When shopping for a dishwasher it is important to understand the essence of a stainless steel vs plastic dishwasher tub. A preliminary search while dishwasher shopping can immediately take a confusing turn. Why are some models more expensive than others? What do the “exclusive” features actually do and are they actually exclusive or simply industry-standard? One of the most common questions shoppers end up asking themselves is stainless steel vs plastic dishwasher tubs – what’s the difference?
Stainless steel interiors are an industry-standard feature for luxury high-end dishwashers – does this mean they’re better? The real question is, which do you value more – price or convenience?
Benefits of a Stainless Steel v Plastic Dishwasher Tub
Stainless steel is easily a more durable material than plastic, resulting in a longer shelf life. Due to their ability to withstand more heat, stainless steel interior dishwashers are also credited with getting your dishes cleaner. This is because water can be heated to much higher temperatures without compromising the appliance interior. Since stainless steel also retains heat better, the drying cycle is much more efficient resulting in lower energy usage.
Stainless steel dishwasher tubs are also better at absorbing noise, resulting in lower decibel ratings. These tubs can easily be 10 dBA points lower than their plastic tub counterparts.
Cons of a Stainless-Steel Dishwasher Tub
While stainless steel interiors are reputed for being corrosive-resistant and less likely to show stains or emit odors, that benefit is dependent on outside variables such as your water hardness levels. Hard water with high levels of calcium will result in frequently occurring water stains, which will require periodic cleaning to maintain the sleek appearance.
Several premium dishwasher models will already include built-in water softeners, but these models come at a higher price. Price points for stainless steel dishwasher tubs are also significantly higher than standard plastic-tub dishwashers.
Benefits of Plastic Dishwasher Tubs
The highest valued benefit of a plastic dishwasher interior over stainless steel is price. Dishwashers with plastic tubs will cost you only a few hundred dollars, while a dishwasher with a stainless-steel tub will usually retail around the $1,000 range.
An example of this price difference shows between Frigidaire’s Professional Series FPID2498SF and the Frigidaire Gallery Series FGCD2444SA. The Professional Series dishwasher with a stainless-steel tub retails at $1,149 while the Gallery Series dishwasher with a polymer tub retails at $549.
So is a stainless steel tub better than a plastic tub?
A dishwasher with a stainless-steel interior, no doubt, has many benefits. These benefits make daily life easier, quieter, and more energy-efficient, but it’s important to note that quality does come at a price. For shoppers looking to splurge elsewhere on appliances, a dishwasher with a plastic interior still gets the main job done, and there are many brands and models that offer sleek styles so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on premium design.
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