What is the best dishwasher?

serenamcDecember 28, 2007

We are getting ready to build our retirement home in North Carolina. I'm researching kitchen appliances at present and need some help with dishwashers. Obviously clean dishes is the number one need and I prefer having the options to air dry or heat dry. I'd prefer a tall tub also so that I can accomodate large platters etc. I also want a soft food disposer rather than the filter that has to be hand cleaned such as on the Bosch. We would like it to be as quiet as possible too. I read about Asko but saw lots of negative reviews and it's very pricey.

Any suggestions would be helpful.



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Uh-Oh we bought the Asko but have not installed as yet. Of course the salesperson was very convincing that it was QUIET and efficient. Won't have it hooked up for a while but hope I haven't wasted my money. I did some online research before purchase and did not see the negative stuff.Hope you find the right one for you.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 1:10PM
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WE have the Asko- and I LOVE it! If you'd told me a year ago, I'd be excited about a DW, I'd have said you were crazy!

It is SO quiet, I can put it on as we sit down to dinner (in the same room). No worries about turning it on before we head to bed (our MB backs on to kitchen).

As for CLEAN, I washed a wine glass in the first load, and when I put it back in cupboard, I was SHOCKED at how much cleaner and shinier it was than the other wine glasses in the cupboard. I actually went and did a load of just (previously cleaned) wine glasses! The tall tub and the extra two mug/short item racks on the top rack allow for tons more dishes- we seem to go through more glasses and mugs than anything else. I love the stemware holder, and find the arrangement of tines in the racks very condusive to fitting in lots of odd shaped items.

It comes with the longest manufacturer's warranty out there (I believe), so that tells you something about reliability in my opinion.

I've had lots of comments on how sleek and neat looking it is too (mine is in white).

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 2:16PM
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We have had our new Kitchen Aid dishwasher for several months, and we never hear it run. It seems to hold fewer everyday dishes than our old Whirlpool, a result of the way the new racks are arranged, but all the dishes are very clean.

We thought we wanted one model but wound up buying another after we took our own dishes to the appliance store to test how they fit into the brands and models. I recommend you do that with three of each size (sometimes they nest strangely beyond two) plate and bowl, the platters you mentioned, and maybe even some glassware, to be sure your items fit in correctly. And if you have extra long knives, take some of those along also. The differences between models and brands were startling.

(We also took favorite cookie sheets and roasting pans oven shopping, some empty containers refrigerator shopping, and cardboard disks of large pan bottoms cooktop shopping. The salespeople said too few people do that and many complain later about the sizes of the appliances they've chosen.)

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 2:21PM
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ALL of your requirements can be met with a KitchenAid. I love ours. Can't hear it is running and it's sleek and pretty too.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 2:25PM
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Raehelen - Whew Glad someone likes their Asko. Thanks for the response.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 3:12PM
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I concur with teedup1 - KA meets all of your needs. I've had an "S" model for 5 years now and am very pleased - cleans and dries well and it's very quiet.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 3:20PM
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Consumer Reports likes Kenmore, Asko, and Kitchen Aid. While they aren't the 'be all, end all'; they usually have a pretty solid perspective on the more tangible elements of performance.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 5:25PM
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I'm happy for the people who are satisfied with their Kitchen Aid dishwasher, but mine was the worst buying decision I made -- and the company stonewalls you when you have a problem. Or at least they did me.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 5:47PM
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Another vote for KitchenAid here -- we are very happy with ours. Just the basic model, but it's quiet and cleans well. Also has option to heat or air dry.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 6:14PM
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I know you want the heat dry option, but you should still consider the Meile if you want the best dishwasher. We are amazed at how our glasses, and flatware look like now. The dishes are dry when it's done, so I don't know why someone would need a heat dry option. As far as being quiet, that can be a bad thing. All three kids, and I have opened it while it was running.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 9:08PM
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We bought an Asko mainly because they now have one with a simple inset handle that we loved for the appearance - but it was between Asko and Meile. My only beef with the Asko is that I can not drain it, nor run just the heat if any water gets into it (we use it as a dish drainer when not running it for dishes). I would have thought there would be more options for the price, which costs almost as much as any car we've ever purchased!!


    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 9:25PM
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IMHO- The best is MIELE.
I love mine!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 9:43PM
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I ditto bob411 & artteacherNJ...Miele is, IMHO, the best.

Seriously. We purchased one based on reviews here & have not been disappointed AT ALL. Honestly, my dishes havn't looked this good since they were new. I was just telling DH today how much I love this darn machine, LOL!


    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 11:55PM
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We love our Miele Excella. We installed KitchenAid in our previous home about 2 years ago, & it performed OK, but we like Miele much better. It cleans better, loads better, and is much quieter.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 1:05AM
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I've had a good miele and a bad miele: I prefer the good miele.

