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What's the Most Water Efficient Dishwasher? Top 5 Models Listed

Eddie Jacob  |  August 26, 2015  |  8 Min. Read

Thermador  |  Miele  |  Bosch  |  Dishwashers  |  EnergyStar  |  KitchenAid

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The dishwasher has always been a household work horse. You expect a lot from that small appliance under your countertop.

With high-use, a calling for a balance in efficiency has become the standard.

We will look at the new washing methods, the most efficient brands and offer you tips on how to save more water.

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Today's Dishwashers

One of the most common asked questions is: Why is a dishwasher cycle so much longer than that of my dishwasher from 10-15 years ago?”

The answer is simple; today's dishwashers are much more energy efficient than those of the past, using about one-third of the water.

Dishwashers are now built with sensors monitoring the soil levels in the water as it's being filtered and reused. Sensors lead to longer cycle times with an average 120-129 minutes. The final clean-water rinse assures your end result of sparkling dishes.

Older machines would run a normal cycle in about half that time. However, they would consume three to four times the water, as fresh water was constantly being pumped in and out of the unit.

Non-Energy Star

The new, non-Energy Star dishwashers use about 6 gallons per wash. Energy Star dishwashers only consume about 4 gallons per wash. This is a wide contrast in comparison to machines older than 10 years.

The older, non-efficient, dishwasher consumes an average of 15-18 gallons per wash. That’s a big difference!

Dishwasher Differences

For the most part, dishwashers in a respective brand label are pretty much all the sameThe tub and major mechanical components...all the same.

What sets them apart in each brand is:

  • Aesthetics (door panel finish type / handle)
  • Noise Level (aka dBA / higher-end models are better insulated)
  • Rack Systems (cutlery tray, adjustable tines, ultra-glide rails)
  • Wash Programs and Cycles
  • Number of Spray Arms
  • Water-Softener Feature
  • Interior LED Lighting 

So, the best and cheapest dishwashers have similar efficiency.

Most Water Efficient Dishwashers 

The following dishwashers rate supreme in water efficiency.

5. KitchenAid KDFE204ESS - $999

Depends on cycle / Normal 2.8 to 7.9 gallons (depending on light, heavy or medium)

kitchenaid dishwasher kdfe204ess

 Features

  • 46 dBA Sound Level
  • 6 Cycles / 6 Options
  • Third Level Rack
  • Satin Glide Max Upper Rails
  • Proscrub

4. Jenn-Air TriFecta Series JDB9200CWS - $1,399

Depends on cycle / Normal 2.8 to 7.9 gallons (depending on light, heavy or medium)

jenn-air trfecta series jdb9200cws dishwasher

Features

  • 42 dBA Sound Level
  • 6 Wash Cycles / 5 Options
  • SteamFinish Option
  • Energy Star®
  • Interior LED Theater Lighting

3. Thermador Topaz Series DWHD640JFP - $1,499

Average 2.2 gallons / cycle in Auto Program

thermador topaz series dishwasher dwhd640jfp

Features

  • 44 dBA Sound Level
  • 6 Wash Cycles / 4 Options
  • PowerBoost
  • Sens-A-Wash System
  • Professional Handle
  • Chef's Tool Drawer

2. Bosch 800 DLX Series SHX68TL5UC - $899

Average 2.9 gallons / cycle in Auto Program

Bosch 800 dlx shx68tl5uc dishwasher

Features

  • 44 dBA Sound Level
  • 6 Wash Cycles / 6 Options
  • Adjustable Upper Rack
  • 3rd Top Rack
  • InfoLight

1. Miele Futura Dimension Series G6365SCVISF - $1,499

Average 1.72 gallons / cycle in Auto Program

Miele Futura Dimension Series G6365SCVIS Dishwasher

Features 

  • 44 dBA Sound Level
  • 9 Wash Cycles / 3 Wash Options
  • FlexiCare Premium Basket Design
  • 3D Cutlery Tray
  • Water Softening Unit

Water Saving Tip

Stop rinsing your dishes before placing them into the tub: This is a bad habit that can be counter-productive. Scrape your plates and remove large food particles, but no need to rinse. Detergents also need to adhere to the waste on plates to be the most effective.

You can easily waste 20-40 gallons of water by rinsing off dishes.

Conclusion

Efficiency alone is not necessarily a reason to replace a dishwasher under 10 years old.

The $25-35 savings is not worth the return on your estimate for a $699 dishwasher. Other factors like quietness, racks and overall construction are better reasons.

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Eddie Jacob

Eddie Jacob has 15+ years of sales & consulting experience and is in the appliance sales department at Yale Appliance. He takes pride in total customer satisfaction and enjoys coaching youth soccer.

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