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Advice needed on a new dishwasher please!

  • m

I am finally buying a new dishwasher. I searched the boards but did not find anything recent about reliable dishwashers! I am looking to spend between 600. and 1,000 bucks. I cook all the time and we often have dinner parties. Thanks!

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  1. ? do you need height etc for stem ware,I wanted the ability to wash some stuff nearly soapless with plenty of heat ect
    When I went looking the decision to not use it for huge bowls,platters and pans had been made.So I then carried around some daily use stemware and a place setting of the 3 china sets we use most.My last dish washer was a pig with lipstick to load and unload.HATED IT so we settled on mielle here and elecltrolux at the beach.There were at least 3 more equal,except in $$.Purchased both based on best deal at the time.

    1. You first need to decide if you want european, or american. American brands will generally have a food grinder, and a heater for drying. For this reason, they are generally more noisy. European brands will generally have no food grinder (instead, they will have a trap or screen that may need cleaning or emptying,) and no heater for drying. They are generally much quieter, but do not dry as quickly. Many consider the food grinder thing a non issue, but it may be an issue if you do not clean your dishes well before putting them in the DW. After the cycle is done, you might not be able to go from dw to cabinet in a euro brand. Very good chance everything will still be wet.

      After choosing amer or euro, then get into the options:
      1. Adjustable upper rack. - good for tall wine glasses, or maybe loading a big load of plates on BOTH top and bottom

      2. floating silverware tray.

      3. Pot scrubber. (Will probably add more noise. And is also going to be only ONE specific area that you can put the things that need to be scrubbed)

      4. Control panel location. - sure, it might look sleek/slick to get the control panel on top of the door facing UP, but it might be a PAIN to get to - read many complaints about this.

      I just bought appliances for a full gut remodel, and spent a good amt of time researching all appliances, forums, consumer reports, etc. I spent a few months researching. I went with:
      adjustable top rack
      Pot scrubber
      control panel on FRONT

      I think for Euro brands, the best play for value:performance goes to bosch.
      For rapid washing (big dinner parties) I think Miele makes a model that uses the rinse water from the previous wash to start the wash for the next load.

      If I was you, I'd start out by looking at Bosch, Electrolux, and Miele for Euro brands. Electrolux seems to pack more options in for the price. Miele might stretch your top end budget a little, but you can certainly find sales.

      For American, you might wanna start with Kenmore, and Kitchenaid. I do believe that Consumer Reports had like more than two Kenmores in their top ten dishwasher list IIRC.

      For 600 to 1000 bux, however, you won't be killing yourself over your options. It's basically
      going to boil down to quietness vs the need for a drying cycle. And the new American models are pretty darn quiet these days which is why I went with American. Also, the food grinder feature swayed me even though I read and heard that for the most part, it wouldn't really matter. The thing that I HAVE heard is that the machine will clog up if a particle slips past the EUro brands' food screens. I just opted to not have to maybe deal with that.

      If you do go Euro, check the model to see how easy it is to get to the food trap/screen for cleaning/ emptying. GO TO A STORE that has that model on display, and remove the screen yourself. Some are more difficult than others, and might turn out to be a pain that you just don't wanna deal with. The bosch and elolux models I was looking at were easy, and both in your price range.

      1. I got a whirlpool gold a few years ago for the low end of your budget. No complaints so far. I just scrape my dishes of large chunks and they come out spotless. Even baked on cheese and sauce disappears. Of course, your detergent is a big factor as well (I use the Electrosol power tabs).

        Can't help you with the hoity toity models. I can't see spending a G on a dishwasher. And, FWIW, the $400-600 models almost always score higher on Consumer Reports than the $1000-1500 models.

        Oh, and while consumer reports generally rates a couple of kenmore appliances very well in almost all categories, the fact that Sears changes their model numbers every year and you can rarely find the models that are mentioned in the CR reviews, I've mostly stopped buying kenmore models on principle. Kenmore's are typically Whirlpool anyways.