Seriously, the first one just wasn't very competent when it came to washing.

The second one is sooo quiet, and more than competent.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 1:13AM
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I am one of those who never thought a dishwasher would excite them much but I too have found our new Miele to be exceptional. Dishes are are cleaner than ever and it is extremely quiet. I have had people over who saw the light on and they had to ask if it was working. It does not however have all of your specifications. There is no heater element. I have not found this to be a problem. Dishes come out drier than they did with our last dishwasher that had a heating element. There is also no soft food disposer. This was a feature I too really thought I wanted and almost bought a KitcheAid for that reason. Now I am glad I did not. If you want versatile loading, clean dishes and quiet I would recommend the Miele. If you really must have the heating element and soft food disposer then KitchenAid is probably you're best bet.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 1:53AM
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i'm surprised there aren't more Bosch lovers. We happened on to our first bosch at a sears outlet for a steal 8 years ago - and i've now bought 5-6 of them (we buy & renovate - so each one is still going strong, just 6 renovations since then). I love bosch. and the latest consumer reports rates bosch as #1. they are so quiet, they work great, stainless steel tubs/parts - anything else looks/feels cheap to me now. and i just can't get over how quiet they are are.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 5:34AM
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FWIW, the filter in the Bosch is not a problem at all. It's easy to remove and replace, and although I thought it would be a sort of disgusting job to clean it out, it's not. A quick rinse under the faucet every once in a while, and it's good to go. The whole process takes maybe a minute, doesn't need to done very often, and my dishwasher is never smelly. The dishwasher is very quiet, too. Mine was running on Christmas Day when my mother-in-law, who was standing right beside my Bosch, told me that she'd take care of loading the dishwasher. The Bosch also leaves dishes just as dry as my former heated-dry Maytag did.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 8:04AM
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Another vote for Kitchen Aid. My only regret is that I did not get the one with the countdown timer on the door. The model I got has a solid stainless front and the indicator lights are on top of the door. I can never tell when it done drying. I don't think mine is all that quiet, though I can easily carry on a conversation when it is running.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 9:22AM
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Just wanted to add that I hated my Frigidaire. It did not clean well and the stainless door cover kept falling off. My relatives with the same dishwasher in bisque reported the same door cover issue.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 9:25AM
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I thought I was buying "the best" dishwasher when I bought a top of the line Miele Incognito three years ago. I did have reservations though based on some of the complaints I read here - mostly about drying. I went ahead with it anyway - reliability and something that would last were important to me. I figured I could live with a little wetness if it was exceptional in those other ways.

In my case the Miele has been quite disappointing - the old Maytag I had actually performed better at a fraction of the cost of the Miele. The Miele does have some very nice features that I like - quiet, cutlery tray, can load plastic and glasses anywhere, energy efficient. However you can probably get most of that in a less expensive DW. In my case the dishwasher etches my glassware and all the corrective action taken to prevent that from happening results in other dishes not getting clean.

So I bought a very expensive dishwasher with the idea that it was so sophisticated and well engineered that I could wash everything in it - from pots and pans to china and crystal - and paid for a model with all the cycles to do so. In the end I can use one cycle that isn't too hot so it hopefully won't etch my glasses. I'm not sure that is even working. All the new glasses I've purchased seem to be getting etched again. I'm resigning myself to having an eclectic collection of mismatched glassware - as I throw the etched ones away one by one and replace with something new.

Bottom line - I'd seriously recommend NOT getting a dishwasher engineered to soften the water - if you have whole house softened water - which is probably not too common. I have well water - unusable if not softened.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 12:15PM
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Gibby-- So, do I understand that your problems with your Miele dw are due to the water softener you use?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 4:51PM
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bosch baby. bought the top of the line $1300 bosch 3 motnhs ago and its just awesome. cleans like a dream have to as quiet as mouse to hear it. cleaning the filer is easy and takes 20 seconds

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 7:38PM
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Cleaning the filter is really easy. It's not a major item - wonder where you got that idea?

Ours is going on three years and not the slightest hint of a problem!

