What's the problem with the Bosch DW racks?

hilltop1155January 25, 2012

I've seen several negative remarks about the Bosch dishwasher racks. Can someone tell me what the problem is?

I have a 16 year old Bosch that has performed very well and I was planning to get one for my new home. This question about the rack has me wondering what to look for as I compare Bosch with others before I buy.

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I was just poking around the appliance store yesterday, and looked specifically at the Bosch racks because of GW comments about sturdiness. I thought they would be all plastic, but, except for the top silverware tray, they seem to be metal coated in nylon or plastic. Talking about the Made in Germany models. Didn't look at the others. I have no personal experience with them because I am in the DW shopping stage right now.

The Miele racks are supposed to be very sturdy, but the racks on the floor model I looked at -Futura crystal- kept getting stuck and wouldn't roll out properly. That is probably an installation issue, and not a manufacturing defect.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:38AM
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FWIW, I think my mom hates her Bosch DW in gen'l, but I know she really hates the racks. I think how/where she can stack dishes in it, and the resulting lack of capacity is the biggest drawback for her. Not sure how the cleaning is but I can ask her. I do know they got it at Sears a couple of years ago, and it is not one of their top models.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:49AM
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The 800 Plus series have different racks. The only 2 things i dont like about my 800 Plus series are 1) The bottom rack does not really accommodate things like cookie sheets. The tines are to angled in the back and the front tines don't line up. You also have to take the top rack out or the cookie sheets will hit the upper spray arm. 2) The bottom rack rolls off the roller guides very easily. Not a big deal once you get used to it, but on a $1k+ DW they should have the bottom rack on some sort of draw roll out system to prevent the rack from comes out too far or being moved off the guide.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:54AM
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@tony: great to get your comments, especially since we are likely going to be ordering an 800plus this weekend. which model do you have? we are considering the 7ER as i didn't see any appreciable rack differences between it and the other two models above it although my wife and i plan to bring a bunch of assorted bowls and glasses this weekend (we've tried plates and they worked well)

my concern with the lower rack is the utility for anything other than plates (or i guess pots if one folds the tines down. with only two in our household, i think we'll be constantly filling the upper rack with bowls, glasses and mugs and finding the lower rack nearly empty. any tricks to possibly use the lower rack to accommodate soup/cereal bowls in some efficient manner (not just face down which seems like a waste of space)?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 12:23PM
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I have 2 of the 800 Plus SHX68E05UC (last years). All the 800PLUS models have the same racks which are more flexible and have the 3rd row. When you hear complaints about bosch racks its on the 800 and Lower models which all have fixed racks in a different configuration. if you download manuals you can see them. Or if you go to Lowes you can see non 800 Pluses in person.

If you use a lot of bowels, you can fill the front bottom row of tines with bowels then go up top. That would be some pretty good capacity. The manual says to use that row of tines for bowels anyway. Thats what they are designed for. We have thick walled bowels and can fit maybe 8 there. We do not use the silverware basket at all. I'm not sure if I answered your question.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 1:31PM
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tony: you did answer my question: thank you! i guess i need to try it out. i was surprised to see that the back and front row of tines on the lowest rack accommodate our two sized dinner plates (11.5 and 9.5"), but didn't think how that could work with our bowls.

we have both thick walled bowls and some thinner walled, broad bowls (shallow and sort of plate like) that we use...the never fit well in my wider spaced tines in the GE, but maybe they will do better in the bosch. i'll have to try it out this weekend.

from what i understanding the current top of the line 800plus 9ER has the variorack "plus" which supposedly has even more flexibility.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 5:50PM
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Just found this video and thought some others might be interested in seeing it. It demonstrates the features of the VarioFlex Plus racks that are in some of the Bosch 800 Plus DW.

Here is a link that might be useful: Video of VarioFlex Plus racks

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:23PM
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as far as i am aware, only the top of the line model within the 800plus series has the varioflex plus. as i noted in the other thread on the 800plus, even the 7ER and 8ER which are listed as having varioflex racks are slightly different with the 8ER have a couple more foldable tines.

finally, here's a more full-on Bosch video which is in english:

Here is a link that might be useful: Bosch feature demo (flash required)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:29PM
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That was very helpful, Derek87, thanks! I really do like the idea of the foldable tines. Removal of the part of the tines in my current (old) Bosch has made loading pans and deep dishes in that area much simpler. I *can* load them in the area with the wider tines, but it's easier without them. It is even more difficult to put deep bowls or pans in the area with narrow tines in my old Bosch. To me the extra foldable tines might just be worth the price of admission.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:50PM
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Derek: Since our DW is getting full, I thought I'd take pictures of each rack so you could see how things fit.

We've got a full complement of glasses, including 3 wines (2 long-stem and one short-stem). I moved the top rack to the lowest position to get those to fit -- and there it's stayed since we enjoy wine!

