(NAPSI)—If you're done with doing dishes, you're not alone. According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 21 percent of women cited washing the dishes as their least favorite household chore. Before deciding on a dishwasher, consider the following shopping tips from the Whirlpool Institute of Kitchen Science: • Load it up: If everyone had the same set of dishes, cookware and serveware, one dishwasher would fit all. But that is not the case. So take stock of your dishes before shopping to better judge if your dishes will sit comfortably in the racks. Most dishwashers also now come with holders to prevent silverware from "nesting," so make sure your set fits the slots.
• Check under the hood: Sort of. Most people don't know the difference between filter- and disposal-based systems, so be sure to look at the bottom of the dishwasher, as the difference is significant. Filter-based systems, which use water filtration to separate food particles from the water washing your dishes, are generally quieter and more energy efficient—but they also require a periodic rinse of the filter. Disposal systems, which use a blade to chop particles and separate them from the water, do not require the same amount of maintenance, but can be louder and less efficient.
• Do your homework: Request any information the salesperson may have on how the dishwasher stacks up to the rest. Check the machine's energy efficiency rating. These ratings change, so be sure to select a model with the best available rating.
• Evaluate yourself: Those who are not inclined to spend quality time with their dishwasher's owner's manual can benefit from a model equipped with a sensor cycle. Sensor cycles will choose the best wash cycle for the load by detecting just how dirty the dishes are, and can help save energy.
• Get in the zone: Spray zones are important when it comes to those dishes with hard, stuck-on food particles. Check the back of the washer, where the sprayers are, and ask if they're targeted to specific areas. Targeted sprayers can get to caked-on baking dishes so you don't have to prerinse or scrub them. Prerinsing can waste up to 20 gallons of water! Using a dishwasher doesn't just save time; it also saves water. Hand-washing dishes can use 27 gallons of water vs. one cycle in a dishwasher that uses 3 gallons of water.