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Apr 24, 2008 12:36 PM

Inexpensive dishwasher recs needed

Due to a recall I have decided to replace our current GE Profile dishwasher. I do get a discount if we purchase another GE. Since the discount depends on the model, I would be interested in hearing what anyone has to say good or bad about their GE dishwasher no matter the price point.

However, I also want to hear about other brands of dishwashers that fall into the low to mid price range. Specifically, what you like and dislike, if you have had any problems with your dishwasher and if you would buy another from the same brand. Any tips on what to look for or where to buy are also welcomed.

Lastly, I have looked online at places like gardenweb, but they primarily talk about high end appliances. So if you have a resource you would be willing to share where I could find out info on inexpensive dishwashers, it would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. My mother had a nice old Hobart Kitchen Aid. When it finally gave up the ghost she wanted CHEAP after the sticker shock. She got a plainish white GE that is 99% plastic inside with some "Rocky 14" style name for {? PotScrubber 21???} and it works good. It is crazy loud compared to the Askos & Boschs, but quieter than the old Hobart. She has had it for at least 7 or 8 years and it has been totally trouble free, she only uses the cheap dishwashing powder for WalMart and barely any JetDri. It beats up some glassware but I can't talk her into anything else...

    1. What is cheap? $500? $300? They go that low still, I think, and if you choose well it may be adequate.

      It looks like the sub-$300 model mentioned in this writeup didn't clean as well as units just a little more. But this seems like reasonably good info that may help you in your search:

      If you can spend in the $500 range, you can get a Bosch (for example) if you want it; it need not cost twice that much. That's why it's important to clarify what is inexpensive. To some, $500 would be inexpensive enough, but to others maybe only $300-350 would be inexpensive.

      Consider hunting down discontinued models as well. The technology doesn't change much from year to year. The big differences when the price goes up are: noise (pay more for quieter), efficiency (pay more for less water usage/more energy efficient) and convenience features (pay more for customizable loading like adjustable height upper rack, fold-down tines, etc.) Only the cheapest builder grade stuff in that sub-$300 range is really notably worse at washing.

      4 Replies
      1. re: CrazyOne

        I know we do not want builder grade, but we don't want to spend that much more. I was thinking something in the $300-600 range. We are planning on renovating the kitchen in the coming years, but are unsure exactly when that will be. So we want something that will last until then without breaking the bank, and something that cleans well.

        I never thought about discontinued models, thanks for the tip.

        1. re: lizzy

          If you're willing to go as high as $5-600 you have many options. I equipped our new home with two Whirlpools in that price range and they work fine as long as you don't overload them. There are many others. I seem to recall that Garden Web discussions do cover machines in that price range--take another look.

          One way to save money is to skip the stainless tub. I never could figure out how stainless got the dishes cleaner anyway. Sure plastic will poop out sooner, but by then you'll probably be ready for the latest and greatest new machine anyway.

          1. re: lizzy

            Main differences, in my opinion, between high end and the $400-500 model
            - interior material is plastic versus stainless steel, which is not a bad trade off for many people
            - NOISE - this is a big problem for me because of where the dishwasher is located.
            - Number of digital cycles/programs versus lower tech dials and start buttons.

            Mostly, I'd say for me that noise level is a big deal, but at $600 you can get the basic Bosch and be happy with it.

            1. re: RGC1982

              I should have mentioned above that my comparatively cheap Whirlpools are very quiet. If I'm standing next to it I can hear it, but otherwise it really isn't noticeable.

        2. Yes, if you're talking $500, we just got a lower-end Bosch and really like it, we've run it for about a month, works great. Capacity is a bit smaller than what I was used to, and using a rinse agent is a must; but it's quiet and very energy-efficient. We got the "older" model with the buttons on the outside, not inside the door. The energy efficiency and the positive comments on these boards about Bosch convinced us to buy.

          3 Replies
          1. re: hollerhither

            The bottom end Bosch still has controls on the front. I think those are easier anyway. We have a hidden control unit at work, kind of a pain really. Plus the front control Bosch gives you a handy countdown timer (how long until the cycle is finished) right on the front. The difference in the new low-end vs my 2-year-old one seems to be that the control panel bezel is much smaller now, a bit more streamlined that way. And actually, in looking at Lowe's, the new one is cheaper! (Lowe's claims this model at $520 when I last looked is exclusive to them. Get a Lowe's moving coupon for another 10% off if you intend to shop for an appliance there.)

            The new one being cheaper doesn't necessarily give one hope that it will perform the same over the long haul. I don't think in that price range the washing performance would be in question, but you do wonder if something else might be less durable over time. Still, there's a reputation to uphold. I wouldn't think they would want to tarnish it much by skimping on anything significant. (Then again, in the appliance world it seems this type of logical thinking just can't be counted upon at all.)

            1. re: CrazyOne

              Yeah, that sounds like the Bosch we just bought (not at Lowe's but still pretty close to that price). If it breaks, I will be sure to update everyone...but let's hope it doesn't. :)

              1. re: CrazyOne

                Well, one thing that I will point out - higher tech often means bigger repair problems. Controller boards and the like are expensive on high-end models, which is why many large-scale landlords and property managers choose a lower tech model for rental units, not only to save money on the initial purchase, but to save on the overall cost of ownership.l