Dishwasher Shopping: Miele, Kenmore, Others?

kendrahroseMay 31, 2013

Just bought our first house and it has a rusted out dishwasher. DH and I have done hours upon hours of research and are still confused. Meile gets best reviews but I am afraid that most European DW are too small to fit pots and pans ands plates at the same time. As renters we found Kenmore to have a lot of room, but we don't like that they are manufactured by different companies so we don't know what we are actually buying. LG has great space but gets horrible reviews regarding repairs. Kitchen Aides sound great in Consume Reports, but not on discussion boards. I have used Bosches in vacation rentals and they seem tiny inside. Maytag is also in our mix. Here is a bit about our needs and criteria:

* Interior size is the most important factor for us. I use multiple big pots, sautee pans, and roasting sheets (aka cookie sheets) when cooking dinner and I want a DW that will fit in one load those items in addition to maybe 6 plates, 5 bowls, and lots of glasses.

* Adjustable tines. This usually helps me to get a ton of stuff in one load.

* Don't want a honking but silverware rack that takes up the full length of the bottom rack.

* We can spend a lot on a DW if needed. Our priority is long lasting and few repairs. Much more important to us than the price tag.

* Do not have kids, do not use any plastic anything.

* Use only unscented "green" powders like 7th generation and vinegar rinse aide. (Would this work with Meile?)

* Don't care about SS interior, don't need tons of cycle options.

* Don't care too much about noise.

Lastly, a question: Do most people not wash pots and pans in their DWs? All the pics I see are of plates and bowls. I never see pics of pots and pans in a dishwasher, or if I do, it is two pots and they take up the entire bottom rack?

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I've been scolded because I don't wash pots by hand but I don't. Everything aside from good knives and wooden utensils goes in our DW. I don't have a drying rack.

I've had two trouble free Mieles. Love them. Mine holds a ton. I believe newer models have a bottom rack can be completely or nearly cleared out for pots. Things can be piled up and still get clean. The utensil rack on the top also holds a ton of small things.

But, Miele is designed for rinse aid to be used and the amount can be adjusted. Vinegar is not rinse aid. If you aren't willing to make that small adjustment, I'd look at other brands.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 9:12AM
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Their is little difference in interior volume between DW makers' offerings - even those coming out of Europe which technically have "smaller" tubs.

The amount of space amounts to about two plates, maybe. It won't allow you to fit an extra pot or pan. What you can get in all depends on the racking configuration and its adjustability and how you load it.

Stainless interior is becoming the norm these days, and you don't want a unit with a plastic tub.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 2:47PM
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KitchenAid and Maytag are made by Whirlpool.

The space difference between European and American dishwashers is tiny. Best way to find out if a DW you are considering will fit your particular batch is to take your dishes to the showroom floor and load them.

There are various vinegars with various acidity levels. These are not good for soft plastic parts in your DW long term. Miele is no worse than any other options.

I have not read much about Miele and 7th Gen powder. Of the " green" detergents many people like Method Smarty grapefruit tabs in their Miele.

I wash all my pots and pans in my Miele La Perla II except pans that are seasoned like Wok and cast iron frying pans.

When it comes to long term durability there is no better option than Miele.

My suggestion is to find out about water hardness in your area. If water is soft 4 grains per gallon or less get Miele Classic. If water hardness greater than 4 grains per gallon get Miele Crystal. But go to showroom floor to test with your dishes to make sure they fit to your satisfaction.

The more expensive Miele DW add more cycle optons and become quieter. The top two options also have auto open door at the end of cycle to aid in drying.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 4:08PM
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I have the Miele Diamond. I absolutely love it, despite the fact that I've had a couple of electrical problems (it comes with a 5 year warranty, and the regional manager is willing to send a Miele tech 3.5 hours to repair it).

My answers to your questions below:

* Interior size is the most important factor for us. I use multiple big pots, sautee pans, and roasting sheets (aka cookie sheets) when cooking dinner and I want a DW that will fit in one load those items in addition to maybe 6 plates, 5 bowls, and lots of glasses.

