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Dishwasher Diaries: Every Load is Different

Disclosure: For the purposes of this blog miniseries, I was provided with a KitchenAid 6-Cycle/6-Option dishwasher at no cost to myself. Opinions are my own.

Dear Dishwasher Diary,

It's pretty simple. I need my dishwasher to work well and not let me down. Between writing a cookbook in my home kitchen and feeding a family of four, I produce a lot of dirty dishes. A lot, Diary. It's kind of embarrassing how much. And while some are just lightly dirty, others are messy, sticky, baked-on, caked-on messes that need serious cleaning power. I've been around long enough to know that, just like snowflakes, no two dishwasher loads are the same. So when KitchenAid Canada offered to send me one of their 6-Cycle/6-Option dishwashers to put to work in my kitchen, I quickly accepted. I like the idea of having choices in how my dishes are washed and dried.

When it first arrived in my kitchen, with its brushed stainless steel exterior and shiny stainless interior, I felt the familiar exhilarating rush I get from KitchenAid appliances. I don't just want my appliances to work, I want to feel good when I use them. KitchenAid gets that. Style is never of secondary importance, and yet never at the expense of function. I was keen to load it up with dirty dishes and experience the satisfaction of its powerful, industry-leading wash and dry performance.

This dishwasher recognizes that not every load needs the same cleaning treatment. Here's my practical take on the 6 wash cycles:

Rinse Only - Ever put a casserole dish in the dishwasher, but didn't have enough dishes to run a load right away and you're worried it'll just get more caked-on the longer it sits there? That's what this cycle is for.

Express Wash - I need all these dishes cleaned and I only have an hour before the potluck!

Light - The ladies came for tea and I used my best china.

Normal - It's just another day in my kitchen. Normal meals, normal dishes, 99 normal problems but dirty dishes ain't one.

Tough - There's no way this is going to come clean. That's what this cycle is for. And it will come clean.

ProWash - I want my dishwasher to do all the thinking for me. I want it to sense the load size, how dirty things are, and use just the right amount of water and energy to make things sparkle.

But the choices don't end there. This fancy dishwasher goes on to offer 6 wash and dry options that let me tailor each cycle further. Here's my practical take on these options:

ProDry - I don't want a single droplet of water on my wine glasses, my dinner knives, or anything for that matter. I want the power of the heat, vents, fan, whatever it takes.

HeatDry - I want my dishes dried thoroughly.

ProScrub - Okay, Dishwasher, save me from scrubbing this pot by hand and we'll be besties forever. Let your powerful jets mounted on the rear wall work their magic. While you're at it, I have two filthy jars positioned over your targeted spray zones on the upper rack, so take care of those too.

Hi-Temp Wash - Sometimes serious cleaning power comes from seriously hot water.

SaniRinse - I need these dishes to be sanitized in accordance with international standards.

Top Rack Only - I just need the glasses from last night's party washed.

4 Hour Delay - I'd rather this load run overnight or while I'm at work, when I'm not using every other appliance in the house.

So far so good, Diary. I have some more I want to write about my fancy new dishwasher. I'll save that for another day soon. In the meantime, check out these 5 things to look for when buying a dishwasher.

Do you love your dishwasher? Which of these cycles and options do you like most? What messes do you make that never come clean in the dishwasher? Leave a comment and let's talk dishwashers.