Why have dishwashers lost their memory?


Every time I interacted with a new dishwasher, I compared it to my current dishwasher, which still has a memory. By memory, I mean that it selects the program that was last used. Today, if you use a newer model dishwasher, it will always select the ECO mode when you turn it on, regardless of what mode it was in before. It doesn’t matter what brand of dishwasher you have, they all do this. So I asked myself, why would everyone change a behavior that was previously a universal approach? The only answer I could come up with was some new government regulation, and it turns out that was indeed the case.

Everybody meet Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/2022 and Directive 2009/125/EC, which started it all.

Let’s first have a look at Directive 2009/125/EC aka the Ecodesign Directive. It established a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products (if they are not used for the transportation of persons or goods). This framework harmonized standards across the member states and also focused on informing the consumers about the ecological profile of the available products.

This is achieved for dishwashers with Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/2022 and its predecessors. So currently there a several rules for the dishwashers’ programmes with a focus on the ECO program.

the programme shall be:

  • named ECO on the programme selection device of the household dishwasher, on the household dishwasher display, if any, and on the relevant network application, if any
  • set as the default programme for household dishwashers equipped with automatic programme selection or any function maintaining the selection of a programme, or, if there is no automatic programme selection, available for direct selection without the need for any other selection such as a specific temperature or load

So here we have it! The default programme is regulated by the EU!

But there are other programme requirements, such as: the indications ‘normal’, ‘daily’, ‘regular’ and ‘standard’ shall not be used in programme names.

In addition to programme requirements, there are also rules for functional requirements, resource efficency requirements, or, for example, this requirement for low-power modes: The network connection shall be deactivated by default.

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