The DW certainly could hold more and I'm still learning how best to use the space. The pictures show a variety of bowl sizes as well, since that was one of your questions. The last picture shows the mac & cheese dish that was in the oven two times (cook + re-heat). It should be completely clean after running the DW -- probably tomorrow night or Saturday.

Hope these help. From GardenWeb Photos From GardenWeb Photos From GardenWeb Photos From GardenWeb Photos

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:54AM
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Circus Peanut

FWIW I have the top model of the Bosch 500 Integra line (paneled) and the plastic racks are really awful - most of the interior tines are in sets that clip on with fairly flimsy plastic clips, and in 3 years of use have long since been lost. If a row gets displaced, it requires about 3 hands to get the very awkward clip back on.

Hate the layout and can't wait for a new DW, although this one will probably last a while with its new electronic control board we just had to have replaced. sigh. I was prepared to love Bosch and the experience has not been as positive as hoped, largely because of the rack layout and its flimsiness.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 9:54AM
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I dont see much of a difference between the Flex and the Flex plus trays. I just see an extra folding bar on the bottom.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 11:30AM
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@kashmi: thanks for the great photos. would love to see the "after photo" for that mac n'cheese pan.

@tony: i don't think there are major differences between the 3...just more folding elements between the 7ER (flex), 8ER (flex, but 2 more folding tines on the middle shelf), 9ER (flex plus, a lot more folding tines...it seems from the video that almost all of them can go flat on the lower and middle racks)

funny thing: this is a feature on my GE (the only thing that seems well designed)...nearly all of the tines, top and bottom, can be lowered. too bad it didn't clean any better than it does :p

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:03PM
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Tony: I looked at the video posted by Derek87 and there seems to be a claim of a much (3X) heavier support bar on the plus upper rack. The picture of the racks looked a lot flimsier on the Variflux than on the plus. I would need to see them in person to be sure, but paying for the 9 would make it unreachable for me in any case. It is almost in the high end Miele cost.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 1:22PM
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So how does one wash cookie sheets and 9x13 roasters, etc. in the Bosch when also washing plates and cups in the same load?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 8:19PM
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Derek87: Here it is -- clean! Don't know why the inside of the DW looks so blue; it's not IRL.

Babs711: The best way to tell is to take those items to the store and load them in. Let the sales person show you how the racks can be adjusted up and down to accommodate different needs.

We usually keep the top rack (well, I guess it's really the middle rack) in the lowest position because we almost always have wine glasses. If I need the extra height, say to clean our large plastic cutting board, I can raise it to accommodate that one load -- and then return it to the lower position. Hope this helps. From GardenWeb Photos

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:15AM
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thanks kashmi! looks great!

we ordered our 7ER (bar handle) on saturday and will take delivery on it later this week. we're looking forward to it!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:27AM
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I want to thank everyone for the input. It has been really helpful. The Bosch racks are really not all that different from the ones I have (and many thanks for the pics to help with that). Other than disagreeing with my husband about the best way to load them (which we resolved without bloodshed), they haven't been a problem.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:33AM
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Derek87, I hope you will let us know how you like it once you get it running.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:44AM
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@hillop: definitely. funny thing, i realized that with our frantic schedule, i wont' be able to give our dishwasher a good workout with some heavily soiled dishes for the first several days we have it because we have lots of things taking us away from full blown cooking. but i'll keep you guys posted. i plan to put it to the test and hope it succeeds with a combo of Powerball tabs and the miele salt the dealer gave me.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:00PM
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Well, there is one question that no one seems to know the answer to: Is there any difference between the racks listed as VarioFlex in the 8ER and those listed as Vario in the 7ER? The answer to that could mean a several hundred dollar saving if the 7ER is just as sturdy.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 7:28PM
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nerdy, as i suggested above and in the other Bosch 800plus thread, the difference in racks between the 8ER and 7ER, to my inspection is more flexible/fold down tines. i could not detect a difference in basket rigidity between the two. for the rebate which ends today, there is a $180 difference between the two models which buys one that small difference in foldable tines on the middle rack, 2 db quietness, the glass cycle and eco mode. while $180 might be worth it to some, in the end, we couldn't justify the cost.

i did not look at the 9ER at all since i knew it was well out of range of what we wanted to spend. and if we considered that, i'm sure we woud have looked at some Miele's as well (with water softeners which start in the 1600 range)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 7:45PM
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We bought two high-end Bosch dishwashers when we remodeled the kitchen, which I regret. I hate the racks, hate them. In particular, glasses don't fit well. One reason we added a second dishwasher was to clean up after dinner parties. But stemware fits so poorly, I have to run multiple, half-empty loads. The bottom racks has such a big grid that I couldn't use it for glassware until I wired in some small metal racks (the kind for cooling cookies, etc.). The units clean fine, and I like the natural drying, but I would not buy them again.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 11:13PM
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Seabird66: have you tried moving that middle rack down? It will shift down to one of two lower positions. Until we did that wine glasses would not fit because the stems knocked into the top cutlery rack. Once we did that, wine glasses (both ones with longer and with shorter stems) fit just fine.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 4:52PM
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