Monday, June 29, 2009

Dishwasher Thoughts

I was recently talking to Tus. Trek. about the dishwasher that The Mister is getting me for my birthday (my 36th-- in 2008) and she wanted to know why I wanted one.
I was thinking it was rather obvious: I don't like doing dishes, I don't like dishes piled on the counter, dishwashers get some things really much cleaner than the Mister and I do, when used properly they save water, and I anticipate the dish load will go up with a larger family, but TT was truly surprised that I would want one.
Upon further discussion I learned that she has really only lived with crappy dishwashers; the kind that do waste water and time because things need to go in clean in order to come out clean and even then they might have big soap globs on them.
I know from experience that there are dishwashers into one can put unrinsed or barely rinsed dishes and expect really clean dishes to emerge, and there are those that are useless. But, I realized, I don't know if I could spot the difference before I buy.
So, I'd like your thoughts on brands and/or features of dishwashers that have worked well for you and thoughts on brands and/or features that were useless or worse. Thanks.


Beth said...

I got the same kind that my hubby has for my house in KS - we have the GE Triton XL. When I got mine I got the Home Depot version of it since it was less expensive. But the big features are 3 water swirly things - top, middle, and bottom, the internal disposal to eat any food left on items, and to make sure your dishes fit. I'm also a big fan of the delay timer so you can load it and run it later after morning showers for example. Also, check consumer reports for reviews on them if possible (or ask me and I'll send you those pages). The old dishwashers only had 1 spinny thing and that's not enough. I don't think the stainless steel really makes a difference other than looks - my mom has that and I think mine cleans better.

Jennifer said...

No suggestions about brands, but I am so happy to have one again. It is older and I would eventually like to replace it with a more efficient one.

Erin said...

I spent a lot of time pondering dishwashers in KS. I also recommend consumer reports. I ended up with a Whirlpool, can't remember the name (I think it was a DU model). Whirlpool has a good reputation with fix it guys for not breaking down as much as other brands. Kenmore is also good but can be more expensive. And the high end brands are probably good, but were outside my budget. These are the features I think are important: 1) must have a disposal; 2)I like the "tall tub" models - they can hold bigger pots, cookie sheets, etc.; 3) good energy star rating. Noise can be a factor depending on where your dishwasher is relative to your bedroom. Some are really loud. This wasn't an issue for me.

Some tips I learned for making them run efficiently: 1)run the hot water at the sink for 30 seconds or so before starting the dishwasher so the dishwasher doesn't use power to warm the water; 2)if you aren't going to run it right away, the rinse cycle uses very little water and will keep things from getting stuck.

Probably more of a dissertation on dishwashers than you wanted. But I hope that you won't have to waste as much time researching these things as I did!

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Thanks Beth and Erin-- that's exactly the kind of information I'm looking for.

Irene said...

Ours is a Bosch dishwasher, which we got when we moved into our house to replace the non-functional one in the kitchen. Can't recall the model offhand, but I could look it up later.

It has performed quite well for the 2.5 years we've owned it. It has, as Beth says, 2 spinny things, and various adjustable parts. It has an energy saver mode (which I think mainly just trims some time off the total, and maybe does less heat-drying). I like the fact that it can do a "quick wash" for dishes that aren't too dirty, or a super-duper wash for pots and pans.

It does a great job with everything except the truly stubborn dried-on or burnt-on gunk.

Because there will probably be some bottle-washing in your future, look for good ways to keep bottles from bouncing around in the top rack.