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Appliances That Clean Up Well

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

At the end of the day, life gives you plenty to clean up after. Whether outdoor activities bring home grody clothes or a busy day of preparing for a big meal produces an overwhelming amount of dishes, having the right appliance to tackle the challenge makes all the difference! Here are some things to look out for as you search for laundry appliances and/or a dishwasher that can handle your toughest cleaning jobs.

KitchenAid FreeFlex Rack Dishwasher

The KitchenAid® FreeFlex™ Third Rack Dishwasher has a sleek and simple exterior, and inside, it features the largest third rack available! The angled tray is designed to accommodate 6” glasses and even bowls, and it has its own rotating wash jets to ensure that every dish is effectively cleaned.

Fully Loaded Dishwashers

A dishwasher often has more than the basic two slide-out baskets and upper and lower sprayer arms these days—and you’ll find all sorts of bells and whistles to handle tricky dishes! Consider your regular dish load to figure out what you should prioritize. While any newer model will probably accommodate more than what you’re used to, certain features tailored to the dishes you produce can really affect how you use the dishwasher, and how much it does for you.

If there’s one thing to invest in, let it be the third rack! A third rack adds a shallower tray above the other baskets, which increases functional space within the same standard dishwasher size. This tray is perfect for silverware, cooking and serving utensils, and awkward items like pot lids. Depending on the dishwasher model, it might be shaped to hold other things as well, freeing up space below for more larger plates and pans. So, don’t just look for any third rack—make sure you find the right one!

Maytag Top Control Dishwasher with Third Level Rack and Dual Power Filtration

The Maytag® Top Control Dishwasher with Third Level Rack and Dual Power Filtration is engineered so you can skip rinsing and scrubbing. Microfiltration helps disintegrate food, and the PowerBlast® cycle utilizes high-powered jets and heat to strip mess away. Learn about Dual Power Filtration here!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are some of the other dishwasher features you’ll come across while shopping. You may not find a model with everything, but most offer a few attractive perks!

Extreme cleaning power – For the person who doesn’t have time to rinse or soak, a dishwasher that melts mess with powerful jets and heat is the way to go. Today’s dishwashers also monitor the condition of the water and adjust the cycle accordingly, so they perform well with whatever you put in them.

Specialized cycles – Power is great, but you wouldn’t want to damage anything, either. If you regularly put plastic or other delicate things into the dishwasher, make sure you can tell it to tone it down.

Adjustable holders – Every load is different, so look for flexibility! Some models have fold-down pieces you can deploy to hold delicate stemware safely, or to help you stack more dishes into the space by creating mini shelves. When you don’t need that, just move them out of the way to make room for bigger items.

Additional jets – The two standard sprayer arms effectively spray down the whole tub, but some dishes are tricky and require more personal attention. For that reason, some dishwashers have extra jets to get into every nook and cranny of their baskets. You’ll also see special nozzles for washing bottles!

Interior lighting – Built-in lights make it easier to load and unload the dishwasher. Fridges light up to help you see what’s in there, so it’s only natural that another packable appliance should offer the same convenience.

Whirlpool 4.7 cu. ft. Top Load Washer with Pretreat Station

The Whirlpool® 4.7 cu. ft. Top Load Washer with Pretreat Station includes a built-in faucet and a refillable pretreat brush, so you can rinse, scrub, and drop soiled items straight into the tub. The Automatic Presoak option also lets you set the washer to soak for 15, 30, 60, or 120 minutes before starting the cycle.

Appliances That Simplify the Laundry

If you ever feel like you have to babysit your laundry, you aren’t alone. Not only do you sometimes have to clean things by hand before they even make it to the washer, but you can also get stuck checking and manually turning bulky items in the dryer to make sure they actually dry. Appliances able to do more themselves will ask a lot less from you, so investing in a good set will pay you back in time over the years.

Washers offer more features than dryers, and there’s more variation between models as a result. Additionally, they give you more to think about from a structural standpoint. Do you want a top or front loader? If you want a top loader, do you prefer an agitator or a high-efficiency impeller? Take a moment to acquaint yourself with the pros and cons of different types of washers and dryers with our article Find Laundry Appliances That Work for You before you start looking for extra features.

Maytag Smart Capable Washer and Dryer with Extra Power Button

The Maytag® Smart Capable Top Load Washer and Dryer with Extra Power Button let you manage your laundry with an app and offer Extra Power to boost cleaning and drying as necessary. A dual temperature wash targets stains, and bulky items are treated to extended heat and tumbling to ensure they get dry the first time.

When it comes to washers, here are some things to look out for.

In-tub pre-treating – If you can pre-treat in the washer, you don’t have to walk wet clothes over from the sink. You’ll find in-washer faucets and soak settings that let you get the job done there, and then automatically start washing after the pre-soak.

Extra power functions – For extremely dirty clothes, it’s not just a matter of adding more heat or a stronger detergent. Cycles that use a range of water temperatures dissolve stains better, so if you often deal with very soiled clothes, find a washer that can vary the temp to give that boost.

Timing options – Delayed start is an option, but smart washers let you set the time more precisely whether you’re home or not. You can save time by loading the washer before you leave for work and setting it to wash later, timed so it’s finished when you return, fresh and ready to put into the dryer!

For dryers, things are a lot simpler, but there are still some features that can make sure your laundry comes out better in the end.

Drying sensors and settings – Drying clothes has come a long way since just setting a timer and hoping for the best. Now, sensors that detect moisture will keep the load going until it registers as dry. If you have a very bulky load, it’ll need more heat and tumbling to dry without damp spots. Look for a model that gives you different settings to address different kinds of loads.

Wrinkle prevention – It’s as simple as keeping the drum rolling! If you aren’t available to fold when the dryer finishes, the load will settle and wrinkles can set it. A dryer that intermittently restarts after finishing can help stave off wrinkles.

Whatever you’re shopping for, take a look around all the different models to see what they offer! There’s a great wide world of possibilities to find online and in showrooms. Don’t be afraid to ask a professional for recommendations if you have a hard time sorting through all the dishwasher and laundry options to find the best solutions for your needs.