Recommend A Quiet Dishwasher
July 8, 2014 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Our current dishwasher is noisy, and in our greatroom-plan condo, it's far too noisy. We're willing to buy a good one to get the quiet, but we don't know how quiet we need it to be.

Our home is a "greatroom" plan: two bedrooms, and one large room with the kitchen at one end, living room at the other, and dining area in between. This means that when the dishwasher is on, fifteen feet away from us on the couch, it's noisy enough to avoid putting it on at all if we can help it. It's not a good washer, and the 1/2" particle board of the breakfast bar between it and us does nothing to insulate it.

So we're willing to pay for a good dishwasher to replace it that's quiet--but when we see ratings like "50 decibels" we have no idea if that will be sufficient. Bosch is still considered one of the top brands, so that's what we're looking at, but do we need a mid-range or a high-end Bosch with promises of near silence? It's not that we need not to hear it at all, it's just that if it's on, and we're watching TV, we don't want to need to crank the volume to hear it.
posted by fatbird to Shopping (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My parents have a GE Profile and it is amazingly silent. Like freaky quiet. It's worked perfectly for the past six years. They were seriously debating between that and a Bosch and are very happy. It's not the tip top of the line but maybe between mid range and top.

I have a similarly priced Maytag that was supposed to be just as quiet. It sounded worse than the cheapie in my last rental until the control panel died last week. I've only had it a year.
posted by checkitnice at 7:50 PM on July 8, 2014

My poor friend installed their new Bosch last week and he took it out and re-installed it twice before realizing that it was in fact running - he just didn't see the light on the floor. That's how quiet it is.

My parents also have a Bosch and it, too, is eerily quiet.
posted by sockermom at 7:57 PM on July 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I have a Bosch, in an open plan house. It's kind of a U shaped area, so there is sort of a wall between us and the dishwasher in the evenings, but it's not in a closed room. It's very quiet indeed and I'm very happy with it. I can hear it if I'm standing near it in the kitchen, but not in the living room part. It's a 500 series and was pretty expensive, but I feel totally worth it. On the door it says "silence plus 46dba"
posted by Joh at 7:58 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

We have a Kitchenaid Whisper Quiet. That it is.
posted by wrok at 8:03 PM on July 8, 2014

I have a seven-year-old bottom-of-the-line (or close to) Bosch, and it is extremely quiet. I can sometimes hear the water spraying from the next room if I have one of my big stainless steel bowls in there, but otherwise I hardly notice when it's running.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:05 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

we have a super quiet ASKO unit. you have to put your hand on it to tell if it is running.

anecdotal: my friends and family say that the quiet washers have extremely long cycles, and that this is sometimes a problem.
posted by bruceo at 8:14 PM on July 8, 2014

Bosch! My mother and my friend have Bosch dishwashers. You can only really hear it when the water is draining out. That's only because it drains into the sink pipes. Gets rid of all the food on the plates too.
posted by Neekee at 8:19 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

We just got a Kenmore Elite 12793.

It is quiet. Like, disturbingly quiet. If you stand right next to it, it sounds like someone very delicately swirling their hands in a bowl of water.

It actually is unnerving at times because I wonder what the gentle rustling is at the other end of the kitchen.

Honestly, I didn't care about a super-quiet dishwasher, but this one is quieter than I ever thought a dishwasher could be.
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:31 PM on July 8, 2014

Although, yes. As bruceo says, our dishwasher does have a very long cycle (like, 3 hours). It has a setting that is much faster (~1.25 hours) that uses a bit more water and electricity (and I think is a bit louder, but that could just be my imagination).
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:34 PM on July 8, 2014

My husband requires everything in the house to be quiet for Reasons; when we bought a new dishwasher, I got an online subscription to Consumer Reports for that month only, printed off the ratings (which include a loudness ranking), went to the store and chose the cheapest of the very quiet ones that still had decent ratings for everything else- we ended up with a lower-end Bosch and are happy with it.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:38 PM on July 8, 2014

We have a Miele and we can hardly hear it. The only noise it really makes is when it drains to the sink and that can be dealt with by putting a bowl of something over the sink drain, if you need to.