        1. It's a bit over your budget, but worth every penny. I just Wed. had a Miele dishwasher installed. It is fantastic. It has a third tray on top that is for cutlery, a second rack below that is for glassware. It will go up and down, but in the normal position it takes all my wine glasses standing up, and they are not small glasses. It also holds 14 place settings. I ran it for the first time this afternoon, and I couldn't believe how beautiful the wine glasses came out, along with the silverware. I bought the bottom of the line, and it was about $1,300, which included installation. With Miele, you have to have someone that is authorized by them do the installation, plus I received a two year warranty, from the store that I purchased it from. They removed a Kenmore that I hated.

          1. I have a Bosch that fits into the lower end of your price range, and I love it. I've had it for about 8 months, and I couldn't be happier. One of the things I most like about it is it has a short wash option, in about 35 minutes my dishes are clean. We use Seventh Generation powder w/Jet Dry rinse agent, and the only thing that did not come clean in that 35 minutes was a lasagna pan. There are many other wash options, pots & pans, china, regular wash. It has a SS interior so it uses the residual heat from the wash to dry the dishes, although it has a heated dry option. The upper rack can be moved up and down and the silverware basket can be moved as well. It does not have a food grinder so we have to clean out the trap, and I think we clean it out at most once a month.

            I remember all the research I did before we bought our dw, and all the headaches it gave me. We were trying to decide between the Bosch we bought and, if I remember correctly an LG, like I said earlier we couldn't be happier with our decision. Good luck and let me know if I can be of any more assistance.

            1. If you're into parties, get a Bosch. We have one that's pretty quiet. For everyday use and if you don't want to pack a big dishwasher prior to using, get the double dishdrawers by Fisher and Paykel (has attachment for wine glasses). We have this too installed at our house. The Bosch will run about $700 and the F+P about $1200.

              1. Short answer: Bosch.

                Long answer: http://www.consumersearch.com/dishwas...

                Sacramento-specific note: check out Filco on Fulton Avenue. They'll occasionally buy the distributor's remaining stock of last year's model and sell them at a heavy discount.

                Another Sacramento-specific note: You can get $50 each from SMUD and PG&E if you buy a high-efficiency dishwasher.

                4 Replies
                1. re: alanbarnes

                  Two years ago when my 35 year old G.E. bit the dust, we found that we were very restricted in our choices. My counter was 1/4" too short for the American models. That's right l/4 inch! The only choices we had were Bosch and Mielle. I did some research, and read more good things about the Mielle than the Bosch I think it was about $1,200, which was more than we had planned on paying, but had no choice unless we ripped out the counters.

                  I am so glad that we chose the Mielle. At first I didn't like that you had to lay the silverware out on the top tray - it seemed a nuisance after being used to the silverware basket. After a few days, someone told me the secret,( I'm a little slow at times) - put all of the forks together, likewise the other pieces. Then all you have to do is scoop up the forks, etc.. and put them in the drawer. I had been putting them in randomly. I absolutely love the my Mielle, it's quiet (not a deal breaker for me) and does an excellent job of cleaning and drying.

                  1. re: Canthespam

                    Ditto to everything. All I can say is that you'll get my Miele appliances out of my cold, dead hands.

                    In fact, I love my Miele dw & vac so much that I bought a Miele cooktop & oven which I also love. They were purchased to replace the Dacor cooktop & oven which I hated...oven took FOREVER to come to temp & the cooktop was the definition of wimpy compared to my beloved Miele. bleh

                    And, btw, if you ever need service (highly questionable) Miele service is fantastic. They come when they say they'll come & they fix stuff the FIRST time. I only know this because I owned my first Miele dw for twenty-five years, ran it to death, & had TWO service calls in all that time.

                  2. re: alanbarnes

                    I agree with Alan and others: Bosch.

                    And I got the floor model, which was fine by me. Save a few hundred $$$'s!

