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Nov 19, 2010 03:12 AM

Needing new dishwasher

This isn't exactly "cookware" but certainly an important part of the kitchen so I thought I'd post my query here. We are in the market for a new dishwasher. We've had a Maytag and it is 9 years old and quite worn out (the plastic coating on the racks has come off in spots and it is rusted--this stains our white dishware--it is also getting really, really loud, which makes me think the motor is waning). We want a stainless exterior and interior, racks included, we'd like it to be relatively quiet, and we don't need fancy options--in fact, the fewer, the better. The one feature that I think is probably pretty standard in all at this point is the delayed start, which we would definitely want. We don't care about hidden controls. I'd also like a quick wash option--our dishwasher takes about 1-1/2 hours to get through cycle completely and sometimes I want it to move a little faster. Also, while we are willing to pay for a decent machine, we don't want to pay a fortune (mid-high hundreds would be ok--over $1000 not). Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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  1. Here's my oddball suggestion. We picked up a gently-used Hobart LX-30 (not sure what the current model # is) at a restaurant supply reseller. It's a commercial unit but standard undercounter size (it's in most Starbucks locations). It features a sanitizing rinse (over 190 degrees) and the full cycle is about 90 seconds (it's designated "LX-30" because it's rated for 30 loads an hour - we rarely need more than 3 or 4, even with a big party). It's loud, but it's only loud for 90 seconds at a stretch. About $4,000 new but you can likely find one like ours for under $1,000 (and we've had it for nearly a decade without a hiccup).

    1. Anyone considering the installation of a commercial dishwasher in a residential setting should read this:

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joe Blowe

        As far as the cons go, while many are correct, they only cover half the story.

        Yes you need 220 power, but that will run you about $150, assuming you don't already have 220 coming in.

        Yes, you need your own racks, which run <$20 each. One glass rack and one multi-purpose are all you need, both store easily inside the unit.

        There is no drying cycle, but at 190 degrees for the rinse, you open the door and 90% of the water evaporates by the time they're cool enough to touch (that's the "steam" the link refers to - it gives you the impression that the kitchen will fill with steam from use, but that's not the case; opening the door results in some steam escaping - mostly evaporation from the dishes but it dissipates in seconds - you can see it for yourself in Starbucks).

        They don't work well on dried-on stains in a single cycle, but running 2 or 3 does the job (a whopping 5-7 minutes total). I have an outdoor smoker that leaves all sorts of residue on the smoker racks and water bowl after 8-12 hours of smoking. They come out sparkling after 2-3 cycles.

        And for my unit, at least, powering down drains the reservoir so there's no stagnant water sitting around, and it has a lift-out filter (a very fine-mesh grate) which rinses in seconds under running water.

      2. I had fairly similar criteria -- i.e., not a lot of bells & whistles, under $1,000, doesn't have to be whisper-quiet, and ended buying a KitchenAid KUDS301V for $720. I'm not sure about the quick wash option, however (think it has one but haven't used it and I'm not home right now to check). Note that all dishwashers' standard cycles are much longer than they used to be because of changes made to acheive greater energy efficiency. This model has a stainless finish, stainless interior, and controls are on the outside.

        1. We cheaped out and bought a GE. Never again, it's horrible in so many's too depressing to list them.

          1. liveforfood: "Also, while we are willing to pay for a decent machine, we don't want to pay a fortune (mid-high hundreds would be ok--over $1000 not). Any suggestions would be appreciated!"

            "There are really only two kinds of dishwasher: (1) Miele, and (2) all others." - old folk wisdom

            Tough love suggests that you are caught between Scylla and Charibdis. With a Miele, you will Live Happily Ever After, but it is unlikely you will find a Miele within your $1000 budget. (We did, but not everybody is as lucky.) With anything other than a Miele, you will have buyer's remorse sooner or later. Some argue that if you choose a Bosch or KitchenAid, the buyer's remorse will not descend as soon, but neither Bosch nor KitchenAid is cheap, either.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Politeness

              I've never had buyer's remorse for any dishwasher I have owned, and I've never even heard of a Miele.

              The last was a Frigidaire. It was whisper quiet, got everything clean, and did not knock the plasticware off the racks. Don't think you can ask for much more.

              1. re: ZenSojourner

                ZenSojourner: "... any dishwasher I have owned, and I've never even heard of a Miele. ... Don't think you can ask for much more."

                Heh. To preserve your state of bliss, you'll need to maintain your ignorance of Miele; far be it from me to entice you to eat that apple. (grin.)

                1. re: Politeness

                  "Ignorance" would be unnecessarily spending money on something you don't really need.

                  If your dishwasher cleans adequately, is quiet, doesn't knock stuff around, and doesn't clog, you don't really need more than that. Spending 2 or 3 times what you need to isn't a smart move. If you have the money to spare, spend freely. If not, you don't need a Rolls-Royce to get around - there are many many options that don't cost nearly as much in both up front expense and repairs.

                  1. re: ZenSojourner

                    ZenSojourner: "you don't need a Rolls-Royce to get around - there are many many options that don't cost nearly as much in both up front expense and repairs."

                    It is not a matter of luxury but rather of true economy. As a businessperson, I am sensitive to the distinction between initial capital cost and TCO (total cost of ownership). Our target -- so far we have met it with every major appliance that we ever have purchased -- is that no major appliance should cost more than $0.15/day to own and operate, including initial price, installation, repair costs, and operating costs. Only seven years -- approximately one-third of its predicted lifetime -- into our Miele dishwasher's tenure, it is on schedule to meet that goal.

                    1. re: Politeness

                      Since I've never had to repair any dishwasher I owned and none of them cost more than around $500 or $600, I think I'm ahead of the game. Moving has meant I've had 3 different DWs in 30 years or so, and only one of those was purchased new.

              2. re: Politeness

                The KitchenAid that I recently purchased replaced a still functioning 21 year old KitchenAid. Granted there has been so much change in the intervening 21 years -- offshore production, energy-efficieny changes that affect reliability -- that I don't consider the longevity of my last KA as necessarly indicative of the probable longevity/reliability of my new DW.

                Mieles may be the "Rolls Royce" of dishwashers but not everyone wants to spend that much money. My new KA is only one month old so it's way to early to assess its reliability. I am optimistic based upon the considerable research that I did before I bought it -- both on the web and based on Consumer Report data.

                1. re: masha

                  My mom bought a KA dishwasher on my recommendation when they had their kitchen remodeled over the summer. Stainless interior (but not the racks as the OP seems interested in - I've never seen that, actually), quiet, and washes great. We have a similar model but it's about 5 years old now and still going strong. Not quite as quiet as it used to be, but still able to run it at night when we go to bed. Our house is very open plan so you can hear everything, so I guess it's quiet enough! I would buy another one in a heart beat.