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The Best Dishwasher


docsconz
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We live a LONG way from the nearest town and it's a teensy burg.

Appliance must be purchased from the bigger town that is even further away. We just replaced our dead GE Profile with a mid-range Bosch purchased at Lowe's. Whatever brand we buy, we must pay mileage and a big service call fee.

DH, who does most of the washing up, loves the new machine. He says it holds WAY more than the GE did. I can't believe how quiet it is. We've only had it a couple of weeks, but so far, we are very happy with it.

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John, another virtue you mention is reliability. I'd also suggest that the other side of that coin is repair service. No matter what dishwasher you get, eventually something is likely to happen to it.

If you live in a place like New York City, where high-end Euro-appliances are as common as pigeons, you're not going to have any trouble getting an Asko dishwasher repaired. I wouldn't be as confident about that if I lived in Burlington, Vermont, no less a smaller town.

One of my few appliance-repair experiences was when I lived in Burlington. The 1970s Whirlpool refrigerator in the house went dead and I called Whirlpool for service. A guy came in a van that actually said Whirlpool on it. He had a huge assortment of Whirlpool parts in the van. In my case the refrigerator was an older model, so he still had to order me a new compressor and come back, but he said that for almost any Whirlpool product built in the 10 preceding years he had the parts to deal with the most common repairs. He knew the products inside and out and made a quick diagnosis and, when he came back with the part a couple of days later, he made the repair so quickly I couldn't believe it.

My understanding of what happens with the niche brands like Asko is that there isn't actually an Asko guy with an Asko truck up in Burlington. Rather, there's some independent appliance guy who's authorized by a bunch of brands to perform service. I don't have nearly as much confidence in that kind of service network as I do in one that's dedicated to a specific brand or the brands of a large retailer.

So, if I lived in a smaller town, I would likely not buy any appliance that isn't made by GE or Whirlpool (maybe Maytag -- actually maybe my Burlington refrigerator was a Maytag and I have the story transposed wrong) or sold and serviced by Sears. I've actually had this discussion with a couple of sets of friends who moved away from the New York metro area and in both cases they chose really nice top-of-the-line GE appliances, which in my opinion are quite close in attractiveness and performance to the best of what you get from the niche brands. So the only Euro-dishwasher I'd even consider would be Bosch, because you've got to figure that since Sears is selling Bosch you can probably get a Bosch repaired effectively just about anywhere. But if I lived up where you live I'd probably get the best GE Monogram dishwasher (if I had a big house I'd get two of them) and call it a day.

You raise a good point. Though where I live we have access to higher end models and service (mostly due to proximity to Saratoga), this is a legitimate issue. Ideally the "best" will not require much service, but it certainly needs to be available. This is a strong argument against ordering a fancy appliance from a distance.

We have had a GE Monogram for the last 13 years, but now it has a valve that needs to replaced and it is no longer made. It has been a good dishwasher, but not so good that I couldn't conceive of trying a different brand.

Funny thing about low water dishwashers is that if one does have to rinse a lot to get dishes clean, one probably uses more water than higher water user dishwashers. That was ultimately the case with us for the GE Monogram.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I will second what Steven has said. My folks have a Miele. We have a KA (our second; more on that in a sec). Mine is faster, and since it's on an exterior wall, while noisier, isn't a problem. My folks Miele is also much slower.

But, if I could do one thing differently, I would have replaced my old Hobart KA with a new one and stored the Hobart before we put the old house on the market. That thing was a champ at cleaning, and drop dead easy to repair. In 20 years, only one problem -- the timer -- which is still readily available, and I was able to replace it by myself in about 20 minutes. I should mention that although we had the dishwasher for 20 years, my folks had it for 10 years before that. It started it's life out as a "portable"; it was full-sized, but not built in and we actually installed it as a built in.

I heard from the owner of our former house, and that thing is now nigh on 35+ years, and still going strong, and cleaning as well as it did back then. Our newer KA does a fab job, but I fear that when we need to repair it, it won't be nearly as easy.