                    The only thing that may steer anyone away, is the screen that needs to be cleaned. For me it's not an issue because I rinse my dishes before I place them in the dishwasher.

                    Two of the things that stand out for me are: Stainless Steel interior and how quiet it is.

                    And Alan, thanks for the consumsers website, it's now in my favorites.

                    1. re: mcel215

                      I've had my Bosch for a little under a year, less than $700, not the hidden controls. Love it, quiet and gets everything very clean (SS interior too), I do wish there was a little more flexibilty for flatware and stemware, would be my only, very minor, complaint.

                  3. Also look at Sweden's ASKO. We liked their tray arrangment better than the more popular European DWs. Super quiet, too.

                    1. I have a Kenmore Elite - cost about $1000 a couple of years ago (canada). It's dead quiet when running (I have to put a stickie note on it when it's running so my husband doesn't open it), has an adjustable top rack which accommodates my wine glasses and cleans really well without pre-rinsing. Since we live in a semi-rural area, it would have been ridiculous to buy a European appliance because none of the yahoos around here would be able to service it. I have been told that the newer Kenmore Elite (the Elite part is important because they are a superior machine) is made by Bosch. You also have to specify the level of sound-insulation. I went with the most expensive option because I wanted it to be quiet.

                      My only complaints - Sears service can be horrible. And the cutlery basket isn't very durable. I've had it replaced twice already.

                      1. I've had 2 Fishcer Paykel dish drawers for around 8 years. works great for parties and for when it's just the two of us. For the 2 of us, it takes about 1/2 a week to fill 1 drawer. For Thanksgiving [ 12 people] one load, both drawers did it all. It took a little while to learn all the quirks.... like always load dinner plates on the right side. And I usually do pots by hand, but the drawer will do a very good job if you take out the 2 racks... It's also VERY quiet.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: helena handbasket

                          In our tiny townhome, we have the one FP dishdrawer which we use almost everyday. For our thanksgiving with 8 people, we ran the dishwasher twice. Probably in your case, I would recommend the two dishdrawers. I've had no problems with our FP which get frequent use.

                          1. re: helena handbasket

                            Love them! We bought ours used on Craigslist, and they work beautifully. Also, great customer service.
                            I throw my pots in, not a problem.

                          2. You're just going to have to go shop. There are lots of options out there. Lots of options. Lots.

                            Asking for dishwasher advice here is like asking what beer is the best. It simply can't be answered. The options are nearly endless. You have to decide what you like, what you want, and what is necessary. For instance, can you do stainless steel? Do you want to? Do you have little 3 year olds that like to push dishwasher buttons? If so, the post suggesting buttons being on top are a pain is completely wrong. Buttons on top keep little ones from screwing with the controls and are a blessing.

                            What store might be offering a better deal that weekend? What store might be offering a better warranty? What's a better price? If one store carries one brand and another store carries a different brand then what do you do?

                            My suggestion is go and find 2 or 3 that you like and that you want. Then come back and ask very specific questions about very specific dishwashers. That's the only way you're going to get any good help. Otherwise, people here are going to rant and rave about their beloved Bosch. Or their Meile. Or their Kitchen Aid... etc. and you'll be left wondering what band wagon to jump on.

                            Good luck!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: HaagenDazs

                              >>You have to decide what you like, what you want, and what is necessary. For instance, can you do stainless steel? Do you want to?<<

                              Can't agree with you on this one. The color of the front panel should be the last of the concerns addressed. The FUNCTIONS should be the main concern - then order what color you want.

                              Also, most appliance stores will be able to order ANY brand. Sears, of course might have a stronghold on Kenmore.

                              To clarify about buttons on top, you are absolutely right - little hands might want to know what the dw buttons on the front will do - VERY good note. The complaints I read about were that when the dw is running, to stop it, getting to the panel can be a major pain. While I have no experience with this being a pain, I did take that into consideration when buying - since I have semi chubby sausage fingers. It might be a pain for me to try and slide a finger between the dw and counter to hit a button.

