Certain technologies have become so deeply ingrained into our everyday routines that it’s difficult to imagine how people got by before their invention. Though the dishwasher became a standard appliance in American homes sometime in the 1970s, today, they’re more than mere convenience: Modern dishwashers are more sanitary and eco-friendly than the old-fashioned method of scrubbing pots and pans by hand.
And since we tend to hold today’s dishwashers to the highest of standards, it’s a good thing that these machines have become astonishingly high-tech. We’ve partnered with Miele – currently offering $100 off the retail price of select models, plus a five-year warranty – to take a look at just a few common dishwasher struggles that you won’t have to deal with anymore thanks to the latest technology.
1. Outdated, wasteful routines.
If you grew up in a house with a dishwasher, you probably learned to rinse the dish off before putting it in the dishwasher…to be rinsed again. “Pre-rinsing is a stigma that’s followed from older-generation dishwashers,” says Nicole Malkiewicz, a Communications Specialist at Miele U.S.A. “People saw their parents washing dishes before they put them in the dishwasher…We actually advise against [this practice].” Hiroko Kawaguchi, Product Manager for Dishwashers and Cooling for Miele U.S.A., explained that this is because dishwashing tabs nowadays are a lot stronger; they’re formulated to eat away at food residue. For the best cleaning results, simply scrape off any excess food and load your dishes into your dishwasher.
The dishwasher of today is not only working harder, but smarter. For example, dishwashers with an ENERGY STAR stamp of approval can save up to 5,000 gallons of water per year. These appliances also use significantly less energy than older models, meaning that they reduce greenhouse gases and therefore air pollution.
Miele dishwashers are all ENERGY STAR certified — in fact, they’ve been designated as ENERGY STAR most efficient 2017, a coveted award limited to the greenest models. Miele continually strives to reduce energy and water consumption.
2. Playing dishwasher Tetris.
Have you ever had to treat your dishwasher loading process like a jigsaw puzzle, arranging and re-arranging all your dishes just so in order to fit the entire family’s dinner plates into the machine? Or, have you ever agonized over how to maneuver your pots and pans so they fit snugly into your machine? If so, you understand the pain of poor design.
Luckily, many of today’s dishwashers are engineered with these old design flaws in mind. One major inconvenience of traditional dishwashers is the compartment or basket used for silverware. Miele machines address this by adding a 3D cutlery tray and third spray-arm: The tray is adjustable, which means you never have to jam utensils into awkward spaces again. Not only does this ensure your silverware gets sparkling clean, but it also makes unloading much safer than blindly reaching into a basket that’s a jumble of knives.
FlexAssist silicon grips are another convenient feature that make post-dinner clean-up a cinch. These ingenious, colorful markers help you label and adjust the loading basket, designating which dishes go where and providing non-slip grip so nothing gets jostled during the wash cycle.
And, when it comes to bulky items like pots and pans, modern machines can handle the toughest jobs — even the aftermath of lasagna night.
“Some people tend to wash their pots in their sink, which to me, that’s the worst task,” says Kawaguchi, who explained that all Miele machines come equipped with a dedicated “Pots and Pans” cycle, as well as — on the other side of the spectrum — a “China & Crystal program” for delicate dishes on most models.
These customizable features make “dishwasher Tetris” a thing of the past.
3. Sacrificing quiet time for clean dishes.
Silence is golden, and this is never truer than when it comes to kitchen appliances. Old-school dishwashers often sound like spaceships readying for launch — and nobody wants to have to listen to a roaring machine when they’re trying to enjoy a relaxing evening at home or when they’re trying to entertain. Today’s machines are exceptionally quiet (some Miele models are even quieter than the average conversation) so you’ll never be interrupted by spaceship sounds when you’ve got friends over for game night or if you’re curled up in the living room with a real page-turner.
When it comes to dishwashers, most people are fans of the strong, silent type: Some machines on the market today are even capable of washing dishes in under an hour from start to finish — and they do so without raising a ruckus.
4. Redesigning kitchen space to accommodate one.
Retro-style, lime-green appliances may have been all the rage in the ‘70s, but unlike vinyl, it’s a trend few are sad to see go. Today’s machines are downright attractive — and a variety of installation methods mean it’s simple enough to integrate a new dishwasher into an existing kitchen design. Whether your kitchen is outfitted entirely in Jetsons-esque stainless steel or has a more classic look and feel, there’s a machine to match your home’s unique style. Miele, for example, offers both integrated and fully-integrated models, as well as pre-finished machines that fit with nearly any kitchen decor.
For early adopters and tech-savvy homeowners, too, smart home integration is an increasingly common feature for dishwashers. The latest generation of EcoFlex machines, for example, can connect to the Miele&Mobile app so that a wash cycle can be monitored, or even started remotely. It’s exciting to imagine what the future of the modern, connected kitchen has in store — and how it will transform our daily tasks, one load of dishes at a time.