegar into the food trap to reduce the odors coming from the grinder.
Consider a Dual Dishwasher
Dual dishwashers are designed to fit under the cabinet like a traditional unit, but instead of having one large door that opens, it has two drawers. When you only have a small load of dishes to wash, you can fill just one of the drawers and run a wash cycle. This feature uses much less water and energy to wash the small amount of dishes that you might only make during certain days of the week.
Talk with the professionals at an appliance store near you to find the dishwasher that has all of the features that you need to make it actually do the dishes for you so you can toss out those rubber gloves and scrubbing sponge.