A household that hand-washes all its dishes isn’t unheard of in this day and age. This is either because people think it’s more water-efficient to do the job by hand, or perhaps because they just don’t want the expense of buying and maintaining a dishwasher – which is perfectly reasonable.
To take the first point, studies generally show that washing dishes by hand actually results in more water usage than what a dishwasher needs to get the job done – arguably better. This is – largely – because it’s easy to use a lot more water than you actually need to. You might think you’re being water-efficient, but there’s a good chance you’re not. As for the second point, it’s absolutely right that most large household appliances can be expensive to buy. But cheap dishwashers do exist – you’ve just got to look for them.
To give you a hand with your search, we’ve compiled a list of cheap dishwashers you can find in Australia. In fact, we’ve been so helpful that we’ve not only given you an idea about prices, but also ongoing running costs. These running costs are based on the assumption that an average household uses its dishwasher seven times a week (once a day). If you run your dishwasher more or less than this, you can expect your running costs to differ from the figures found in this article.
Also keep in mind that these calculations don’t include the cost of water used, which will add an extra expense. And finally, this comparison is based on an electricity price of $0.29/kWh. Electricity rates vary across the country, so keep this in mind, too. But first, here is a selection of cheap dishwashers we have found online.
List of Cheap Dishwashers
|Model||RRP||Energy Rating||Water Efficiency (WELS) Rating|
|Kogan Freestanding Dishwasher KAGDWS14CTA||$289||3||4|
|ALDI Stainless Steel Dishwasher STR-SSDW14||$349||3||4.5|
|Haier Freestanding Dishwasher HDW13G1W||$499||3||4.5|
|Dishlex Freestanding Dishwasher DSF6106W||$739||3||4.5|
|Fisher & Paykel Freestanding Dishwasher DW60FC2W1||$849||3.5||5|
|Westinghouse Freestanding Dishwasher WSF6606W||$909||3||4.5|
|Bosch Serie 2 Freestanding Dishwasher SMS40E08AU||$1,049||3||3.5|
Source: Appliances Online & respective retailers, June 2019
Kogan Freestanding Dishwasher KAGDWS14CTA
Kogan is well-renowned for its bargain deals on electronics as well as home appliances. Its freestanding dishwasher provides a generous 14 place setting capacity, with six washing programs. Programs include Intensive, Heavy, Rinse, Rapid, Normal and Soak. It also has a 24-hour delay start system, allowing you to switch on the unit at a time that suits you.
The design features a sleek stainless-steel door and an LED display with push button controls. Inside you will find two cutlery trays, plus a top cutlery pull-out tray and height-adjustable upper baskets for taller glasses. Safety features include a child lock, aqua stop anti-leak and anti-floor devices.
- RRP: $289
- Energy efficiency rating: 3 stars (consuming 310kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 4 stars (consuming 13.5L/cycle)
- Annual running cost: $89.90
- Running cost over 10 years: $899
- Total cost of ownership over 10 years: $1,188
ALDI Stainless Steel Dishwasher STR-SSDW14
Well-known for its cheap and cheerful Special Buys, ALDI offers this Stainless-Steel model from the brand Stirling with 14 place settings. It features six wash programs with a delay start system, allowing you to make use of the off-peak electricity times. The design features a height adjustable upper basket to give you room for larger pots and pans. Plus, it has a child lock and an anti-flood device for safety.
In terms of energy-efficiency, it’s rated just three stars, with an energy consumption of 329kWh per year. It has a 4.5-star water rating, using 12.7L per wash. This unit is backed by a three-year warranty, giving you that extra peace of mind.
- RRP: $349
- Energy efficiency rating: 3 stars (consuming 329kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 5 stars (consuming 12.7L/cycle)
- Annual running cost: $95.41
- Running cost over 10 years: $954.10
- Total cost of ownership over 10 years: $1,303.10
Haier Freestanding Dishwasher HDW13G1W
Haier is one of the world’s largest appliance manufacturers, with innovation at the heart of its product designs. This Haier dishwasher has a generous 13 place setting capacity and is further complemented by an adjustable upper basket to fit large pots and pans, plus six different wash programs.
With an inbuilt 24-hour delay timer, you can set the load to be washed at a time most convenient for you, as well as make use of the off-peak energy tariffs during the night. It also has a sensor touch LED control panel for programming the dishwasher and comes in a white finish. This dishwasher is backed by a 24-month parts and labour warranty.
- RRP: $499
- Energy efficiency rating: 3 stars (consuming 273kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 5 stars (consuming 11.8L/cycle)
- Annual running cost: $79.17
- Running cost over 10 years: $791.70
- Total cost of ownership over 10 years: $1,290.70
Dishlex Freestanding Dishwasher DSF6106W
Dishlex is a kitchen appliance specialist owned by the Electrolux group. With a 4.5-star water rating and using only 11.6L of water per cycle, this Dishlex model is relatively water-efficient and comes with five different wash programs. It has only 3 stars for energy efficiency, but features an eco-mode. In addition, you’ll find a half load option and a load sensing system, which apparently assesses each load individual to optimise energy usage.