                              1. re: gordeaux

                                >>You have to decide what you like, what you want, and what is necessary. For instance, can you do stainless steel? Do you want to?<<

                                That poster might have meant stainless steel tub as opposed to plastic tub, not the outside appearance.

                            2. Use Consumer Reports' recommendations as a guide and take with you when you shop. They saved me a bundle on a new gas range several years ago. I was considering a high-end professional one until I saw how poorly they fared in their ratings. I ended up with a top-rated, far cheaper and better GE profile professional style, which I love. Same thing recently with vacuum cleaners. There is often little correlation between price and performance and CR is a good, non-biased third party.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: City Kid

                                Stainless LG

                                inexpensive, very quiet and it cleans the dishes

                                we too have a lot of dinner parties and this seems to work well

                                1. re: Yellowshirt

                                  I've not been at all satisfied with my Kitchenaid, and it was about $1000. Customer service has been awful too!

                                  1. re: MommyTwingle

                                    I wrote about this on another thread, but I'm going to repeat it here. My mom also spent $1K on ker 4 yr old KA DW and she's not satisfied with it's performance either. From my perspective, it wasn't designed well, case in point being the thinner-than-shoelace cords that are the ONLY thing keeping the door from crashing open if it's not locked. I swear, it looks like Fred Flintstone engineered this thing. And customer service IS awful - they could care less about customer issues, even if it's an issue that is frequently brought to their attention.

                                    That said, I myself am going to need a new DW soon (we've been in our house 13 yrs - still using the Frigidaire that came with - and I'm pretty sure that this thing was at least 5 yrs old when we moved in...probably a lot older, but it's still kicking. Anyway, I am not spending anywhere near 1K on a DW. I think it's ridiculous. But I'm looking at Whirlpools because of the performance/value issue and my understanding is that KAs/Whirlpools are made by the same company now. I don't know if it's possible to win this game...

                              2. We've had a high-end Bosch for nine years and it's going to pot (pun intended). We've had a devil of a time finding Bosch-capable repairmen. Nothing seems to fix the occasional wrenching/groaning sound it makes. I have been reading other web sites and there's a constant thread: getting parts or getting service is very hard. Flip side: they're very quiet and energy efficient. I feel torn about what to get when this one goes, which it will, sooner than we had hoped.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: DerViking

                                  my post just above will give you your answer about which one to get...;-}

                                  1. re: DerViking

                                    DerViking, The Miele is at least as quiet as the Bosch, and every bit as energy efficient. Mieles even surpass Bosch on the temperature the user can set for the (optional) NSF sanitizing cycle. And the Miele frequency of repair record surpasses all. You never will hear any Miele dishwasher owner stating regret that he or she bought a Miele; I know of no other appliance of any kind of any other brand of which that statement can be made. See my post time-stamped Dec 22, 2009 03:27PM at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6754...

                                  2. The only other issue that concerns me that has not (I think) been mentioned is the flexibility of the vertical plate holder posts. Look for a dishwasher in which you can fold some of these flat. It's all very well being a 14 place setting dishwasher provided you didn't use any pots, pans, steel bowls, strainers etc in the process of cooking for 14 people.

                                    1. Our 15-year old Whirlpool just required some minor repairs. While the repair guy was here, we had the "fix or replace" discussion, during which he said he'd avoid buying European or Asian brands for another few years, until their parts supplies catch up with their demand. They perform well, but getting parts in the US for some of them is next to impossible.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: ricepad

                                        I know that I am replying late on this and assume that the OP has purchased a new dishwasher ages ago, but in case anyone else is looking... I do have a Bosch and originally LOVED it. It is so quiet that we sometimes can't tell that it's running and it gets things very clean. However, it broke after we had it for a few years. It was still under warranty, so we needed a certified person to come fix it. As it turns out, there is only one in our area. We had to wait about 2 1/2 weeks for him to even come look at it, then another several weeks waiting for the ordered part, and still had to pay labor. All in all, we were without a dishwasher for about 5 weeks, which was a huge bummer. Before I recommending buying a Bosch, I would recommend checking to see who can fix it if it breaks. If mine breaks again, I will not wait 5 weeks for a repair. Instead, i will buy a new one (different brand)

