Looking for a dishwasher that actually washes dishes

enjoyinglife365August 3, 2012

I am looking for a good reliable dishwasher that does and excellent job washing dishes. I would prefer no electronics, if that exists. Actually, I would prefer a time machine so that I can go back 30 or 40 years and bring back a good dishwasher. :) In the absence of a time machine, I will take the closest to old technology that I can get.

I don't need a bunch of bells and whistles. I prefer not to have to use jet dry or other special agents. Thank you.

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Sophie Wheeler

Look at the mitts on the end of your arms then if you don't want "electronics". Even 1970's DWs had electronics. That is a stupid and unrealistic requirement for something that relies on electronics to actually do it's job.

Pretty much any modern DW above $400 does a pretty darn good job at washing dishes if your water is hot enough, you use an enzymatic detergent, don't prewash, and use a drying agent. If you are adamant about not satisfying all of those requirements, then you will have poor results. And it won't be the DW's fault. If you can't follow directions, then hand wash and give up on machine washing your dishes.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:24PM
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Well, things are not quite as "Bleak" as the above poster mentions.

Just stick to buying a low to mid priced DW that has a heater drier in it, like most of the machines used to have.
Many Kitcheaids still use heated drying and don't rely on condensation like the "Fancy Machines" do, like my Miele.

If you have hard water then any machine, even a 40 year old one will leave spots on glasses etc so either you will need a water softner or Jet dry and perhaps both.

The Big problem, really a much bigger problem than the
"new fangled computerized machines" is the Soap.
They took the phosphates out and who knows how much other "Help: the soap makers have had from both US and State Governments---anyway if you read much here in GW, You will see A Lotta "Soaps" and they aren't all "Happy Tails"!

Good luck on your hunt.

Dodge leaves to try to find that Online "Personality Course" The poster above has been taking.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:59PM
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The other difference is that the new machines are supposedly more energy and water efficient which means that a normal cycle takes about 2 hours instead of 45 minutes. I'm willing to believe that they use less water but I'm a bit skeptical that they use less electricity.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:25PM
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Well, I disagree with hollysprings that "Pretty much any modern DW above $400 does a pretty darn good job at washing dishes". I have always set my water hot enough, used a rinse agent, and recommended detergent. During our reno 3+ years ago, we upgraded to a Meile Optima, because our previous $900 Kenmore was a dud from the day it was installed. While the Meile is better, it still has issues with teacups and any type of baking dish. I never do pots and pans in the DW, as I know they will never get cleaned.

In the 25 years I have had DWs, in three different countries, I have NEVER had one that comes anywhere close to getting dishes as clean as I can get them by hand.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:34PM
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I have a Kenmore Elite which is a Whirlpool, I believe. I have had no trouble with it since it was installed 12/2005. I does a great job washing and runs for 45 minutes or so, but I don't pay attention. When I used Seventh Generation I did not have etching of glassware, but since buying Finish, I have some mild etching. Presumably I'm using too much detergent. I do use a rinse aid, but filling the little container a couple of times per year doesn't seem all that demanding. I turn off the heated dry to save energy and just let the dishes dry over night before emptying it

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 1:13AM
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I used to have a Kitchenaid. It was from about 1988, and it had this speckled enamel interior, which I was told is a sign of "the old kind of dishwasher." I loved it, and it lasted almost 20 years. When I finally had to give it up about 4 years ago, I had to get a Maytag because it was the only one that would fit under my 35" counter. As someone mentioned, it takes forever! I always run it on "Light Wash" because that's only 81 minutes. So if some of the glasses on top don't get clean, it's really my own fault. I also forget to refill the drying agent. I miss that Kitchenaid! I hope when this one finally dies, Kitchenaid is still using a heater drier. I'd definitely get one again if it were anything like my old one.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 1:04PM
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We bought an Elextrolux a year ago on the recommendation of the appliance sales women (she owns one) and could not be happier. It cleans very well and is also very quiet.
One tip they give before starting a load of dishes, run the hot water in your sink until the water coming from the tap is hot; then shut off the faucet and start the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 1:46PM
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I also run the hot water in my sink before starting the DW. We also have our hot water heater set high so the water is really hot. My KA gets everything spotless including pots and casseroles. I do not prewash.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 3:50PM
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My 10 year old Bosch is still running strong and cleaning very well at my friends house. Never had a service call. Bought a new Bosch 7 months ago for our remodel. It cleans and dries exceptionally well and it's so quiet.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:21PM
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My new kitchenaid does an amazing job of cleaning everything from caked up pots to wine glasses at the same time. And everything comes out dry, including plastics. Aside from the amount of time required I could not imagine what would make it even better....