With enough room for up to 13 place settings, it offers plenty of value for a budget-friendly price. Expect a rotary dial and push button controls, with two colours variants of classic white or stainless steel. It also features a welcome overfill protection, plus a catchment tray water safety system, backed by a two-year manufacturer warranty.
- RRP: $739
- Energy efficiency rating: 3 stars (consuming 282kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 5 stars (consuming 11.6L/cycle)
- Annual running cost: $81.78
- Running costs over 10 years: $817.80
- Total cost of ownership over 10 years: $1,556.80
Fisher & Paykel Freestanding Dishwasher DW60FC2W1
Our neighbours from New Zealand offer us plenty of dishwashers with innovative features. This Fisher & Paykel dishwasher has a 3.5-star rating for energy efficiency and a 5-star water rating. Plus, it also comes with safety features such as a child lock, and uses only 11.4L of water per wash cycle. It has a capacity of 15 place settings and is stated to accommodate large dishes.
With six different wash programs – including Eco, Heavy and a Quick Wash – this dishwasher might be a solid choice for the modest price. Other features include a three-stage filtration system, plus ThermoDry technology claimed to ensure dishes come out dry after the final rinse.
- RRP: $849
- Energy efficiency rating: 5 stars (consuming 286kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 5 stars (consuming 11.4L/cycle)
- Annual running cost: $82.94
- Running costs over 10 years: $829.40
- Total cost of ownership over 10 years: $1,678.40
Westinghouse Freestanding Dishwasher WSF6606W
Designed for larger households, this Westinghouse dishwasher can hold up to 15 place settings and comes with six different wash programs to suit a variety of dishwashing needs. It has a 3-star rating for energy efficiency and a 4.5-star rating for water efficiency, using 13.5L per cycle, which is more than any of the other model on this list, besides Kogan’s unit.
It also features electronic controls with a digital display. Plus, it shows the progress of your wash cycle including the time remaining. Its Hygiene option is stated to provide a hygienic clean of items that need it most, such as chopping boards, baby products and knives. If you’ve only got a small load, there’s also a quick 30-minute program for lightly soiled items.
- RRP: $909
- Energy efficiency rating: 3 stars (consuming 352kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating:5 stars (consuming 13.5L/cycle)
- Annual running cost: $102.08
- Running costs over 10 years: $1,020.80
- Total cost of ownership over 10 years: $1,929.80
Bosch Serie 2 Freestanding Dishwasher SMS40E08AU
German appliance manufacturer Bosch offers a large array of dishwashers to choose from. This unit is boasted for quiet operation thanks to its EcoSilence Drive, plus an eco-mode to help save on energy. With a 3-star energy efficiency and 3.5-star water efficiency rating, using just 11.6L of water per cycle, this Bosch dishwasher is designed to be water-efficient but it’s not one of the most environmentally friendly models on this list.
It features four wash programs, including a heavy and quick cycle. It’s also a pretty safe model, equipped with a child-lock and anti-flood protection, plus auto-load sensing. Its other settings include VarioSpeed, claimed to deliver the same washing and drying results in half the time.
- RRP: $1,049
- Energy efficiency rating: 3 stars (consuming 268kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating:5 stars (consuming 13.5L/cycle)
- Annual running cost: $77.72
- Running costs over 10 years: $777.20
- Total cost of ownership over 10 years: $1,826.20
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Does it pay to buy cheap?
The dishwashers mentioned in this comparison cover a range of efficiency levels and prices, but which is the most cost-effective? It’s quite clear that cheaper models tend to have low energy-efficiency ratings, which in turn means they use a large amount of electricity each year. The total running costs vary little between some brands, so if you’re going to end up spending roughly the same amount over time, the question is: Would you rather pay a lower price up front, but a bit more on your power bills, or take a bigger hit to your bank balance in the first instance but benefit from slightly lower running costs later?
It sounds tempting to take the cheaper initial option, but remember that a more expensive dishwasher could also mean better cleaning results. Plus, a dishwasher with a higher energy-efficiency rating will be better for the environment.
- Average length of ownership for a dishwasher in our survey was 8 years.
Keep in mind that electricity prices are probably going to rise during this time, so you’re looking at ongoing costs exceeding the purchase prices by quite some margin. Water consumption is less of a consideration because water by the gigalitre is quite cheap, especially if you live in a metro area. But if you own your home or are renting it out to someone else, it might pay to keep track of water usage to ensure it’s steady.
With most Aussies owning their dishwasher for almost a decade, consumers stand a good chance of making back their money fast. But it might not be enough to justify spending more than $1,000 upfront. What you generally get with the more expensive units is extra features and usability, which you can’t really put a price tag on at the end of a long day’s work. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
Picture credits: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock.com, Click and Photo/shutterstock.com Andrey_Popov/shutterstock.com