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Dishwasher madness

I was part of the "Maytag Recall Mess". After weeks of delays, denials, etc. I received a brand new top-of-the-line from them and guess what. IMO, it is a far far inferior piece of equipment as compared to the one they replaced. Doesn't get the dishes clean; doesn't even dry the cutlery. I plan to replace it. What's the best one out there. I'm looking for a machine that is energy efficient; has a short cycle that washes AND dries; and has a sleek look. What do you Hounds recommend?

Handwashing dishes in Kerrville, Tx.


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  1. When we bought our house, it had a Maytag, and I agree it was junk. Lived with it for 10 years, until last year, when we did a kitchen remodel.

    We went with a Miele, which I love. They are expensive, but great German engineering and craftsmanship. In terms of your wish list, it is energy efficient, dries (more on this below), and sleek looking. It isn't fast on the normal cycle though...about 2 hours, but you can select a quick wash that runs about 15-20 minutes, and seems to get the dishes just as clean.

    Other notes:
    It's quiet. Very. You can stand next to it, and talk on the phone, and from 10 feet away, you can't hear it at all. In fact, they put a little light on it so you can tell it is running

    3 racks: Unlike most DW's, it has a thrid rack up high, that holds cultery individually in a flat position. You can probably hold service for 30 up there, and all the pieces are separated, so they get very clean.

    Sleekness: not an issue for us, as we go a concealed model, that has a cabinet panel mounted on the fronton it, so you don't even see it. Controls are on the upper edge of the door, hidden. They do make non-concealed models too, in stainless, etc. So sleek shouldn't be an issue.

    Drying: At least in the range we bought, they offered 2 models, about $300 apart in price. The lower end uses unassisted air circulation (plus heat) to dry. The higher end has a additional fan system to circulate air, so it dries faster and better.

    It was pricey, though...I think about $2700 if I remember correctly.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

      The Miele is incredible- we're renting a place with one right now and it's stellar!

      1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

        jfood has a Miele as well and has recommended it oftenon these boards. Like Chef above, his is concealed behind a front panel with the controls hiddent until you open.

        It is extremely quiet, sometimes do not even know it's on and does a great job. The cycles are a little long and you can lessen with the quick wash or legthen by asking the machine to raise the temp of the water (at least in jfood's model).

        Jfood recos without reservations.

        1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

          Chiming in with another rave for Miele...the third rack is genius although when I first got it, I kept forgetting to unload it & was wondering what happened to all my flatware! If you can afford it, it's definitely the one to get.

          PS Miele service is also incredible (not that you'll probably ever need it) but when my 20-year old Miele dw went down, they were here within the hour!!!

          1. re: fauchon

            We have a rather new (not quite a year old) Miele that we like a lot. As fauchon has pointed out, the top flatware drawer is a very clever feature; it leaves the two large, main drawers for everything else.

            I also like that the drawers are very adjustable and will hold almost any odd-shaped, large piece.

            1. re: liu

              I keep forgetting to mention the long "vase holder" the extends from the bottom rack. I don't know what Miele calls it but I use it for vases, bottles, tall containers etc....ingenious and indispensable!

        2. We just finished a new house and I purchased all the appliances for it. For the dishwasher I went with the Frigidaire PLD4555RFC Professional Series Built in Dishwasher - Stainless Steel. There are only two of us so we don't do a lot of loads a week therefore didn't feel like spending big bucks (over $1500) for a dishwasher. So far it's performed great, is very quiet, has all the controls on the top of the door and is all we need or want. And, the good news, if you shop around you can get if for under $700.

          1. Fisher & Paykel Double Dishdrawer. Has an Eco cycle. Quiet. Fast. The key thing for me is that the drawers run independently. And I've put it to the test, with lots of caked-on stuff on the plates, and even baby bottles. Everything gets clean, everything gets dry. Most excellent.

            1. All the replies sound good, but I guess it depends on how much you want to spend. We replaced a KitchenAid that we had for twenty seven years (it worked fine, except it would have cost us as much to replace the racks as to replace the whole dishwasher), with a Kenmore. It looks great, washes everything perfect, and has more cycles then I will ever use. The price was right too, as they are always on sale.

