Dishwasher Cycles & Options Guide

Dishwasher Cycles Guide

A dishwasher is just a dishwasher, right?

That’s what I used to think. I knew there were differences in features and methods of operation, but in my mind, they all did the same thing: wash dishes.

Being the avid cook that I am, I’ve had my share of dishwashers over the years. The early ones were just builder’s grade machines that simply did the job. In later years, we moved on to nicer models with more options and better cleaning. But honestly, although having a dishwasher was wonderful, they were all just dishwashers—nothing to get super excited about.

All that changed last fall when a new friend arrived in my little Carolina kitchen. As part of a kitchen renovation collaboration with KitchenAid, I had the opportunity to receive a brand new KitchenAid® Dishwasher. My husband, Scott and I spent a good share of time looking over the different features of each machine. In the end, we chose this model.

From the beginning, I knew something was different about this Dishwasher. To start with, I never would have described a dishwasher as beautiful, but this one is stunning!

Dishwasher Cycles Guide

From the flawless stainless steel finish to the fun exterior window and lighted interior to the professional diamond cut handle with its distinctive KitchenAid medallions, its appearance is first class! I also love having the controls hidden on top of the Dishwasher door as it really adds to the sleek overall look I wanted for my renovated kitchen.

Dishwasher Cycles Guide

I always thought my old dishwasher was quiet, but this new Dishwasher is what I call “whisper” quiet. And I mean that literally. It measures 37 decibels (dBA), on a sound level meter, when you’re standing a foot away. That’s between a whisper (30 dBA) and a quiet library (40 dBA)!

When I first started using this Dishwasher, there were several times when I actually interrupted the washing cycle thinking I had forgotten to push the start button. I wasn’t hearing anything or feeling any vibrations!

Dishwasher Cycles Guide

I get excited about funny things. The first time I opened the new Dishwasher and pulled out one of the three versatile racks, I called to my husband, “Oh my goodness, check this out!” I was referring to the way the racks felt so sturdy and glided in and out with the ball bearing slides. To be honest, I didn’t know they were “ball bearing slides.” I just knew they felt super solid and slid effortlessly.

Dishwasher Cycles Guide

But the list goes on! There are so many other things I love about this Dishwasher.

The Dynamic Wash Arm features nine wash warms in one and lets you clean all your dishes in hard to reach places in the Dishwasher, resulting in spotless dishes.

Dishwasher Cycles Guide

The Dishwasher has a super flexible, well thought out interior design, which means every inch inside this machine can be used for holding dishes. There are three racks: the bottom for larger dishes and pots; the middle rack designed for holding glasses and smaller dishes, including the added feature of a Bottle Wash; and the top rack for smaller, flat items.

Dishwasher Cycles Guide

There are six Bottle Wash nozzles that can be used to clean the inside of bottles, glasses, vases, etc. This middle rack is also adjustable up and down, which makes it really handy to accommodate for different size pots and dishes.

The top rack is really cool and such a great use of space. I use it for small dishes, large serving spoons, spatulas, knives or anything that’s relatively low profile and could cause problems in the lower racks. It’s also easily removable to allow even more space on the middle rack. Like I said, the whole interior is amazingly versatile!

Dishwasher Cycles Guide

The interior is lit with LED lights, which makes loading and unloading so easy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve “rewashed” smaller dishes and utensils in my previous dishwashers simply because I couldn’t see them.

What’s my favorite feature in this little dream machine? Hmm, hard to choose but I have to say the variety of cycles and options are quite amazing. The dishwashers I had in the past had a “regular” cycle and a “heavy duty” cycle, and maybe a “short” cycle. That was about it. Not this one! Check out the awesome wash cycles and options this Dishwasher includes.


Normal — This is my “go-to” option. It’s the cycle that’s recommended to completely wash and dry a full load of normally soiled dishes.

ProWash  The ProWash™ cycle is so advanced that it automatically senses the soil level of your dishes and automatically adjusts the cycle for improved performance. The cycle only uses the right amount of water and energy that’s needed to clean.

Tough   This cycle is for those really dirty, difficult to clean pots, pans, casseroles, and tableware. As much as we enjoy lasagna or enchiladas, I used to dread cleaning the pans with all that baked on cheese, sauce, and “goo.” The Tough cycle makes easy work of these messy pans!

Light  This one’s for lightly soiled items or china and crystal.

Express Wash  I have been known to run three or four loads of dishes when I’m preparing for a dinner party. Express Wash is a wonderful option on those days when I need fast results. It uses a little more energy and water, but wow, it does the job well in record time!

Rinse Only  Use this cycle for rinsing dishes, glasses, and silverware that will not be washed right away. This is a great option if you want to wait till later to fill the Dishwasher, but don’t want food/beverages to dry on the dishes and/or glassware. Do not add detergent to this cycle.


Heat Dry  This option dries dishes using the heating system of the Dishwasher. This option can be used with any of the above cycles, except the Rinse only cycle. It’s an important option for me because I don’t have time to dry my dishes when I’m emptying the Dishwasher.

ProDry — ProDry uses the Advanced ProDry™ system to dry dishes with heat and a fan. Dishes, even the notorious plasticware, come out dry and ready to be stored.

ProScrub — With this cycle, the lower jets spray from behind the lower rack to clean pans, casseroles, etc. that have really tough food soil. Just face them towards the back of the Dishwasher. Call me lazy, but I love that it eliminates the need for the soaking and scrubbing of dirty, baked-on dishes!

Hi-Temp Wash  This option raises the main wash temperature from 105° F to 130° F or 140° F. This improves cleaning for loads containing tough, baked-on food like cobblers, lasagna, enchiladas, and cheesy casseroles.

Bottle Wash  The upper rack has six retractable spray nozzles that reach into deeper items such as sports bottles, baby bottles, vases, etc. The nozzles flip up to use them and down to move them out of the way. This is a wonderful feature for us since, with six grandchildren, there are always babies coming and going!

Sani Rinse  This option sanitizes dishes and glassware in accordance with NSF International NSF/ANSI Standard 184 for Residential Dishwashers. The Sani Rinse option increases the main wash temperature from 105° F to 140° F and the final rinse from 140° F to 155° F. I like to use this option after someone in the house has been sick.

Top Rack Only  If you’ve got a small load of dishes, this cycle is perfect! It’s used for washing a smaller load of dishes in the top rack — a great way to keep the kitchen continuously clean!

1-24 Hour Delay  This option runs the Dishwasher at a later time or during off-peak electrical hours. You can choose anywhere between 1 and 24 hours. We try to be careful with expenses and running the Dishwasher at off-peak times reduces our power bills. Every little bit helps!

Dishwasher Cycles Guide

Now, do you see why I love this Dishwasher? Honestly, it’s miles above the others I’ve experienced over the years.

Dishwasher Cycles Guide

If it seems like I’m gushing over my newfound kitchen friend, I am! This Dishwasher is solidly made, looks amazing, is loaded with really useful features, and most important of all, cleans my dishes sparkling clean like no other machine I’ve ever used. Above all, it’s made by KitchenAid—case closed!

This is not just a dishwasher, it’s truly is my kitchen dream machine!

*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*


This beautifully designed top control dishwasher has a Window with Lighted Interior and Advanced Racks so you can inspect dishes before removing them. It features the Dynamic Wash Arms providing complete water coverage. The unique design sprays water everywhere in the dishwasher, including hard-to-reach places. It also uses Clean Water Wash System that continuously cleans the water for superior performance, even with the heaviest loads. Learn more

KitchenAid® 44 dBA Dishwasher with Window and Lighted Interior

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