I was concerned about this, too. When comparing the Miele with the Bosch and KA, the Miele interior appeared to be smaller than the others. Some GWers, though, convinced me that the design of the Miele allows you to actually stack at least as many if not more dishes, pots and pans than the others. And my Miele gets all of my dishes, pots and pans incredibly clean despite the fact that I really stack a ton of dishes into it.

* Adjustable tines. This usually helps me to get a ton of stuff in one load.

IMO, the Miele allows for a lot of adjustments including removing entire sections of racks, and removing the upper rack altogether.

* Don't want a honking but silverware rack that takes up the full length of the bottom rack.

The Miele Diamond has a top silverware tray. This is one of the best features I can imagine. I will never, ever go back. I adore that tray!!

* We can spend a lot on a DW if needed. Our priority is long lasting and few repairs. Much more important to us than the price tag.

We went with the Diamond because of the 5 year warranty. Again, it has had an electrical problem, but it was fixed and the repairman was ultra professional and knowledgeable.

* Do not have kids, do not use any plastic anything.

* Use only unscented "green" powders like 7th generation and vinegar rinse aide. (Would this work with Meile?)

I've been advised by some of the gurus on this forum not to use vinegar rinse. I've had good luck with Method Smarty tabs and the Miele brand tabs, as well as Finish Powerball tabs.

* Don't care about SS interior, don't need tons of cycle options.

* Don't care too much about noise.

Miele is super quiet, as long as it's full. Running empty or half full, it's a little noisier.

Lastly, a question: Do most people not wash pots and pans in their DWs? All the pics I see are of plates and bowls. I never see pics of pots and pans in a dishwasher, or if I do, it is two pots and they take up the entire bottom rack?

I wash all pots and pans (mostly Le Creuset) in the DW. Have never had a problem with rust or damage to the finish. You can fit the largest Le Creuset dutch oven (the monster--I think 14 quart--one) into the lower rack.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 7:26PM
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We recently purchased a 800 series Bosh DW to replace the low end whirlpool the builder installed.

I am sure there are many different brands/models of DW that will work for you, I only have experience with the low end model whirlpool that the builder installed and our new Bosh. (This is not to put down the whirlpool, I am sure their higher end stuff is very different from the low end model we had)

At first my wife mentioned that she didn't think it would hold as much as the old one, like you, we got the impression it was a little smaller inside, then we realized that we could completely remove the silverware box that sits in the bottom taking up room because the DW has a 'third rack' for silverware in the very top of the unit -- this now gives us (I think) more room, and we have been able to fit as much or more into the unit as we could with the older unit. I think the Mieles and Boshs both have this rack - I'm not sure about other brands, it seems to be becoming a popular feature -- if you don't like the big silverware box in the bottom then I would definitely look for this. It works very well in our Bosh.

As you mentioned adjustable tines, the Bosh has tines that will completely lay flat for larger items and the middle rack is adjustable up or down by several inches -- good for having lots of pots in the bottom or taller glasses on top.

We have kids and have lots of little plastic cups - they do not seem to dry very well - there is supposedly a version of jet dry that works better with plastic but it isn't a big enough problem that I have tried that yet - not an issue for you however as you mentioned you don't have any plastic.

Now, the reason I am writing this -- one of the first tasks we used the DW for was to wash about 5 loads of old china and some stainless steel pots and pans that had been left in an abandoned home - with food still on the china plates and burned into the pans -- these dishes had sat almost one year with the food now totally dried onto the plates. The pans (SS) had food burned into the bottoms and had been used on an old electric coil stove so the bottoms of the pans were black - with food that had burned in over the years of use. If I were going to have to clean these manually we would have just tossed the whole lot - but since we had a new DW we thought we would run them through, fully expecting to have to hand wash them after the DW.

We threw all kinds of assorted china, and lots of pottery pieces as well into the DW with no regard to whether or not the piece was DW safe or not.

When I opened the DW after the first load -- WOW -- the china sparkled like it had been hand cleaned by the most careful of butlers - every piece shined. I wish now that I had taken before and after pictures. It repeated this performance for about 4 loads of china.

