Recommendations For Dishwashers Without Stainless Steel Tubs

shortyrobynJune 25, 2012

Our 16 year Kitchenaid seems to be dead (leaking). The plumber is coming tomorrow to see if there's an easy fix (like a new hose). Assuming there isn't - we'll need a new dishwasher.

I definitely want a dishwasher without a stainless steel tub. Because of our water quality (even with a water softener - the dishwasher will leave spots all over flatware unless I take it out during the rinse cycle and dry it by hand). I don't want a dishwasher that will look terrible after I use it once or twice. Nor do I want a new household chore (cleaning the inside of a dishwasher - I haven't cleaned mine in 16 years!).

So have any of you had fairly recent experiences with dishwashers like this? Good or bad? So much has changed in terms of dishwashers since I last bought one that I really don't know where to start. Note that price isn't important (I don't think it's possible to buy a really expensive dishwasher without a stainless steel tub).

Thanks in advance for sharing with me - whether you're giving your dishwasher a thumbs up or thumbs down. Robyn

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Things are different now than 16 years ago. You may be surprised at how much quieter, longer-cycling, and better your new dishwasher is than the old one. The DW detergent is different as well now.

So I wonder if maybe you can solve the (old) problem of spots and having to hand dry your flatware with the right new machine.

I'm not sure, because here the water is good. But you may want to look in to a DW model with its own water softener (or add a whole house water softener), and select a DW detergent that works well with hard water. Certainly Miele and higher-end Bosch, and perhaps KitchenAid DWs are generally well liked here.

Perhaps others with have more specific suggestions that can help, even if you end up with a stainless steel tub (that stays clean and doesn't require hand drying)...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 4:34PM
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In shopping for dishwashers last weekend, I ran across these two: Whirlpool Gold GU2275XTV and Whirlpool Gold GU2300XT.

Both have plastic tubs, both seemed to be reasonably well built and both get pretty good ratings from Consumer reports. According to CR's surveys, Whirlpools supposedly have the fewest problems of any brand.

I only know one person who owns one of these (sorry, do not recall which one). She has had it for about a year and had no problems with it, for whatever that is worth. By no problems, I mean: she has very hard water; her dishes get clean and dry; and the thing has not broken down. She lives out of town in an area known to have terrible water -- is is both sulphurous and alkaline. So far, the dishwasher does not seem to need scrubbing down.

That said: I know other folks out there who have stainless tubs (kitchenaid, Bosch and Asko), and none of them seem to have any particular problems with spotting cookware or buildups in the dishwasher. So, I am unclear as to how spotting on flatware (stainless steel flatware?) would be any worse with a stainless tub than a plastic tub.

Do you use a rinse agent like Jet Dry? Maybe you've got water so hard that, as they say, it shatters rather than splattering when you spill some? Or is it, maybe, very alkaline?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 4:51PM
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Sorry I haven't replied sooner. When I found out my installer was going on vacation tomorrow for a week - I had to go into high gear. Hard to do during TS Debby - but I managed. Bottom line is I wound up with a Maytag MDB4709PAW. Excellent deal at Lowe's. $360 + free next day delivery and removal of old machine. Bought extended warranty (I don't think anyone should buy any major appliance today without an extended warranty - there are too many expensive electronics in them that seem to fail).

Anyway - I just ran it through its first cycle. It runs a little longer on a normal cycle than my old machine (2 hours versus 90 minutes). The flatware seems to have come out without spots. Will see what happens after some additional use. Perhaps the rinse aid dispenser on this machine is better than the dispenser on my old machine (or maybe the old one was broken). Or maybe those newfangled flatware holders work better than the old fashioned kind. Whatever - I'll take it if it works.

FWIW - I rejected the Bosch in part because it doesn't have a dry cycle. Perhaps the Bosch system of drying things works in some areas - but I live in Florida (very high humidity) and question how well it would work here.

Note that I was concerned about having problems with the SS tub itself - not the flatware. I can solve the problem with the flatware by hand drying the flatware - can't solve any problems with the SS tub as easily. So I asked everyone I knew here who had a SS tub about their experiences with them. They all spot/stain/film - even with a whole house water softener (which we have) - and use of a rinse aid (which I use). Our water isn't only hard - it's full of minerals and is very alkaline. So I was concerned that any problems I'd have with the tub would be worse than the problems I've had with the flatware.

Anyway - we'll see how things go. Thanks for your help. Robyn

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 4:13PM
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you've made a great choice. The dealer I work for sells, installs and services Maytag machines. This particular model was just released and is part of a cosmestically updated line of machines. They are all known for their performance and value.

