I need a new dishwasher!
August 26, 2013 8:15 AM   Subscribe

So, it seems my Whirlpool dishwasher has finally bitten the dust - rather than actually washing, it kind of groans for the entire "wash" cycle, without actually, you know, spewing any water onto the dishes and cleaning them. Unfortunately, my local appliance store closed due to the owners retiring, so I can't ask their expert advice. Has anyone here bought a splendid new dishwasher lately? I need recommendations!

I measured the existing washer, and it is 23 1/2" wide, 33 1/2" high, and about 24" deep. I have also looked at the AJ Madison appliance site (as previously mentioned on AskMe), but I would like to hear from people who are pleased with their dishwasher purchases, and why. Or, conversely, why not. Thanks in advance!
posted by PlantGoddess to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I guess I should add that I would prefer a black one - no interest at all in stainless steel, and white would look dumb in my kitchen.
posted by PlantGoddess at 8:19 AM on August 26, 2013

Derail: If you've already got your heart set on it, go ahead and get a new one. But the problem with your old dishwasher may just be that it's clogged up due to mineral deposits. You can buy cleaning solutions that you just put in the detergent compartment and then run the dishwasher empty, or you could dump a bunch of vinegar in there and run a cycle.

Apologies if you've already tried this.

And buying a shiny, new dishwasher is more fun, of course. :)
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:21 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was really happy with my Kitchen Aid for a few years until it prematurely needed a new control panel due to cheap broken plastic pieces, broken through no fault of ours. The repair and replacement would have been 1/2 the cost of a new dishwasher.

So on the repair technician's recommendation we went with the lowest end Bosch where we liked the handle and button placement. It was what we should have gone with last time. So much quieter it is amazing. The interior is slightly smaller due to the additional insulation for quiet. It does have very slight star symbols in a row across the front that I think are very odd but hard to notice the way our kitchen is designed.

And finally although you did not ask we went through Best Buy and it was a horrendous experience that took 6 weeks from beginning to end. Stay far away.
posted by RoadScholar at 8:22 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Fisher Paykel dish drawers. We bought ours on CL about 8 years ago.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:23 AM on August 26, 2013

This Sweethome article on the best dishwashers might be useful.
posted by immlass at 8:31 AM on August 26, 2013

Best answer: For a good deal on a dishwasher, I recommending checking out the Sears Outlet. They have great prices on their stuff and the installation guys were pretty fantastic. According to the site, they have 2 dishwashers in Richmond for $299.

Kitchenaid, Whirlpool and Kenmore are all made by the same folks. I've been VERY happy with my Whirlpool appliances and my Kitchenaid.

One cool thing about dishwasher colors worth noting. A lot of times the panel in front with the color on it is convertable. There's Black, Almond and White there. That also means you can remove the panel and put any kind of material on there you like. It used to be a cheap-o way of doing stainless to take the panel out and cover it, or just have a panel cut to size.

But black is ubiquitous so you shouldn't have any issues.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:45 AM on August 26, 2013

Bosch. I love mine- so quiet, reliable and squeaky clean dishes every single time.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 8:49 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: MexicanYenta: I would be willing to try the cleaning thing, although I'm not sure how it would work if there seems to be no water going around :)
The dishwasher in question was here when I bought the house 20 years ago, so I'm thinking it's maybe old age, and I should just bite the bullet and use the money I was saving for a trip to Portugal and get a new one :(

Everyone else: thanks for the answers thus far!
posted by PlantGoddess at 9:01 AM on August 26, 2013

Seconding the KitchenAid. We had one in our last house and liked it so much we bought another one to replace the ragged out one in the new house.
posted by jquinby at 9:02 AM on August 26, 2013

..ah, also - if you have an issue with hard water spotting/staining/films, another thread here on Ask turned us on to Lemi Shine and the stuff is an absolute miracle. We get it at Target.
posted by jquinby at 9:04 AM on August 26, 2013

We just replaced our Fisher Paykel DishDrawers (initially I loved them, came to loathe them after the 3rd $200+ repair in 6 years) with a Bosch. So much quieter and cleans better! I got the Bosch on the recommendation of multiple friends.
posted by Joh at 9:09 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: When our old Whirlpool died, we replaced it with a Bosch, and it's been amazing. Bosch is the last word on dishwashers for very good reason. Ours is reasonably low end, I think it cost $700 or so -- it definitely was comparable to the price of other, non-Bosch brands.
posted by KathrynT at 9:11 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

Bosch is really highly rated in Consumer Reports, even their lowest end models.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:24 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Bosch makes wonderful whisper-quiet models, so if you can spring for one of those, I recommend them. I believe they also make black models with stainless steel interiors, which makes for a longer lifetime for the unit.

However, I will give my customary advice here: since you want a black dishwasher, you may also have an opportunity to get a new dishwasher on the cheap. Thanks to the current obsession in the decorating world for stainless steel appliances, you can often find people unloading perfectly good, not particularly old (and sometimes new) white or black appliances for a song on Craigslist.

When my last dishwasher started to die, I checked Craiglist and found a new, never-used white dishwasher for $200 from some folks who, upon moving into their place, promptly tore out the new white appliances and replaced them with--you guessed it--stainless steel. In a case like this, you forego the warranty, obviously, but if price is a consideration, it's definitely a good thing to be able to get a $450-$550 unit for half price or less.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:32 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: +1 for Bosch. Just bought a SliencePlus three months ago and it's very quiet. Two disadvantages though.

One, it doesn't have a timer feature. I've read this is common with Bosch dishwashers. We used to do the dishes after dinner then set the timer to go off in the middle of the night because we didn't want to use the water while doing kids bath time. Now, we just have to "remember" to run the dishes before we go to bed. Doesn't always happen. :-)

Two, the lower rack is almost designed to have dishes put in one way and one way only. Small plates there, large plates here, and bowls over there. This doesn't always work for us and if you put a pan in the bottom or something irregular, it can "throw off" the organization of how dishes "should" be placed in there and waste space.
posted by Piano Raptor at 10:28 AM on August 26, 2013

Response by poster: Okay, I'm gonna look for a Bosch!
I was real happy with the Whirlpool(since it lasted so long), but seems like Bosch is the way to go! I will still look at other models(and thanks Ruthless Bunny for the naming tips), and if anyone else has good ideas, please let me know!
posted by PlantGoddess at 5:35 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just chiming in on the Bosch. I've had mine for about 5 years, and it never misses a beat.
posted by JaneL at 7:24 PM on August 26, 2013

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