Enjoy the journey.

eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 8:05PM
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These days almost all dishwashers clean well so generally the differences are features, quietness, interior style, etc. Best is a subjective term - certainly Miele has the cachet - but KA, Bosch, Asko all work fine unless you end up with a lemon.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 8:42PM
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I just thought I'd add that I really dislike my Maytag. Its only 3 years old and we've already replaced the same part on it at least 3 times. I think last time we went ahead and ordered 2 of the parts, one for then and one for next time it breaks. Dishes are always very wet, and sometimes not very clean. I've taken bottles out only to find lots of little food particles all over inside the bottle. I know they weren't there to begin with. And quiet? Not so much.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 9:12PM
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Just for fun I thought I would add that dh and I are going on our 13th YEAR for our Kenmore dishwasher!!! I am afraid to even mention it since we will be selling next spring. We have never had one problem with it, however, it is not real quiet! It has a touch pad and LED screen that still works; I am amazed and it was not "top of the line" right around mid range in price. I think it is probably just luck but we may get another someday!!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 9:58PM
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Uh-Oh......The wife and I just went out and bought the appliances for the house we are building. We ended up going GE profile on everything including the dishwasher after changing our minds from the Bosch.
Worried that not one person on this thread mentioned GE.
Any positives or negatives out there on the GE profile DW???

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 11:13PM
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sjerin - no, I wouldn't say the problem is with my water softener - since I had no problems with my old Maytag dishwasher and the same water softener. Best I can tell is that the Miele dishwasher is engineered for hard water and it has difficulty functioning optimally with soft water.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 11:44PM
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These days almost all dishwashers clean well so generally the differences are features, quietness, interior style, etc.

Sadly, this isn't true. The Frigidaire mid range (~$600) we put in a year ago is hands down the WORST dishwasher I've owned or used. It's definitely worse at washing dishes than the 10yr old bought-on-craigslist PORTABLE dishwasher it replaced. It's VERY unlike DH to consider replacing a new or near new item (often regardless of how well it works) and we've had several discussion about replacing it. If we weren't moving in the spring we probably would be replacing it. I had a hard time talking him into this DW (he wanted something in the $300 range) but I don't think we'll cheap out on a DW again.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 1:23AM
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My cheap Frigidaire has been pretty decent, though the door cover had to be tightened up a couple times.

I'm afraid I'd have to agree that cleaning isn't always so good in new machines: so much emphasis on quietness, water and energy conservation that the machines end up trying to do a lot with limited resources.

Since I mentioned CR earlier, maybe I should follow that up by saying that their new 'user reveiws' often disagree with the editor's picks, and few DWs have uniformly positive user experiences.

I'm finding this a surprisingly difficult decision to make...

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 5:19AM
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Add another vote for a Bosch dw here. Compared to our previous Maytag where you couldn't be on the phone and hear when it was running our Bosch is heaven. Quiet as a church mouse. We did not get the top of the line dw. I don't want to pay for features I wouldn't use. It's quiet, cleans all the dishes, pans, etc. the first time through and I don't find cleaning the strainer a chore. (Not one to rinse the dishes before loading here). The one company I would not buy an appliance from is GE. Husband use to work for them years ago. Even though we still get a good discount on GE products we purchase anything but. The quality just is not there. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 5:30AM
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We have the top-of-the-line Bosch and we love it. I was sceptical at first about the filter. It's been over a year, and I have had no need to clean it yet. The machine is whisper quiet, I think the quietest one made, and a high quality machine all around. AND, it's made right here in North Carolina, which gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 9:12AM
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LOL. Well, as you can see, there is no ONE best dishwasher. I have the Miele Optima and I love it. I really don't mind the filter. I knock the larger food pieces into the garbage disposal and I only occasionally need to clean the dishwasher's filter. To clean the filter, I just grab the handle to pull it out of the dishwasher, open the bottom trap and rinse it in the sink. At most I find an onion slice or something like that. It's not a big deal and makes for a quieter dishwasher.

The worst dishwasher I ever had was a Jenn-Air (made by Maytag). Horrible and very noisy.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 9:24AM
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beachlily z9a

Our first Bosch blew the circuit board and the board couldn't be repaired or replaced (they said this machine was one of less than 500 built and they couldn't provide replacement parts). Our appliance dealer stepped up and convinced Bosch to replace the unit. They upgraded us but 4 years 8 months later that one had brain fade and it flooded our kitchen and livingroom. Now we have 2 F&P dish drawers. They aren't are quiet as the Bosch but they do a fantastic job and we have the advantage of having 2 separate dw. We also have a moisture monitor below the drawers.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 10:01AM
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Gosh, thanks for the flood of help. It looks as if Miele, Bosch and KA will be my considerations. It doesn't sound like the filter cleaner is the big deal I thought it might be. Is the Miele as easy to clean as the Bosch?

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 12:37PM
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Gibby did you ever try those Miele tabs? I've been using 1/2 for each load and haven't had any etching at all since I went with the tabs. I don't use a whole one so they haven't been any more expensive than the other usual suspects. I get them from ABT in Chicago; free shipping and bundle with the vacuum bags.

Sounds dopey, I know, but it works.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 3:23PM
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Does anyone know the model numbers and where you can buy the Miele and Bosch? Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 7:06PM
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