Dishwashers - features to get/avoid?

theyardbirdFebruary 12, 2013

We have been talking about replacing our very old Whirlpool dishwasher. It's been many years since I last purchased one, so I'm not up on the features that are out there these days.

One thing I don't think I ever noticed before was a manually cleaned filter. What are the benefits to going that route?

Controls - Hidden or on front...that doesn't really appeal to me either way.

I've seen some people talk about cutlery baskets. I guess I've never really thought about them before. Do some washers have clearly better cutlery systems than others?

Our current dishwasher is very loud. I'm guessing that almost anything we choose now will be much more quiet than our current one. I noticed that a few people here have said their dishwashers get louder with age. Are there any brands that are more or less better at staying quiet throughout their lifespan?

And of course, I want clean dishes. Guessing that anything I get now will be good at that, eh?

Any other considerations?

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weedmeister

some have heated drying. Some now do not.

Some have a 3rd rack for cutlery. Folks who have it say that it is much easier to load and unload.

I like units that have adjustable upper racks and flip-up/down tynes.

I also like a 'upper rack only' feature for small loads.

Go higher end and you get specialized settings like Crystal. And perhaps a built-in water softener.

The ones with a filter are usually quieter. Others have a 'chopper' and will make more sound. Quieter units come at a higher price, usually.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 12:34PM
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kgolby

Quieter the better - no louder than 48dB. I think a SS tub is better too.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 2:24PM
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karenlee56

I just bought a new dishwasher after having a I purchased the Miele G5575. I wish I could yell from the rooftops just how much I love this dishwasher! This one has the built-in water softener and the china/crystal cycle, neither of which I need. I bought it because it was a floor model at a price that I couldn't pass up.

3rd rack for cutlery:

For me, LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. It allows you so much more room on your main rack and is so easy to use. It makes the most sense to me now that I use it on a daily basis. Honestly, that's what sold me on this model Miele. I had never seen a rack like that before but knew once I saw it that I had to have it. :)

Hidden controls:

I like the way they look much better. This model has them and so did my last model. It just gives the dishwasher a more streamlined and modern look.

Manual clean filter:

My Miele has one, which is extremely easy to use. I believe it will automatically tell me after so many washes that it needs to be cleaned. My GE had an automatic food grinder and I'd never use that type again. I often ended up with finely ground up food particles all over everything in the dishwasher. I frequently had to try and clean it out myself. No easy feat since it was in the very bottom back of the dishwasher.

Quietness:

They appear to all be more quiet than they used to be. I still think that the higher in model quality you go, the more quiet they are made to be.

Heating:

The Miele uses the condensation drying (do I have that term right?). There is no heating element. I believe Bosch uses the same system for drying. It works well in the Miele except for plastics, of course. I don't think any dishwasher has plastics all dry as soon as you open the door.

Better through lifespan:

I think Miele pretty much has it all over most other brands not only for staying quiet, but for overall longevity with much fewer problems.

Since I got my dishwasher a few weeks ago, I've been showing more pictures of it than my grandchildren....LOL.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Fori is not pleased

I don't think I'll ever buy a dishwasher with a hinged door. I strongly dislike that door.

I like drawer-style DWs. Take less space when open, don't make you bleed when you walk into them.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:00PM
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jakvis

Get a flow through water heater
Avoid an exposed heater ring.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:02PM
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theyardbird

Thanks for all of the comments - they are most helpful!

After reading about cutlery trays here and then looking at them locally, I found that I really do like them. And I never gave thought to a water softener until reading about it here. Our water is hard, so now I'm looking for a dishwasher that has a built-in softener. Oh, and I'm trying to find a dishwasher that is black, as all of our appliances black.

One thing I am finding is that it is tough to get everything we want in a dishwasher that is black. To loosely quote Henry Ford, "Any color you want, as long as it's stainless steel". :)

Take Kitchenaid. The KUDE70 has a cutlery tray and can be found in black. But doesn't have a water softener. The KUDE60 has a water softener, cutlery tray, but can't be found in black. I wrote KA and they verified that they do not have a model that has all three things.

Miele. The Classic series can be had in black and with a cutlery tray, but there's no water softener. The Crystal series has a model that has the water softener/cutlery tray, but not black...UNLESS you go to a panel version. The SS version is $1400. The panel version is $1400, but then you have to add $275 for black panel. Argh! Anyone here have a panel version?

And I see a similar thing with the Bosch models. Local dealer has a Bosch 800 series (can't remember exact model) that has everything else, but not available in black. I called Bosch and heard the same thing as KA.

Since we have hard water and don't have a whole home water softener solution (and don't want to install one at this time), how important is getting a dishwasher with a softener in it?

I see some folks use additives like Lemi-Shine, vinegar, etc.. The difference between the low-end Miele with no softener and one that has the softener+panels is about $700! That would buy a lot of additives. Does using them do as good of a job as using a machine with a softener in it?

Thanks again for all the help.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 12:12PM
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karenlee56

Yardbird⦠many of us who own Miele dishwwashers bought them as floor models, scratch and dents, displays, etc. My personal opinion is to go for the Miele with the water softener. You definitely will not regret it. Please learn from my mistakes that everytime I pass up something like that because of the few extra few hundred dollars that it would cost me, I end up regretting it for the length of time I own the item. You can definitely mess around with all the different chemicals that may help to soften your water for your dishwasher, but if you have the opportunity to have an appliance that does that for you with the
addition of some salt as in the Miele, you should absolutely go for it. It would probably be even better if you can get it somewhere that might have a 1 year or more interest free financing plan because then the extra money spent wouldn't hurt so much! You would undoubtedly have your Miele dishwasher for years to come and if you ever decided to change your appliance color, all you would have to do for the Miele was get a new panel and you would save a lot of money.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 5:37PM
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theyardbird

Thanks for the note. I've seen people in the forum mention buying floor models. Did you 'luck' into finding a floor model, or did you call all over the place until you found one? I called two places near me. Both do sell floor models, but neither had a model I wanted in stock, let alone a floor model. I would have no problem going that direction if the opportunity popped up.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 10:53AM
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karenlee56

We are very lucky in that we have a PC Richard outlet very close to our home in New Jersey. They have huge selection of scratch and dent washers, dryers, dishwashers, and every other kind of appliance (and TV's, etc). Even so, there were only 2 Miele dishwashers on the floor when my husband and I bought ours. You may want to continue to call around and see if you could find something. If not, maybe you can do at least a little bit of wheeling and dealing to get the price lower. Almost every place is willing to do that even though there is not as much of a markup on Miele. You might want to check to see if anyone is offering interest free deals while you're at it. If my Miele dishwasher were ever to go bad on me in years to come and I couldn't afford another one, I would sell one of my children or my husband to get another one. :)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 5:34PM
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