As you've noticed; it will take longer, but the unit uses a 1/3 of the water and energy of your old machine and does the job. Hard to believe but true.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 7:46AM
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Hi dixiedarlin1. Fingers crossed on my part. Just put the DW through its second cycle today (we don't generate that many dirty dishes - but I want to give the machine a few test drives). Today I tried shiny flatware (yesterday was matte). Not a spot on the flatware (although it was so clean I could see all the little scratches on it :( ). Also no spots on the plastic pieces from my food processor (and they were dry when I removed them). My old machine always left spots on the food processor parts.

Two observations. Either the rinse aid dispenser is small - or this machine uses a lot of rinse aid. Seems like one fill will last for about 3 "normal" wash cycles. Also - although everything in the machine came out clean and dry - the machine itself had some damp spots. So I think it's a good idea to leave the door open for an hour or so to let the inside dry out completely (like I do with my washing machine). Don't know if there's anything in the machine that can develop mold or mildew. But - if there is anything - here in Florida it *will* develop mold or mildew if left dark and damp.

And one question (since you're in the business). On the top rack - right front - there is a little flip down shelf. Can't figure out what the heck it is. Called Maytag and Maytag said it is a holder for stemware. If it is (I don't think it is) - I can't figure out any way to make it work. Do you happen to know what it is? If I can't figure out how it will be useful for us - I'll remove it.

BTW - I don't know about most people. But I don't much care about energy or water efficiency when it comes to an appliance like this. Since a huge % of our electric bill goes to HVAC - and a huge % of our water bill goes to irrigation. I think TS Debby saved us more on our water bill in one month than this appliance will save us for its useful life ;).

Finally - things seem pretty quiet here today. Which may mean that a lot of posters were hit hard by those storms yesterday and/or are without power. I hope those people get their power back soon - and that they can get any necessary damage repairs quickly. About the only person I know who I suspect was happy about that storm is the owner of our tree service company. He probably had some of his trucks on their way to the affected area(s) last night. Our local roofing companies would have been happy too. Except all were already happy - and booked weeks in advance as a result of roof leaks/problems caused by TS Debby. Take care, Robyn

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 4:55PM
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if you filled your dispenser with the sample size of rinse aid included with the machine, that is just enough for a few loads. A regular size bottle of rinse aid will fill the dispenser full and that usually is good for a couple of months use.

If you have soft water, you should adjust the dispenser down from setting 2 or 3 to #1. That should be plenty and help conserve the rinse aid. To improve drying of plastic items and the tub, you might consider Finish Turbo drying agent. It is Finish Jet dry rinse aid, but further helps drying.

The flip shelf folded down is for an extra layer of mugs, coffee cups, custard cups. You can rest the stem of a wine glass against its scalloped edge to stabilize.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 7:20AM
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Nope - filled the rinse aid dispenser with a regular sized container. Whatever. If I have refill it every 3-4 washes - and everything I wash comes out looking fine - I'll take it.

I don't want to fiddle with anything now - since everything I am washing is coming out fine :).

Our cheap stemware - Crate and Barrel stuff - fits fine on the regular racks. Our expensive crystal stemware (which we bought 20+ years ago and don't use that often and usually wash by hand - doesn't seem to fit). Will continue to fiddle with it. And if it doesn't work out - so be it. Not any way near a deal-breaker

Thanks for all your help. Robyn

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 8:16PM
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You can use white vinegar(according to Miele's European Owner's Manuals) instead of commercial rinse aid.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:17PM
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dan188 - Please tell us more about the Miele Euro manual.... so they safe saying vinegar is a rinse aid substitute? I would like to know more. Thanks! Tina

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:19PM
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Sorry, misworded that, I am just asking if Miele says vinegar is a fine substitute for rinse aid. Do we just fill the dispenser with that? I am currently using Finish power ball tabs. Have always used 1 mL of Miele rinse aide but wondering if I can do without or perhaps this new vinegar idea. Thank you! Tina

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:28PM
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Vinegar may have some mild effect, but it's not a full substitute for rinse aid in cutting the surface tension of the rinse water and promoting evaporation.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 12:10AM
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looking for new DW for our daughter who has 4 mo old baby--lots of plastics in their wash loads now that the old DW is not getting dry...and since she lives in Gulf coast FL area, air drying is PITA...
How is your unit working after a few months of use?
Still happy with it?
Any issues with Lowe's service policy--
don't they contract that out to different service people in area depending on when you call for help?

Our daughter is in the Venice/Nokomis area south of Sarasota
Not many larger independent appliance stores here so they are likely to buy from Lowe's...
Appreciate the update...

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 10:24AM
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