It isn't quick, the cycle takes about two hours, but it really is the quietest dishwasher ever.
posted by bondcliff at 8:53 PM on July 8, 2014

It isn't quick, the cycle takes about two hours, but it really is the quietest dishwasher ever.

Yep, have one of those too. Super quiet. You can have a conversation right next to it and I can sort of tell it's on but just barely. Love the thing.
posted by jessamyn at 8:58 PM on July 8, 2014

I have the cheapest Bosch and when I start it I sometimes find myself doublechecking if it really went on. That's how quiet it is.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:17 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm going to nth Bosch. We are always checking to see if it is actually running (ours has a little light that shines on the floor to let you know.)
posted by mamabear at 9:23 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

We have a Miele at work and I always open the damn thing while it's running because it's completely silent.
posted by makonan at 9:49 PM on July 8, 2014

My parents have a Bosch as well, and it is indeed very quiet.

Most dishwashers these days have a timer so you can set it to start at midnight or whenever, if that isn't likely to wake you, so that a few decibels here or there might matter less.
posted by Rumple at 9:57 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nthing Bosch. I have an open kitchen without doors to the dining room, and I can run it during dinner parties and no one knows it's on. It has a little red light beam on the floor to let you know it's on, because otherwise you wouldn't realize it was running. Gets the dishes super clean as long as you don't have hard water, too - since water sources changed, I add citric acid and it works like a charm.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 10:04 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

We installed a Bosch 800 last summer. I love it. It is very quiet, although depending what/how you've loaded it it can be louder. Steel bowls, for example, aren't quiet. And the red light that shows when it's running is mildly entertaining.

Run time, well, it cleans ok on the 1:25 hour "Eco" setting, but better on the 2:09 "auto" setting. In a pinch the 30 minute "express" setting gets things mostly clean. I've been using the Finish Quantum tabs that they gave me a sample pack of with the dishwasher, because they seemed to do a better job, even though they're spendy.

You do need to rinse out the filters in the bottom of the dishwasher every so often. It's not hard---just rinse the flat part off and detach the cylindrical part and rinse it out. Rinsing after every load would be better, but I don't do it that frequently. But the cleaning takes a noticeable hit if the filters are gungy.

I ordered mine from Lowes online, because they were significantly cheaper than Sears locally (and could get it to me the next week, rather than needing to wait a month for Sears. Your Stores May Vary.)

Also, the third rack for silverware is freakin awesome. I was totally suspicious, but really. It's the best. And you can load your silverware in it by type, that is, the teaspoons all next to each other, and the knives all next to each other...sure, it sounds crazy, but then when you're emptying the dishwasher, you don't have to sort the silverware. It's great.

I use the dishwasher every day. I'm glad we spent the extra money to get the fancier version, since now I'm a little tiny bit happier every time I have to interact with the dishwasher, rather than a little tiny bit grumpier.
posted by leahwrenn at 11:11 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, and--our kitchen and dining room are at two ends of one big room, and the living room is next to that with a big doorway (about the width of 3 doors) connecting it. I have no problem starting the dishwasher and remaining chatting in the kitchen. And you can't hear it at all in the living room.

Why yes, I really like my dishwasher.
posted by leahwrenn at 11:16 PM on July 8, 2014

We have this Bosch that we bought last Christmas after our 10 year old GE Profile drowned itself across the kitchen floor.

It's almost identical to leahwrenn's, except we don't have a red light. Ours projects the time remaining and little raindrop icons on the kitchen floor just beneath the dishwasher door to show it's running. You really do have to pay attention to it (we've opened it on several occasions mid-cycle). The only noise it makes is a very, very subtle showering sound of the water spraying my All-Clad pots. (And it took me a really long time to figure out that's what the noise was.) It also asks to be fed rinse aid on a kind of regular basis, maybe once a month.