                                        1. re: mountaincachers

                                          These posts remind me of something my father said when I asked his advice on what brand of computer to buy. "Most of the computers are comparable. You choose your brand by the quality of the service. If the service is first rate you will be happy with your choice." I have found that advice to be good for many purchases I have made since then. I usually try to find out what is the best appliance company, usually an independent, in the area. Then I buy the highest rated ( by consumer reports) item that they carry and that I can afford.

                                          1. re: abbiethekitty

                                            abbiethekitty: "Then I buy the highest rated ( by consumer reports) item that they carry and that I can afford."

                                            Up to that point, your advice was excellent. And when your father gave his advice, the part quoted above may have been more valid than it is now. In college years and years ago I met and studied under the founder of Consumers Union, and for years I was one of CU's most ardent supporters. But no longer can I regard Consumer Reports as a reliable guide, for several reasons:

                                            First, with the proliferation of brands and shortening of product cycles, the universe of models tested by CU for any given test suite is probably not representative of the marketplace, and almost certainly outdated. The best dishwasher (or whatever) in the market quite likely will not even be among the models rated, and Consumer Reports's top-rated model of dishwasher (or whatever) may by the time of publication no longer be manufactured. For instance, if you rely on Consumer Reports ratings of Kenmore appliances, which historically mostly have been manufactured by Whirlpool, then they are no longer valid, because most new Kenmore appliances no longer are made by Whirlpool. And if you look (for instance) at Consumer Reports' user survey of frequency of repairs of Maytag dishwashers, does Consumer Reports tell you that the reports are based on appliances that were manufactured in Iowa in factories that now have been shut down, by a corporation that no longer exists, whereas current Maytag-branded dishwashers are just rebadged Whirlpool dishwashers that are made to different design specifications in different factories in Michigan?

                                            Second, in Consumer Reports articles, the repair record, and thus the projected reliability, of an appliance is strictly segregated and completely isolated from its "Rating." Time after time after time, the top rated Consumer Reports appliance turns out to be either the most breakdown-prone, or near the worst; frequency-of-repair is *not* a Ratings factor.

                                            Third, engineers, by self-selection, are very good at supplying metric answers to well-formulated questions; however, most engineers, by nature, are simply terrible at *formulating* value questions. But CU gives the task of formulating the questions over to engineers. For this reason, the factors used in weighting measurements to compile the measurements into Ratings often are factors that have little relation to the user experience of using the product in question and are over-weighted to factors that can be expressed in dry numbers. For instance, in rating tires, CU weighs tread life much more heavily than braking distance, so a tire with a hard tread compound (for long life) and a long stopping distance will rate higher than a tire that stops tens of feet shorter from highway speeds, but wears out more quickly. Does that comport with your values?

                                            I gave up n Consumer Reports a few years ago when in a test of stereo loudspeakers, CU spent the first half of the story touting their new Ratings factor that reduced the comparison among speakers to a single magic number; but then in the Ratings, there was a loudspeaker for which CU explained that the model had *measured* very well, but they had had to dock the score by five points because -- despite the high *measured* number -- it sounded simply terrible. True scientists would have admitted at that point that the methodology was flawed. CU's engineers did not.

                                            1. re: Politeness

                                              Politeness, they kind of lost me when their ratings for cars were so obviously stupid. You'd have vehicles like the Pontiac Vibe rated lower than its exact twin the Toyota Matrix, driven by their consumer surveys--I think that's the same way they determine applicance repair frequency. You can't trust a "self selected" data sample.

                                              It made me VERY suspicious of their methodology.

                                        1. re: Mother of four

                                          After reading dishwasher posts, I am leaning toward a Miele, Miele, Miele! There are so many models! I will go peruse them at the closest dealer, but any recommendations? I do cook a lot but there are only two of us--entertain occassionally.