Oh, and no pre-rinse needed. I just use a rubber scraper to get the big ick off the plates.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Dear Doc,

It all boils down to whatever makes something "worth it" to you. For me, noise level is the major factor. I don't care if I have to rinse when loading. Or how the shelves are arranged. I just don't want to have to listen to the damn thing. Which is why I bought a Bosch.

If a dish was to come out of my dishwasher still dirty (which has yet to happen), I would rather send it through for a second round than listen to noise. In fact, I would rewash all crusty pots by hand before I would accept noise. I just don't want to hear about it.

Other people will have different concerns. As they always do.

nibor

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One thing worth noting about dishwasher noise is that the dishwasher itself is only part of the equation. The way it's installed can also make a big difference. Not only are there issues of location, leveling, fit, etc., but also there are aftermarket soundproofing solutions available. You can replace the factory insulation in the door and base with superior soundproofing foam, you can put the dishwasher on a rubber mat to prevent sound conduction through the floor, you can drape the entire dishwasher unit in soundproof vinyl, and you can insulate the spacers between the dishwasher and the next appliance or cabinet over. You just have to be sure not to block the ventilation for the motor.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Oh, and another related issue is installation. A lot of appliances have various special things that need to be done to them when they're installed, like the door has to be attached or something has to be calibrated or there are other little quirks that veteran installers learn about through long experience. Most contractors think they can install anything, and when it's time to do so they just wing it and figure it's all the same. In those couple of hours, when the installers are fiddling and banging and trying to install a product they don't know well, an appliance can sustain more damage than it's going to sustain in the next seven years under normal kitchen use. So that's another argument for going with brands like GE, where the local installer is likely to have installed a million of them before.

None of the above for our Miele. Just have to read the instructions - it even has a standard plug that goes right into a wall outlet. Oh yeah - it had to be calibrated - by using a level to make sure it was, umm, level.

One thing worth noting about dishwasher noise is that the dishwasher itself is only part of the equation. The way it's installed can also make a big difference. Not only are there issues of location, leveling, fit, etc., but also there are aftermarket soundproofing solutions available. You can replace the factory insulation in the door and base with superior soundproofing foam, you can put the dishwasher on a rubber mat to prevent sound conduction through the floor, you can drape the entire dishwasher unit in soundproof vinyl, and you can insulate the spacers between the dishwasher and the next appliance or cabinet over. You just have to be sure not to block the ventilation for the motor.

Yes, ALL appliances, for some strange reason, perform better if they are installed correctly.

No, our Miele needed none of the aftermarket soundproofing solutions - it's just quiet because it's made to be quiet...it has all of that soundproofing stuff built in.

Please continue to let us know all about this Miele appliance that you don't own.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Bosch, Miele and Asko are all brands marketed for their quietness. Bosch makes much of the fact that the sound level of their machines is the equivalent of a human whisper. Friends who own Bosch machines tell me that they cannot tell if the the machine is running unless they see the indicator light is on.

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John, another virtue you mention is reliability. I'd also suggest that the other side of that coin is repair service. No matter what dishwasher you get, eventually something is likely to happen to it.

If you live in a place like New York City, where high-end Euro-appliances are as common as pigeons, you're not going to have any trouble getting an Asko dishwasher repaired. I wouldn't be as confident about that if I lived in Burlington, Vermont, no less a smaller town.

I have no idea about service in Burlington Vt but I know that it's easy to get service for high end appliances in places like Norwich Vermont, Hanover NH and Portland Maine. Lots of fancy people building fancy kitchens in those places. I think level of service available really depends on the popularity of such products in a particular area.

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If I had all the space in the world :rolleyes: I would get two (maybe 3!) single-drawer dishwashers and put them all directly under the counters, and put other drawers for the storage of stuff I don't use much under them. That way, I'd never have to bend down to get things in and out of the dishwashers...

I have a two-drawer KitchenAid model now -- it works well, I like it, but I really wish I could have found a way to put two drawers side-by-side.

BTW: I really do like the two-drawer approach -- it is nice to be able to run half-loads, have one load running while I'm loading another, etc.

jk

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If I had all the space in the world  :rolleyes: I would get two (maybe 3!) single-drawer dishwashers and put them  all directly under the counters, and put other drawers for the storage of stuff I don't use much under them. That way, I'd never have to bend down to get things in and out of the dishwashers...