              1. when we remodeled our kitchen we bought a bosch. its super quiet, does the job and does not have too many gimmicks just a couple of cycle options but we almost always only use the regular. the controls are in the door but i set it to beep since its so quiet and tells you when the dishes are done. the water consumption is also pretty low for a dishwasher. love it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: foodwich

                  Second the Bosch. It's not particularly fast but it is REALLY quiet and does a good job washing; also energy star rated and stainless interior. We got the cheapest one 4-5 years ago and have had no problems.

                  1. re: coney with everything

                    We got a Bosch last year, it's got a "quick wash" cycle for quick turnarounds. Very quiet, very water efficient (we can take a shower while it's running -- our house was plumbed in 1910 -- can't shower when someone is hand washing dishes).

                    My only complaint is that the lid above where you put the dishwasher detergent makes a fingernails on chalkboard squeek EVERYTIME you close it.

                2. The absolute best value all around is the Kenmore Elite. For about $750. you get a machine with a stainless steel tub, a stainless exterior, exceptionally good washing and drying performance, and stellar reliability. And, I can stand next to it while it is running and hold a telephone conversation readily because it is so quiet.

                  The foreign makes may perform as well or slightly better initially, but they tend to have a MUCH higher frequency of repair than the Kenmore Elite. The Fisher and Paykel, in particular, is especially trouble-prone.

                  Why not spend a fraction of the price of the foreign models, get performance that is equal if not better, get superior reliability and support US industry in the process?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Ted in Central NJ

                    I question that. My parent's Miele has performed without any repairs for over 20 years now. Indeed, Miele is legendary for the reliability of their products. Our Bosch dishwasher is working flawlessly, so is our Fisher and Paykel fridge.

                    In addition it might be worth remembering that this board is not just frequented by US citizens - we're a pretty international bunch.

                    1. re: andreas


                      You, and Ted, may be interested to know your Bosch dishwasher is made in New Bern, North Carolina, USA. F&P dishwashers do in fact have some reliability problems from what I have read---experience with their refrigerator provides little guidance on reliability for other items. Indeed often various of appliances sold under a given name are manufactured by other companies. Most companies feel they need a "full line", but very few if any manufacture everything they sell.

                    2. re: Ted in Central NJ

                      Some of the new Kenmore Elites are rebranded Bosches. The rest are Whirlpool.

                    3. My recommendation would be, before you spend anything to replace it, check and see why it's not working properly. Any dishwasher, even a $300 model, should be able to do a better job than you describe. My guess is some component isn't working, or maybe your input water isn't right, or something who knows? Have you tried different cycles just to see what happens? I had to fiddle a bit with the cycles on mine to get it right. It's under warranty, and they ought to come out if it's acting the way you say.

                      I used to have a Maytag, BTW--I bought it about 2001, so that was its vintage--it was a mid-line model I guess--I chose it mostly because I could fit some of my big items in it without too much trouble. Anyhow, it did a fine job, and never gave me any trouble. I sold the house a year ago so don't have any update from then.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: johnb

                        I was going to post that we're satisfied with our Bosch, but I like johnb's answer better. Have it looked at for stupid things like dirty inlet water filter or some installation hang up.

                        1. re: yayadave

                          Bosch is supposedly the most eco-friendly line of appliances.
                          I have a KitchenAid which is just ok.
                          Whatever you (OP) do, get one with a stainless interior: no staining, does not absorb odors, and wears better.

                          1. re: slacker

                            We have a 4 year old, what was a top of the line KitchenAid which we run 3x a week. In the time we owned it we had it serviced because glasses were coming out w/grit on them (repairman blamed our soap, rinse agent, water filter, us, you name it). Then, 2 months ago we had it serviced again, this time because the motor burned out! The repairman blamed us because we do not pre wash the dishes 1st!. I told hime we rinse the dishes off if they have solids left on them, but he said you have to consider dishwashers as "sanitizers" and wash them before you put tjem in. That would make them as useless as Garbage disposals! Ughhh!

                            1. re: jnk

                              "The repairman blamed us because we do not pre wash the dishes 1st!."

                              This is exactly what we have to do with the Frigidaire dishwasher we have now - what a pain. (I don't even know how old it is - it came with the house - but I wouldn't be surprised if it's close to 20 yrs old.)

