When rating and reviewing dishwashers, factors that come into play include how well dishwashers clean dishes, loading style, ease of use, noise generated while washing, energy consumption and average load cycle time. Dishwashers are evaluated in individual categories, but are also rated according to overall performance, says Consumer Reports. Dishwashers vary in features, weight and price too, which also factors into their ratings.
Regardless of make and model, all dishwashers undergo the same tests for a full review, notes Consumer Reports. At the Consumer Reports testing facility, over 185 dishwashers are reviewed and scored for quality.
One main factor in performance is a dishwashers' cleaning capacity. This test involves stacking washers with a full load of dishes that are rinsed but not scraped before loading. The presence or absence of residual food after the wash cycle determines the performance, and ultimately the score.
Energy consumption is also a key factor. Dishwashers should use most energy for heating water without consuming more than necessary. The same holds true for water usage.
Another rating factor is ease of use and ability to safely wash delicate items. Dishwashers have racks and holders to carry standard size plates and dining items, but they ideally have room for safely holding items that are delicate or have unusual dimensions.
Noise is another consideration. Testers evaluate dishwashers on how much sound they make while washing, filling and draining. The presence or absence of excess features and buttons factors into ratings, as does cycle time.