Then the SS pots/pans. I remind you these had cooked on leftover food that had been sitting for nearly a year, and they came out *almost* spotless, even the bottoms of the pans that had been totally black in color were shiny silver now.

I took some advice from others on this forum and purchased some Barkeepers Friend and the few tough spots that were left on the pans cleaned up perfectly using a small scrubber and the BKF. The pans are literally like new!

I am sure that other high end DW's could and would do the same, but needless to say we are happy with our purchase.

Our Bosh DW is model# SHX8ER55UC/52
We used finish Powerball All-in-One and finish DW Salt
finish Jet Dry rinse aid

Good luck on your decision!

This post was edited by jw1844 on Sat, Jun 8, 13 at 14:26

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 2:18PM
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I ditto everything madeline616 said. I adore my Miele and the top silverware rack is to die for!! My Miele Dimension has an adjustable top silverware rack that opens and closes on the sides, and adjusts up and down in the middle to fit larger utensils. I wash SOME pots in the Miele, but I would rather fit more of everything else, since larger pots only take a minute to wash by hand. I do use lots of plastics and stillI fit a whole lot in that DW due to its interior flexibility. Everything consistently comes spotless.

Based on the functionality, reliability, and top notch customer service at Miele, I would never even consider another brand. I especially refuse to own another American-made dishwasher. Fortunately, I'll probably never have to.

This post was edited by karenlee56 on Sat, Jun 8, 13 at 16:19

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 4:17PM
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Since your most important consideration is how well you can load your items into a DW, maybe you could take some things down to the appliance shop and try loading the DW you are interested in. I did that, but I only took a sample selection of items I typically use for cooking and serving.

You could even wait until you make a big meal, load up your current DW (assuming you have one now that works for you size-wise), and take everything out when they're clean and take them to the store and try loading the DW you like with the same dishes.

Of course, there's always a learning curve to figure out the best way to load any given DW. I know it has taken me a while to figure out the best way to load my current DW. Since I've only had it for a short time, I think I'm still learning and seem to get better maximizing space as time goes on. So it could be that some that don't seem to have enough space are really okay and it's just a matter of learning how to load them more efficiently.

I probably wouldn't make a decision based on the configuration of the silverware/utensil basket. Well, actually, I guess I did, because I didn't like the ergonomics of the utensil basket on the door, so that would be a no-go for me. Otherwise, though, for $15-$35 you can pick up a smaller utensil basket for your DW to use instead. I considered doing that because my DW has a third, separate rack for cutlery, so I thought I should remove the big utensil basket on the bottom rack to leave more room for other items. However, it hasn't been an issue, and I do put some of the larger utensils in the basket rather than the top rack.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 6:15PM
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OK, I'm also someone who washes EVERYTHING, sans good knives and my one cast iron skillet, in the dishwasher. I cook and bake a lot, and hate doing dishes, so having one that fits a lot is very important to me. We often run both of our dishwashers multiple times per day, and if I could fit a third one somewhere, I'd add it in a heartbeat.

My test always was: Will it hold a half sheet pan upright (horizontally) in the bottom rack? That's the reason in 2007 I chose the then top-of-the-line Bosch models over the Mieles. Mieles, with the third rack, did NOT fit those half sheet pans, something I use several times per week, so I ruled them out despite rave reviews here. Big mistake. Huge.

Long story short: After just over five years of use, I got rid of the Boschs, which didn't clean worth a you-know-what, and replaced them with Miele Diamond models a few months ago.

The difference in function is night and day. Are the Mieles smaller than the '07 Boschs? Yup. I have found they can clean a half-sheet pan, but you have to tip it and it takes up a great deal of space (about 1/3 the bottom section for one pan; though you can stick small stuff behind it and it all still gets clean.)

But, in the end, that's been a big "oh well" moment for me. They clean SOOOO much better than the Boschs ever did, so who cares if you have to run them more often because less fits in? At least that's the conclusion I've come to.