                                        2. Well, happy as I've been with the Bosch it did after 3 1/2 years have a control board failure recently. That part is covered under warranty for 5 years, but labor is no longer covered at this point, so I was out a $70 service call. One thing to make sure if you call for service on this or other European brands (despite the Bosch being made in US now, it still has a rep for being difficult to work on) is to go to the manufacturer web site and look up the authorized service places rather than just calling any "all brands serviced" repair company. I called the closest authorized dealer/repair, and the guy who came out is their only Bosch tech. He talked a lot about various appliances and seemed knowledgeable about many yet was very high on the Bosch dishwasher despite the difficulty of working on it. It's what he chose for his own house, etc. The control board is an easy part to replace. He had the part with him and it was up and running in, oh, maybe 15-20 minutes. And Bosch has them send all the bad ones back because they analyze what went wrong with them.

                                          So I have reasonable hope that the replacement board will last longer than the first. If it doesn't, then I will be disappointed in my purchase. So far, though, it's still hard to be. I have the lowest end unit I think of the day, paid a very low price for it Bosch-wise and it works great. If it goes several more years (or until I move away) without trouble it will still be a great buy. If it fails again within another 3 years or so and I haven't moved yet, I'll be unhappy then. ;-)

                                          1. I'd like to thank you all for posting all of your opinions, it really does help hearing the good, the bad and the ugly of each product. After weighing all of the options (and there are WAYYYYY too many options), we chose the Kitchen Aid 5 series that comes with the upper rack for cutlery and utensils. While we've had more than our share of problems with our current 8 yr old KA, we've been led to believe that the new ones are better made. We'll let you know.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: jnk

                                              A friend of mine has had her new KA for about two months and already regrets it. Dirty glasses.

                                            2. Stay away from Bosch. I am a miserbale new owner. I cook often and enterain a lot and it can't accomadate my pots and pans and doesnt clean well. I am in the process of begging them to take it back for a 1/3 of what I paid to apply towards a new, different brand. Capacity is im portant when entertaining so I recommend staying away from European brands.

                                              1. We bought a KitchenAid KUDS301V about 1 month ago and are reasonably happy with it. My criteria may not have been the same as others -- e.g., because my house has an old-fashioned floor plan with a completely separate kitchen, I did not care much about how quiet it was. My key criteria were that I did not want to spend more than $700 and the DW manufacturer had to have reasonable reliability data. Also, I wanted one that had a separate China/Light cycle (not that common on DWs in this price range), needed to be side mounted because we have granite countertops (which rules out Whirlpools and many Kenmores), had an option where the heated-dry could be disabled, and had a top shelf that could be raised and lowered. Ultimately, I narrowed down the choice to some Bosch, Kenmore, and KA models, and settled on the KA because: (a) the Bosch upper shelf can be raised & lowered similar to a drawer, that can be removed and placed on separate tiers of rollers, whereas the KA and Kenmores (made by KA/Whirlpool I believe) can be raised & lowered without removing the drawer using a lever that allows more flexibility; and (b) found a very good deal on the KA.

                                                After a month of use, we are generally pleased with the dishwasher although we are still figuring out the best way to load it to maximize the volume of dishes that we can get in. We were replacing a 21 year old DW (also a KA) but the configuration of the shelves is really different. Also, the energy-saver features of this DW (and its competitors) means that it takes 2-1/2 to 3 hours for a full cycle, compared to 1 hour for my old DW. Not really an issue for our usual daily use, when we fill it once during the day and run after dinner, but is an issue for entertaining and holiday meals where we have a lot more dirty dishes and like to run a cycle either before dinner with the prep dishes and/or between the main course and dessert.

                                                1. Another vote for Bosch. I bought mine 15 years ago and it's still working great. It has half a load washing program and a short washing program. The latter is a must for those who tend to wash their dishes before putting them into a dishwasher ;)