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What Are the Pros and Cons of a Full-Size Dishwasher?

B. Miller
B. Miller

A full-size dishwasher is the largest type of dishwasher available for use in the home, and there are pros and cons to choosing an appliance of this size. Because this dishwasher has such a large capacity, they are the most energy and water efficient types, since the dishwasher needs to be run less frequently. On the other hand, this is only true if homeowners wait to run the dishwasher until it is full; running it half empty will make it much less efficient. A full-size dishwasher also takes up a great deal more space in the kitchen.

Price can vary widely among dishwashers of all sizes, and full-size machines tend to be the most expensive. They may feature additional warranties or guarantees, however. Both a full-size dishwasher or a smaller version may be freestanding appliances, or may be built in to the cabinets and countertop to look more streamlined. For smaller kitchens, a full-size dishwasher may be an overwhelming choice if it eliminates valuable cabinet space. For average kitchens or larger, however, a larger dishwasher may look just fine, particularly if it is built in to the counters at the same time the house is constructed or the kitchen is remodeled.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

It is also important to consider the number of people in the household. A home with one or two people, for example, may not make enough use of the appliance to warrant purchasing a full-size dishwasher. If it takes days to fill up, it is not only inconvenient, but also unsanitary. Conversely, running a full-size dishwasher before it is completely full will also cut down on its efficiency, and make it a more costly appliance than just purchasing a smaller dishwasher, or even a countertop model, in the first place. Of course, for larger households that go through a lot of dishes quickly, there are many benefits to purchasing a larger dishwasher.

Full-size dishwashers are great choices for people with larger families or who frequently host dinner parties and have dozens of dishes to wash. They often have more features, such as programmable washing cycles or quieter operation, than smaller dishwashers. More expensive dishwashers are generally recommended because they often get dishes cleaner, and are capable of getting the water hotter than smaller models; there are always exceptions, however, and customers should first read reviews and shop sales, rather than just buying the most expensive model available.

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