I have a two-drawer KitchenAid model now -- it works well, I like it, but I really wish I could have found a way to put two drawers side-by-side.

BTW: I really do like the two-drawer approach -- it is nice to be able to run half-loads, have one load running while I'm loading another, etc. 

jk

This is a very interesting suggestion...

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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If I had all the space in the world  :rolleyes: I would get two (maybe 3!) single-drawer dishwashers and put them  all directly under the counters, and put other drawers for the storage of stuff I don't use much under them. That way, I'd never have to bend down to get things in and out of the dishwashers...

I have a two-drawer KitchenAid model now -- it works well, I like it, but I really wish I could have found a way to put two drawers side-by-side.

BTW: I really do like the two-drawer approach -- it is nice to be able to run half-loads, have one load running while I'm loading another, etc. 

jk

This is a very interesting suggestion...

Indeed. Many of my go-to items go straight from the dishwasher back into use. I could almost consider it storage in addition to its cleaning properties.

BTW, inspired by this thread (thanks again, Doc) I purchased a Bosch on Sunday. Sadly, I have to wait for it to arrive - not in stock. Patience, grasshopper, patience. Is it just me or has the old one become even louder in the last 24 hours? :angry:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Fat Guy's thoughtful tips (above) on sound control should be great food for thought (or action!) for those w/o unlimited funds for a new dishwasher.

When the installation guy was pulling out my old dishwasher he showed me how much extra room there was on the top and sides. If it had ever occurred to me that I could install an extra blanket of insulation, I could easily have done it myself. Instead I waited for the old monster to die.

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I have an Asko:

Cleans very well

Does not turn plastic cups upside down

Dries well (sometimes have a little water on the top of cups)

quiet

energy star rated and uses less water than most dishwashers

3 year warranty

I would buy this dishwasher again

Lisa

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I grew up with Kitchen Aid dishwashers at my parents and over 12 years they have blew through 2 of them. The first one lost it's hinges twice, the second one the motor blew out 2 months after the warranty elapsed.

They recently replaced it with a Bosch SHX98M09UC.

When I redid my kitchen I installed a Bosch SHE55M05UC and don't regret it for a second. I have both used the dishwasher in the dirty unscraped, unrinsed with no problems what-so-ever. But in full disclosure, given there are only 2 of us, we find outselves rinsing dishes since we don't run the washer until it is full and it may take us 2-3 days to fill it up. I also sometimes use the "rinse" cycle to get rid of the crud instead of the manual pre-rinse. I think the Bosch does a good job with dirty dishes, mainly because it super-heats the water with their in-line water heater so you get extremely hot water during the cycle.

It is also amazingly quiet. The one thing that you takes getting used to is the fact you can't unload the dishes immediately after the cycle. The Bosch doesn't have a heating element to dry the dishes (which makes it more energy efficent, as well as not damaging any fragile glasses). It dries by using condensation drying which draws the water off the glasses into the stainless shell of the washer. It does take time to do this, so you need to let the glasses sit 15 minutes after the cycle to dry completely.

Also by not having the heating element, you don't get that steam plume coming out the front of the washer like other models.

I love my Bosch.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

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Does anyone have a commercial dishwasher? I've never used one, but have heard impressive things.

I stumbled onto a book at a used bookstore that was about the home kitchens of famous chefs. Some had modern, commercial looking, stainless-everything facilities; others had exposed wood, warm colors, homey, cozy, un-restaurant looking retreats.

But every single one of them had commercial dishwasher, either in plain view or hidden away. The chefs bragged about the 30 second duty cycle (or something ridiculous like that). I'm sure the things sound like commercial jets taking off, but if it's over in 30 seconds, who cares?

Notes from the underbelly

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Commercial dishwashers are basically sanitizers. You still need a human to scrape and scrub the plates nearly clean, stack them into the tray, and then you blast 'em in the commercial unit until done...