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 11:00PM
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We have an LG stainless 6920 with stainless inside tub and hidden controls for at least 3 years, and it is excellent. However, the Conusmer Report reviews are not good for reliability, but we have had no problems. Perhaps we got a good one. Also considered Bosch and KA at the time.

I always hand-wash pots and pans. It does take two hours to run through a normal cycle. I use Seventh Generation detergent and a vegetable-based rinse aid.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:08AM
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Our belatedly beloved kenmore of 21 years started leaking.
It had been running with one door spring for 5 years or so.

At first it made the worlds best drying rack.
We ordered a Miele, pulled the old kenmore and I put in the electrical outlet.

Sadly the appliance store was a master of prevarication, so we waited 2 weeks to get our credit card refund.

With no drying rack.

My wife then went to work and got an adjacent to the sink drying rack.

This has made all the difference in the world.
I know this sounds silly but we actually have fewer dirty dishes around now than with the dishwasher.

Your best bet is to find an older dishwasher on craigslist that is mint condition with an easy to fix fatal flaw and have it refurbished.

You might have problems finding this dishwasher but people are always remodeling and sometimes the appliances have not been used much.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:04PM
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" Actually, I would prefer a time machine so that I can go back 30 or 40 years and bring back a good dishwasher"

If it makes you feel any better, I have a 42 year old dishwasher (assuming it is the original in our 1970 built house we bought last summer, it's copper/brown and matches the oven) and while it does work, don't even think of leaving cheese in a pan or even yogurt on a spoon, it will still be there when it's done. :-)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:23AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I bought a Whirlpool dishwasher when our old one conked out on us. What a mistake. This was the worst purchase of an appliance I've ever made. I usually spend a LOT of time on research before deciding, but this time, I had some deadline I was working with and decided quickly.

This machine just does not wash dishes well in any way, shape or form. For the first time in my life, I am asking myself do I want to replace an appliance that is less than 5 years old. I also chose a stainless steel interior over the old enamel, thinking it would stand up to use better over time. This machine doesn't even keep the interior of the dishwasher clean. It always looks like it needs a cleaning and some of the screws that fasten the lining to the door even look a little rusty already. I never had to clean the inside of a dishwasher before, aside from clearing out any debris on top of the filter, or the outside edge of where the door closes.

I'm forever trying to pack the dishes in perfectly and spacing the silverware in the basket well, but it just doesn't make any difference at all. I pre rinse, which defeats the point of saving energy on the cycles. Plus despite pre rinsing, the dishes still don't come out acceptable for me. And I'm forever pulling out a piece of silverware that has food stuck on it. Forget about pans. I clean all mine by hand now.

I sometimes just pull out a dishpan and wash the dishes by hand.

Every other old dishwasher I ever had, did an amazing job in comparison to this poor excuse for an appliance.

If this is the best they can do with dishwashers, I am seriously thinking of leaving this one in place and going back to doing dishes by hand.

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Tue, Feb 19, 13 at 10:40

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 4:53AM
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THREE of our last FOUR dishwasher have lasted less than three months. Bosch, Zanussi and Hoover have all failed to detect fill water coming into the machine triggering an 'overflow' condition shutting the machine down. The Hotpoint machine lasted a few years then failed on electronics. E.g. a wash cycle would start in the wrong part of the cycle (e.g. final rinse). The Bosch was terrible - didn't reach everything in the baskets, took ages and was a big disappointment from day 1.

Yesterday, I bought an Electrolux COMMERCIAL dishwasher - as the company I bought it from advertised 'No electronics'. They lied :(
Anyway, the LONG wash cycle of TWO MINUTES does a pretty good job. I'd like to increase the wash times - which are possible - just awaiting instructions on how to do it.
I bought a commercial toaster several years ago - simply to get acceptable build quality - have now done the same with the dishwasher and suggest others do likewise.
It's a different way or working for washing dishes and despite similarities with domestic dishwashers, they do operate in quite a different way.
At least they don't use cold rinse water on hot dishes which can crack glazing.

Best of luck everyone!


This post was edited by pmailkeey on Thu, Apr 17, 14 at 9:48

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 8:33AM
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Bosch, because it's so just quiet.

Soap is the problem. They had to stop adding phosphates (?) several years ago.

But yeah, no electronics? Manpower.

It's the way forward.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 8:36AM
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