• Tin, pewter , sterling silver , anodized aluminum Like cast iron, these materials can rust.
When in doubt, skip all metal products other than stainless steel and aluminum.
• Wood Wooden bowls, spoons and utensil handles can warp, crack or discolor.Simply look for a model you like and confirm that there's a 100-day parts and labor warranty. Energy Star models often retail for to 0 more but use substantially less energy over time and can save you money on your utility bills.As part of the Energy Star program, the government has been offering rebates to offset the cost of Energy Star appliances. "Dishwashers used to clean by using a ton of water and energy," says John Dries, a Kentucky engineer who designs dishwashers for major manufacturers. Now there are machines that can do a very good job on 4 gallons." Models with an Energy Star sticker use a maximum of 5.8 gallons per cycle, and half the electricity of older models (by comparison, running your faucet for just one minute uses roughly 1 gallon of water, plus the electricity to heat it). "Dishes should be scraped to remove large chunks," says Dries.• The Top Rack Place glasses and cups along the edges, next to the tines (not on them; if you put them on the tines, the tines can break and you'll fit fewer items).Load smaller plates and saucers in neat rows facing the middle. If clean dishes are all you need and you don't mind some noise, midsize models from companies like GE start well under 0. Shop toward the end of the year, when stores are making space for next year's models. On fancier models, you're paying for three things: appealing exterior design, extras such as adjustable loading racks and precision sensors that choose the cycle for you, and silence—pricier models are much quieter.How to Load the Right Way Mike Edwards knows a thing or two about how to load a dishwasher—he's been designing them for 22 years. (More items fit that way.) And all items should face the middle of the unit—that's where the jet spray comes from.• Avoid nesting Water, water vapor and heat need to touch every surface of the items being washed, so leave space between dishes and don't overfill.Higher-end models not only have self-cleaning filters, but hard food disposers as well, which grind food and send it down the drain.In addition, modern detergents are designed to attack food, which can actually cause problems if there isn't any food on the dishware.