And, honestly, the third silverware rack IS better and the top rack holds a lot more than the Bosch's top rack, so it probably all balances out. Big pots and pans don't fit quite as well with the shorter height and layout, but little things like the vase flip-up for tall glassware (genius idea and perfect for wine decanter) and the way this cleans glasses--also love the "bottom rack intensive" mode--is superior in every way.

With my Bosch, by the end, I was rewashing about 1/3 of things I put in it ... And that's with soaking wash arms, cleaning filters daily, using rinse aid and dishwasher cleaner and LemiShine and every other trick I could find.

With the Mieles I think I've rewashed one thing in three months and every time I've checked the fine filters I've found them nothing but clean. I've also quit using all the extra stuff and gone back to just the Grabgreen eco-friendly packets and they still work and clean great. I'm using Miele brand rinse aid and softener salt for now, because I've still got what came with the machines.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 6:45PM
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I've had a Miele dishwasher for 7 years and love it. (It's the Excella Series G 2630 SCi.) It's very quiet, especially if you close the drains in the sink while it is running. I chose this brand because it was the only one I could find that we could hook up to cold water so that we could have the china and crystal cycle. It has a built in water softener and a no heat drying or condensation dry feature. Some people don't like this feature but I prefer it. I don't mind a few puddles on the cups and glasses. I have never had any problems with it and do not have etched glasses any more. The included water softener took care of that. You might need a professional installer because there is some setup involved with the water softener.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 11:13PM
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Thanks all for your input. Here is my update on our research and final verdict:

Meile comes up again and again as the best performing dishwasher. We thought we had settled. But just to make sure, we visited the Miele showroom in Princeton NJ where they have every model on display. They have their own sets of dishes and glass and pots and pans you can load and arrange. Plus I brought some of my own, and our all important half sheet pan, which we use for roasting many nights a week. The sales woman was sure our sheet would fit in no problem; my husband tried it and shattered one of their dine glasses doing so. When I saw their dishes loaded with a pot and a pan, I laughed. The size of their pot and pan were something you'd see in a dorm suite kitchen - so tiny. All of their solutions to our space problems would have resulted in us doing two loads just to do our dinner dishes and pots.

As my husband and I continued to wander the store, we saw their fridges, which are sooo enourmous it is impossible. I asked, "How does someone who has this much food in a fridge do their dishes in your tiny dishwashers?" Her answer is that most people who have Miele fridges have 2 Miele dishwashers. (And at $15k for a fridge they probably have a maid doing the dishes too.)

I adore my Miele vac and thought I would love having a DW too, but it just did not make sense because of the size. On the way home we swung by Sears. They had a new Bosch on display and it fit our pots and dishes beautifully. I know that it will not hold up as well as a Miele, but it is much more practical for us. We ended up ordering it from a local business instead of Sears. The 5-year waranty is $150 and they give you half back in 5 years if you have not needed the service.

I will keep you posted on how it works once it is installed.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 5:00PM
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I've just ordered the SHV7PT53UC - - $1,440. Here's hoping it is decent. I was disappointed to find out that it's not made in Germany. Also, it has AquaStop, but not AquaStop® Plus (4-Part Leak Protection), Works 24/7. It lacks the Fine China Wash, but does have Delicate/Economy Wash. It has 'Glass" option, but cannot be used in combination with Delicate Wash.

The interior does seem very small, but hope the third rack helps, along with proper loading. I normally hand wash pots and pans anyway - but like to clean colanders and splatter screens in dishwasher. Will be back in six months to post results!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Well thanks to all the valuable postings on this website, I have made a decision. Although I have a KitchenAid cabinet depth refrigerator and a KitchenAid convection range, both of which I have been very happy with, I opted to buy a Miele G4225BK for the dishwasher, their lowest cost Classic line washer, at $899 from American Appliance here in Northeast Wisconsin.

Nice sturdy racks, nice rollers, flexible dish placement, pretty quiet, and at this website and others, few complaints for reliability for a machine that I primarily use as a sanitation device.

Who knows, maybe I will change my methods at let the dishwasher do more of the cleaning.

Anyhow thanks for all the honest advice and in particular the KitchenAid folks who shared their honest experiences, unfortunately not what I had hoped for.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 7:30PM
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