                              We are definitely replacing it in the near future but I am so confused about what dishwasher to buy (I do know I don't want to spend more than $700.) I definitely do not want to hear that we have to pre-wash dishes before they go in the dishwasher. (I always scrape.) I don't even want tthe dishwasher to be a garbage disposal because we have septic. But I do expect to be able to put scraped dishes, etc. in the dishwasher and have them come out clean for kripes sake.

                              1. re: flourgirl

                                Yes, any current dishwasher should take scraped dishes and clean them with no trouble. If they don't something is wrong. You shouldn't need to even rinse, just scrape. A modern dishwasher is generally the most efficient way to clean dishes, but that gets ruined if you're rinsing beforehand.

                                I have a low-end Bosch (low-end still being very quiet, stainless interior, etc.), about a year old, about 500 bucks with the right incentives at Lowe's (get a 10% off moving coupon, possibly a discount/rebate on install if needed, etc.) or maybe similarly priced at a local dealer if you have one. Seems to work just fine. Some people complain about how it dries (doesn't have that fan gadget as described in the fancy Miele above). But it does well enough IMO.

                                The repairman telling you that a dishwasher is just a sanitizer is complete BS. Any dishwasher from the last several years should clean quite well. He's making excuses for something that is not functioning properly. A 20-year-old dishwasher, yeah, maybe that won't work too well by now unless it was some super top of the line back then. But a current unit should work well, even a modest $350-ish one. (A lot of the higher pricing adds only convenience and quiet, not necessarily cleaning power. I spent in the $500 range to get quiet.)

                                1. re: CrazyOne

                                  And I don't even really care how quiet the machine is - this just doesn't matter much to me. But I think the stainless interior is something worth paying for. Thanks for your input. :)

                                  1. re: flourgirl

                                    Something else to consider is preheating the water. If your water heater is far from the kitchen, you will be washing dishes in cold water. My very quiet GE Profile has several cycles, as in rinse, pots, china, speed, normal, and antibacterial. For my needs I use all of these at some time.

                                    Find a good appliance store, give them a price range, and then let them tell you which one is the best for your needs. Then go online and buy it at 3/4 the price.

                                    1. re: Janet

                                      All modern dishwashers have water heating elements. There seems to be no advantage to preheating the water, according to the folks that have tried in vain over at GardenWeb.

                      2. Greetings Amazinc,
                        We have been through the same experience as you with the "recall" even receiving (finally) a replacement machine as our model didn't have a fix kit. I have recently been trying to get to the right level in the company regarding the new machine. I'm interested in which model you were "upgraded" to. We received the MDV-8601AWW. Inferior is being too kind I think. I would rather have kept my old dishwasher and pledged to use the basket JetDry. I can only load about 1/2 of the dishes that I used to, and 3 racks LOL. If you have a few moments to respond, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for your original posting. I should have been looking during the 5 months I waited for the replacement. Sigh.
                        illinifan "go chief"

                        1. illinifan...my model #MDB9601AWS, Maytag "Quiet Series" #400. I haven't replaced this piece of c*** yet. Still doing a lot of hand washing. IF you get to someone in the company that will listen to you, please let me know. I sent in my "warranty" card and told them what I thought of their product, but haven't hear a peep. Naturally. I can't bring myself to spend $2700 on a Miele (or on a Bosch) to wash dishes for 2. Oh yes, that third "drawer" is the biggest joke of all. AND, how do you like all those extra pieces of plastic to hold I-don't-know-what...certainly not big enough for any utensil I own. The only and I MEAN the only good things about this appliance is that it's good looking and it is quiet, but I might as well have an empty space in my kitchen for all the real "washing" it does. I'm stuck.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: amazinc

                            Ugh, sorry to hear of your troubles. The warranty card usually just goes to some data processing drones, it may never make it to anyone in CS who will respond to you. If you're up to it, write a letter to management and cc everyone you can think of.

                            I'm about to purchase a dishwasher, washing for 2 as well, and I'm just wondering if there is *anything* decent under $900 these days, based on all the complaints I've been reading. Leaning toward a KitchenAid...I guess.