Hard Food Disposer or Filter: The Dishwasher Dilemma [Guide]

Researched & Written by Craig

Are you choosing between a dishwasher with a hard food disposer or a filter? Then check out the guide in this article that will assist you. It will help you wash your hands of the stress better than any dishwasher could!

Here are the differences between a hard food disposer and a filter:

 DisposerFilter
Operation– Disintegrates food– Traps food
Cleaning– Doesn’t need cleaning– Must be manually cleaned every month
Noise level– Disposer creates extra noise. Quieter models on the market tend to be more expensive.– Quiet

Buying a new dishwasher is expensive. So, you’re no doubt keen to get the best you possibly can for your money. Something hard-wearing, efficient, and quiet.

Shopping for a dishwasher is not something we do often. That said, make sure you check out the rest of the dishwasher guide below. It will explain the differences between disposer and filter dishwashers. This will help you make the best decision.

clean dishes inside dishwasher
Both types will give clean dishes but there are some differences!

Hard Food Disposer or Filter: The Dishwasher Dilemma [Guide]

Choosing a new dishwasher is a bit of a headache. There are so many things to consider such as:

  • Their cycles and programs
  • Their maintenance
  • Their noise levels
  • Their energy-efficiency

And the list goes on! And you’ve not long realized that there’s yet another thing you have to consider. That is, whether you want a dishwasher with a hard food disposer or a filter. The decisions never end!

But I’m here to help! This article breaks up hard food disposers and filter dishwashers into three categories. These are:

  1. Their operation mode. How they get rid of food.
  2. Their cleaning method. The disposer or filter’s cleaning process.
  3. Their noise level. How loud or how quiet the dishwasher is thanks to its disposer or filter.

Analyzing each of these categories will make it easier for you to know your expectations. It will help you choose the right dishwasher model.

Let’s take a look at these categories in more detail:

Operation

So, you keep harping on at your family about their plates. You ask them to scrape them before they put them in the dishwasher. And they do, but only when you’re watching them of course. When you’re not there, they sling their spaghetti bolognese dishes full of pasta in the machine, shut the door quickly behind them, and hope for the best.

So, that may have you wondering, where does the soggy food that didn’t get scraped off the plates go? Well, that actually differs depending on your dishwasher type. Here’s one of the main differences between a hard food disposer and a filter dishwasher:

DisposerFilter
– Disposers grind up food automatically
– Disposers disintegrate food particles using a chopper
– Filters catch the food in a mesh plug underneath the bottom rack
– Filters do not grind up the food pieces

What can we conclude? Hard food disposers and filter dishwashers have very different operating methods. But both are efficient.

Is your choice of a dishwasher based on the operating method alone? Then you could choose either type to get the job done well.

Cleaning

Dishwashers have a fundamental purpose. That is washing up the dishes so that you don’t have to. A dishwasher should make your life easier. And let’s be honest, loading and unloading the dishwasher is hard enough work as it is. Is your dishwasher pushing you to do any extra maintenance? Then it may be giving you more hassle than it’s worth.

There are differences between cleaning a hard food disposer and a filter dishwasher. Here are some of them:

DisposerFilter
– Disposers disintegrate food into ultra-fine particles. These are small enough to wash away with the force of the water.
– You do not need to empty the disposer.
– The disposer disintegrates food particles, this stops them from recirculating onto your dishes.
– You must empty the filter manually once a month.
– If the filter is not cleaned regularly it will begin to smell due to the food collection. It could also reduce the water flow and prevent your dishes from cleaning properly.
Removing filter from dishwasher
You should clean the filter regularly to avoid any issues but that means more effort!

The maintenance of a hard food disposer and a filter dishwasher is very different. Of course, cleaning a dishwasher filter is not a big deal. But it is another thing you’ll have to add to your list of things to do. (As if that list isn’t already long enough?)

Is your choice of a dishwasher based on easy cleaning and minimal maintenance? Then your best option will be a dishwasher with a hard food disposer.

Noise

Now, if your home is anything like mine, it is noisy. You do not need any rowdy kitchen appliances to raise the volume of your already loud household. So, a dishwasher that works away in the background making as little noise as possible is essential.

There is a difference between the noise levels of a hard food disposer and a filter dishwasher. Here they are in a nutshell:

DisposerFilter
– Disposers add to the operating noise of the dishwasher. This is because the chopper works to grind up food into tiny particles.
– Many users find that the hard food disposer is noisy.
– Filters do not add to the operating noise of the dishwasher.

As you can see, hard food disposers, although effective, may be an annoyance. This is because of their loud operating noise. But manufacturers have cottoned on to this and are doing something about it. Here are some of the improvements they’ve made on the more expensive dishwasher models:

  • Some hard food disposers now have a super-fine mesh and no noisy grinder. The water pressure forces the bits of food through the super-fine mesh. This breaks the food down into tiny particles that leave the dishwasher and you don’t have to clean it out.
  • Other dishwashers with a hard food disposer are manufactured with better insulation. The increased insulation reduces the level of noise that you can hear from the disposer.

These are good solutions for a disposer. But the disposer still may not work as quietly as a dishwasher filter.

Is your choice of a dishwasher based on noise alone? Then your best choice will be a dishwasher with a filter.

Is a Hard Food Disposer Necessary in the Dishwasher?

Pricier dishwasher models come with an interesting feature: a hard food disposer. But some of the more economic dishwashers skip this feature altogether. This could make you wonder whether it is really necessary or not.

Here’s why you should consider purchasing a dishwasher with a hard food disposer:

  1. If you didn’t scrape your plates, don’t worry. A hard food disposer works to pulverize food into tiny particles. These are easily flushed out of the dishwasher. This saves you the aggravation of scraping your plates before you put them in the dishwasher.
  1. Say goodbye to clogged pipes. A normal dishwasher may be able to flush some small pieces of food out of the dishwasher. But over time, the pipes leading away from the dishwasher will get clogged. This is because your standard dishwasher will not disintegrate food into small particles.

    A hard food disposer will grind food into ultra-small particles. The particles are so small that they will not clog your plumbing.
  1. No more dried-on food. There’s nothing worse than finding tableware still dirty after a cycle in the dishwasher. This is usually what happens with cereal bowls, dinner plates, and the like. Your standard dishwasher will simply clean your dishes with detergent.

But a dishwasher with a hard food disposer is designed to remove food scraps too. This saves you the frustration of finding plates with dried-on food after washing.

Conclusion

Are you choosing a brand new dishwasher for your family home? Then you’ll need to decide between a dishwasher with a hard food disposer or a filter. Choosing an efficient dishwasher with minimal maintenance is a tricky job. I hope this article has helped you decide which kind of dishwasher will be best suited to you.

If this article has helped you, then why not check out some of our other articles and free guides? You could even sign up to our email list!

Have a great day!

-Craig