I totally agree on all of leahwrenn's points (including the third rack!). One other note is that Bosch doesn't have heating elements in their washers -- they depend on the insulated interior's retained heat from the wash cycle to dry the dishes. To that end, the dishes are insanely hot after the cycle has finished. This is only an issue if you are trying to push through another load of dishes immediately and have to deal with a face-full of steam and wicked hot dishes/pots/pans/etc. Also, unless you use the speed 30 minute wash, the normal cycle is over 2 hours long. Not a big deal if you do it at the end of the night, but still...

So yeah, another HUGE thumbs up for Bosch!
posted by dancinglamb at 1:47 AM on July 9, 2014

Before you buy a new one, you should pull out the old one and verify that there is in fact sound insulation in there. My last dishwasher came with a blanket that wrapped around the entire unit before it slid into its final resting place. I can imagine without that blanket, or other sounds insulation (extra layer of sheetrock might really help, for instance) it would have been much noisier.
posted by Dashy at 4:42 AM on July 9, 2014

I should add that the blanket that came with the dishwasher was expressly designed for that purpose and unit - it was heavy, molded in shape, and made of probably fire-resistant stuff; I wouldn't stuff any old blanket back there.
posted by Dashy at 4:47 AM on July 9, 2014

I also have a Bosch 800 series that I got a couple months ago. I believe it was rated in the 40-44 dBA range (would have to look up my specific model). The loudest thing about it is a quiet clicking noise from the relays as it cycles up - the typical noise is a very quiet whoosh. My cabinet doors are currently off as I repaint the kitchen, so once those go back on I may not even be able to hear the startup clicking. I believe I paid $800-900 for it in stainless from Lowe's.

It cleans great even on the generic Walmart/Sams tabs - YMMV depending on your water supply. The red light is the best way to know if it's on. The silverware third rack is amazing - I was afraid it'd be a gimmick but it's fantastic.

My parents have had a very quiet Miele for upwards of 10 years now with no issues.
posted by bookdragoness at 4:55 AM on July 9, 2014

Nthing Bosch. Sometimes I'm suspicious it's running even when I SEE the red light. But, yes, light stops, dishes are clean. Freaky quiet.
posted by slipthought at 5:35 AM on July 9, 2014

I had installed a low- to mid-range Bosch and as everyone has said it was near-silent in an open plan house, plus it cleaned very well. The new place has some cheap and LOUD dishwasher that doesn't clean as well, and I am saving now to replace it as soon as possible.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:41 AM on July 9, 2014

Bottom of the line Bosch, and when I'm in the kitchen with it, I often can't tell that it's running except from the lights.

Ours also has a delay function which is very handy (I didn't think I'd use it as much as I do, but as others have noted, it takes a couple of hours for a cycle to run so I usually load the dishwasher up and set the timer for the middle of the night, when I won't be in the shower.)
posted by data hound at 6:08 AM on July 9, 2014

My parents gave their ten-year-old mid-range Bosch to my roommate. It still works great, and is still silent.

I have a two-year-old upper-end Bosch, and it's just as quiet.
posted by hmo at 7:14 AM on July 9, 2014

I can't recommend a specific dishwasher (although it looks like you're pretty well set in that regard) but I have to reemphasize data hound's suggestion to make sure you get one that has a delay start option. Especially if the new dw has a long wash cycle.
posted by 8dot3 at 10:10 AM on July 9, 2014

I've had a Bosch, my parents have one, and so do several people I know. Literally half of them LOVE their dishwasher, and the other half complain bitterly about them. Everyone agrees that they're unbelievably quiet.

If you buy a Bosch, get it from a place with a good return policy. Sears let us exchange ours after we had 4 service calls to try to fix the same problem -- I found it frustrating to go through all that. Hmm, I just realized that of course this suggestion is good when one buys any brand of any appliance! But my bad experience was with Bosch, so I'm standing by my answer.
posted by wryly at 10:30 AM on July 9, 2014

I have one of the Electrolux brands, and it is rather quiet. Top of their line, and $200 cheaper than the least expensive Bosch with a heating element. (And has a macerator which wasn't an option on the Bosch DWs as of 5 years ago) Problem is that it doesn't clean as well as the Bosch dishwashers do.

Thus, I say get the Bosch or live with the noise if your current machine cleans well.
posted by wierdo at 11:44 AM on July 10, 2014

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