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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I've had a Hobart for several years and have never had a problem with having to prep wash things.

It does produce a lot of noise. However the cycle is 90 seconds and I can live with the sound of a 747 taking off for a minute and a half.

They don't have built-in racks. They have removable trays that can be either general purpose or configured specifically for crystal, that hold the glasses in place and keep them from being blown out of the tray by the force of the spray, or for plates, etc. I have a three level stainless cart and it is easier for me to load the trays at counter level and transfer them to the dishwasher from the cart than bend over repeatedly to load a regular type. As soon as the cycle is finished, I pull out the tray, slide it onto one of the cart shelves and place another tray in the dishwasher.

The cost was no object and I was simply tired of replacing a dishwasher every two or three years (all "top-of-the-line") and not being happy with any of them. However, I do understand that the newer consumer units are much better but I am happy with the Hobart and when it dies will replace it with another.

In eight years I have had one service call, to replace the door gasket.

The one I have is like This one.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have an Asko:

Cleans very well

Does not turn plastic cups upside down

Dries well (sometimes have a little water on the top of cups)

quiet

energy star rated and uses less water than most dishwashers

3 year warranty

I would buy this dishwasher again

Lisa

Ditto.

Also:

-Holds tall stemware.

-Never clogs.

Our second Asko; the first one finally quit after about 15 years.

The only drawback (with this particular model) -- it's that modern sleek design with hidden controls, so you can't see when the damn thing is done! Not really a problem for us, since we almost always run it overnight.

- L.

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Does anyone have a commercial dishwasher? I've never used one, but have heard impressive things.

Commercial dishwashers I've used have had a large reservoir of water that is intended to be used for many washings. You'd have to be doing the dishes for everyone on the block before it became practical.
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Does anyone have a commercial dishwasher? I've never used one, but have heard impressive things.

Commercial dishwashers I've used have had a large reservoir of water that is intended to be used for many washings. You'd have to be doing the dishes for everyone on the block before it became practical.

Check the specs on the undercounter Hobart at the link I posted above. Mine uses 2.8 gallons of fresh water per cycle, which is pretty good compared to some consumer models. It does have a "booster" heater if needed, but I have tankless water heaters and the one that serves the kitchen is set at a higher temp which effectively sterilizes the dishware with hot water. Mine does not have the chemical santizing option.

Just as an aside, switching to the tankless heaters has been a considerable savings in gas as the water is only heated on demand and the heater does not have a standing pilot.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Andie, with a Hobart like that, don't you need to dry the dishes by hand? I imagine that would be a dealbreaker for most home users.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Andie, with a Hobart like that, don't you need to dry the dishes by hand? I imagine that would be a dealbreaker for most home users.

I have a bottom-of-the-line Frigidaire dishwasher and choose not to use the heat dry cycle. I try to save energy and I hate the smell of plastic that has slipped out of the racks and lies burning on the heating element!

For the most part, glassware, cutlery and ceramics dry almost instantly The only issue is any plastic ware which I then transfer to a cooling rack to air dry. So for me it isn't an issue.

Further, after a short time working in a day care centre I learned that the health inspectors would give us a fail if we dried ANYTHING with a dish towel. I am not anal about this at home but it hangs around the back of my mind nevertheless.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Andie, with a Hobart like that, don't you need to dry the dishes by hand? I imagine that would be a dealbreaker for most home users.

No, the residual heat usually dries everything rapidly after it is pulled out of the machine. Plates and bowls, etc., are actually too hot to touch immediately after extraction.

I do dry the crystal because I want to avoid spotting, although when I have left them there has been very little spotting.

However, I never left crystal in my old machines either.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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We just purchased a bosch and we love the product. We used to have an asko and the bosch is a lot quieter (althought late at night in the kitchen by myself, I can hear it but it is pretty quite not silent) and love the adjustible racks. Love the hidden buttons (my little one use to beat the heck out of th asko buttons) and the dishes glasses all come out clean.

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Andie, do you find that the Hobart is rough on dishes? I might have concerns about putting non-restaurant-grade stuff in there, not to mention top-rack-only plastic-type items.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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