Dishwasher: A must-have gadget in the kitchen when the party is over

Topics Home appliances

This Faber dishwasher (Left) is for 14-place settings and comes with eight programs (Price: Rs 56,800). The dishwasher on the right has a 12-place setting, suitable for up to six family members
It looks pretty much like the ubiquitous washing machine, with features like tub, basket, pump, motor, and spray arm – except that it it spins utensils instead of clothes. Like a washing machine, the dishwasher needs an inlet and outlet pipe and an electricity connection. It is also priced in more or less the same range, starting at Rs 30,000 going up to Rs 1.5 lakh.

For Delhi-based homemaker and educationist Bhawna Kumar, the dishwasher was an obvious choice. A great fan of gadgets and gizmos, she has bought everything from an egg boiler to an air fryer and feels technology scores over human endeavour as it is “precise, dependable, consistent and productive.” While setting up home in June 2014, she bought a kitchen from Schneider which then had a tie-up with Whirlpool for a built-in-dishwasher. Says Kumar: “I find the dishwasher excellent for my bone china plates and glasses, as well as spoons after a party. And daily wares of stainless steel plates and katoris also come out sparkling clean. However the cooker, kadhai and bhuna stuff need a rough hand.”

For Kirti Kapoor, a homemaker in Delhi's Paschim Vihar, the dishwasher is what bails her out of the Covid-19 situation. “Nowadays, everyone is doing household chores to reduce dependence on domestic help, which is getting expensive and unreliable. Besides, there are  other issues such as hygiene.” She adds that it isn’t enough that your dishes are visibly clean, they need to be germ-free too. She says her appliance, Hafele’s Aqua 12 S Dishwasher, delivers a hygienic wash capable of eliminating 99.9 per cent germs and bacteria. The high temperature inside the dishwasher along with the water pressure completely removes sticky residue, bacteria and germs.

A dishwasher typically comes with 12-place or 14-place settings. A 12-place setting is suitable for families with up to six members. A one-place setting can accommodate a dinner plate, dessert plate, single glass, soup bowl, tea cup with saucer, knife, spoons and fork. The time period for one cycle ranges from 60 minutes to 160 minutes. Generally there are six to eight programs you can set such as “Intensive” for deep cleaning of pots and pans, “Normal” for regular wash, and “Eco” for water saving, “One-hour express” is quick wash, and then there are others such as Rapid, Soak, Auto and Glass. Most gadgets have a dedicated glass care program which is a 40-degree celsius, sixty-minute gentle cycle that takes care of all of one’s delicate glasses such as champagne flutes, wine glasses and glass bowls.

The evolution 

It wasn't until the 1980s that dishwashers started becoming a standard household kitchen appliance. According to Hardesh Chojher, Senior Director Marketing, R&D Franke Faber India Private Limited, “Like any other electrical appliance, the dishwasher has evolved, helping efficiently manage household chores and working silently at home. It evolved when the clothes-drying function was added to utensil cleaning. A cutlery rack was added on as it lent more space to put utensils.” He says there is no comparison between man (maid) and machine. “When you wash dishes manually, the environment ends up paying a lot for it, as a single sink load ends up using 130 litres of water. In comparison, the dishwasher does the same job using as little as 13 litres. And the best dishwashers use only eight litres of water per cycle.”

The downside

However there are certain flip sides to this appliance. One is that you need to manually remove food particles lest they interfere with the sensors. Second, many argue that a dishwasher is more suitable for western-style cooking and crockery-cutlery than for our desi kadhais and cookers. A Whirlpool spokesperson says, “One way to solve this is to use a combination of powerful water jets and steam to clean and dry more effectively which Whirlpool dishwashers have. Intuitive technology detects the level of soil present on the dishes and optimises the resources accordingly, ensuring perfect cleaning results with low water and energy consumption.” Whirlpool's fastest moving Dishwasher in India, the PowerCleanPro WFO3O33 DLX, comes with power clean pro technology and power dry, which minimises drying time and energy. The PowerClean Pro Technology removes oil and tough stains through specially designed powerful rear water jets while the PowerDry† Technology spotlessly cleans and dries every utensil, including plastics, in just an hour.

A significant challenge while using a dishwasher is the quality of water at hand. “The maximum hardness a dishwasher can handle is 600 parts per million (ppm) and you need a good quantity for soap formation,” says Hardesh Chojher. According to Vasant Kunj resident Mayank Trivedi, “My branded dishwasher became totally useless within a year. The company says my bore water is salty and asks me to use a separate RO water purifier for this as it will not be fit for bore water. In fact our bore water is directly drinkable. It is not that salty. I wasted Rs 30,000 and an additional Rs 5,000 for a two-year extended warranty.”

What the Indian customer wants  

Dishwasher retailers say that the Indian housewife wants more space suited for Indian vessels. She wants adjustable racks and flexible trays with side sliding, apart from 14-place settings.

Dishwashers should be selected on three basic criteria - how much energy they  consume, how much water they consume, how many spray arms are there – the more spray arms the better the wash. Typically there are two or two-and-a-half and in some cases even three spray arms to maximise water spray in all corners of the dishwasher and this also saves time. A buyer must check whether it offers a cutlery basket which not only provides extra space but is also creating extra room for coffee mugs, egg beaters and such like, while providing easy access to silverware.

The dishwasher assumes significance from a water conservation perspective. “Globally, the allocation of water is 5,000 litres per day per person while in India, it is only 1,500 litres per person per day,” says Faber’s Chojher. He feels that currently to get 10 litres of RO water, we are wasting 40 litres or two buckets full of water. Instead of full flush, we need quarter flushes, instead of shower we need to bathe with bucket water, likewise a dishwasher is a best practice we need to adopt instead of washing utensils with hands, he adds.

Finally like with any other technology, the dishwasher equips you with many choices- you can do targeted cleaning in the selected wash zone; half load enabling less resource consumption and delay start enabling you to start the dishwasher as per your schedule.

A peek into what the market has to offer 
Brand  Price (Rs)
Siemens SN558S06TE Integrated Dishwasher (Stainless Steel) 1,55,000
Faber FSID 8PR 14S Built-In Dishwasher (Stainless Steel) 
Siemens Free-Standing Dishwasher (SN236I03ME, Stainless Steel)  56,650
Bosch Freestanding Pre-Activated VarioSpeed Dishwasher (SMS66GI01I, Silver)  43,000
IFB Neptune SX 1 Dishwasher (Stainless Steel) 
Whirlpool PowerCleanPro WFO3O33 DLX   44,991
LG D1452CF Dishwasher  38,994
Source: Croma

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