Pick out my new dishwasher! Please!
May 14, 2020 9:09 AM   Subscribe

We need a new dishwasher and between the "incentivized reviews" and the sheer number of models I am completely unable to make a decision. Please help me. Requirements below the fold.

We are a family of four who cook many/most meals from scratch so we make a lot of dishes - usually 1-2 loads per day. I want Energy Star with a stainless steel tub and finish. Ideally it would have a filter that is easily accessed - the current one we have to take out screws etc to clean and I am done. I am don't want to have to rinse the dishes before hand (why even have a dishwasher). Being quiet is nice but not super necessary but being reliable is hugely necessary. I don't care if it can connect to my thermostat, phone, car or toaster - I just want to hit a button and an hour or so later have clean dishes. Our budget is ~ $1,000.

Links to the exact dishwasher you are recommending would be great. Thank you for your help!
posted by a22lamia to Home & Garden (27 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I followed Wirecutter's recommendation of a Bosch. It's not perfect - for example, a spoon with dried pancake came out dirty - but it's definitely the best dishwasher I've had.

Previously, and previously.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 9:15 AM on May 14 [8 favorites]

Seconding Bosch, mine has been rock solid for 4 years now.

You do need to scrape and pre-rinse heavy and sticky materials but I didn't consider it as bad a problem as it people make it out to be. Express cycles are 45 minutes (no drying), or two hours if you want the evaporate-dry. There is no heater coil to dry on the Bosch units but that also means you don't need to obey the upper-rack rule for plastics anymore. The 3rd row rack for cutlery is awesome. The filter is super easy to clean (you don't need to remove the rack and spray arm like this youtuber is doing)
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:26 AM on May 14 [4 favorites]

Thirding Bosch. I LOVE the third cutlery rack, no more touching dirty forks adding another one to the basket. We got the one with the auto-door-opener. Takes forever, but really cuts down on having to find a rack to air-dry the Tupperware in our tiny kitchen.
posted by foodmapper at 9:28 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]

Dishwasher cycle times have lengthened appreciably as water use is reduced. My dishwasher runs for 2.5 hours. on the Regular cycle. There's a Power Scrub cycle, more suitable for dishes that aren't well rinsed, that is even longer. It also has an an Energy Star rating, and I think water use is part of the metric when applying for that rating. With the cycle lasting so long, I appreciate that the dishwasher is fairly quiet. It's a Bosch. I'm not really that pleased with my model because the little tab for opening and closing the plastic door for a rinse agent snapped off and now I have to screw and unscrew my home-grown repair when the depot needs filling, but the dishes get very clean. I do rinse off the dishes and silverware, but not excessively. The filter is not an issue I've dealt with because the drain water is routed through my garbage disposal.
posted by citygirl at 9:29 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]

Nthing the Bosch, but with a caveat.

"an hour or so later have clean dishes" does not seem to be possible on modern, good, energy-efficient dishwashers (at least using the normal cycle). My Bosch takes just under 2.5 hours on its normal cycle. There is a "quick cycle" that supposedly takes about an hour and gives up some water and energy savings in the interest of time, but I haven't used it. Bosch is hardly alone in this; I had a KitchenAid dishwasher before this that was whisper-quiet (like, almost disturbingly quiet), but took over 3 hours to complete its cycle.
posted by Betelgeuse at 9:30 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]

I adore my Miele. Mine has a top-tier silverware tray and easy-to-clean filter dealio. The tray heights are easily adjustable, there's a great drop-down rail for wine glasses. Mine has a cabinet-front so most people don't even know it's a dishwasher, and it's really quiet.
posted by nkknkk at 9:32 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]

We've had a three rack Bosch machine for about five years. It's super quiet compared to any other dishwasher I've ever seen or heard, which is nice, but the tradeoff for that is that the internal jets are not very fierce; this machine relies completely on water temperature and detergent quality to shift gunk off dishes and it's not super good at shifting gunk that's been there long enough to dry on and stick hard. Not likely to be an issue for you if you're running it every day. Ours cleans a lot better if you pick the "Intensive - 65°C" option rather than the "Auto - 45-65°C" one.

Ours has also needed no repairs so far, though the drain pump has started to make a fairly concerning humming noise at startup.
posted by flabdablet at 9:34 AM on May 14

Adjacent review: when we replaced our crappy laundry equipment, we bought Miele. They were shockingly expensive (in Canada), but they are leagues better than anything else we've ever had. When we replace the dishwasher, we'll do the same.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:35 AM on May 14

+1 on the Miele. Every time I stay somewhere with a Bosch I'm disappointed.
posted by snickerdoodle at 9:38 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]

I recommend a dishwasher certified to NSF/ANSI(residential) certification standard 184 for sanitizing. Bosch has many. Each certified dishwasher available in the US is listed on the nsf.org website. See
for info on what the certification means.

Best Buy allows you to search their dishwashers by cert. 184 sanitizing.
posted by KayQuestions at 9:50 AM on May 14

We wanted Miele when we did some kitchen upgrades in 2018, but it was just too damn expensive. So we got Bosch's most "ultra-quiet" dishwasher from their 800 Series and (overall) have been very happy with it. With a budget of about $1,000, it should be doable.

The only small issues are that sometimes, if you take a few days to fully fill the dishwasher (as we do; we do take-out or dine out too damn much), it can start to smell in a way our previous dishwashers never did. I don't know why this dishwasher specifically does that, as we're putting the same general mix of dishes in there, but it does. Also, it can be finicky if you don't stay on top of cleaning out the filter (which is easy and doesn't involve screws . . . though it can be kind of gross). You'll know when you see that some of your dishes aren't really cleaned—but again, if you clean the filter regularly, this won't be a problem.

It DOES take forever to go through a cycle, as mentioned above. I haven't tried the quick wash, so I can't speak to that. But we pretty much always start the dishwasher at night, not long before we go to bed, so it's a non-issue. (And it being quiet as all hell helps, too.)
posted by CommonSense at 9:53 AM on May 14

We use ours about as much as you do. We also have the same bosch wirecutter recommends (we purchased it after a friend did, and were able to 'live preview' it) , and it has treated us very well. We have a small house, so a quiet model was necessary. Unless I'm standing in the kitchen, I can't even really hear it unless it's filling or draining. The "fast" setting (we call it the 'party' setting) is hit or miss.

It ticks most your boxes, except for the rinse thing; the filter can become clogged relatively easy (most notably with rice and ginger fibers over here). It's hard to reach, but actually getting the filter out to clean it is easy. It can handle most of the business when it comes to baked on shit, except we run into it not cleaning carmelized/carbonized bits from a roasting pan (there's not a good place to put it, and the stuff on it is just pernicious) I end up giving those a quick scrub before throwing them in, but by and large we just toss everything in there after giving each dish a quick scrape for large bits of food debris.

If you're into brewing or canning, I would look into each model's sterilization setting. I am so fucking stoked that ours has a true sterilization function that allows us to prep cans and bottles with minimal fuss and energy. It's made bottling and canning much much less of a chore and since this often coincides with hot months for us, helps keep the kitchen cool.
posted by furnace.heart at 9:57 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]

By "incentivized reviews" do you mean fake ones? If so, check out fakespot.com. Copy the URL of a product listing on Amazon, Best Buy or WalMart, then paste it into fakespot. The site uses algorithms which assess all the other reviews by those who reviewed the product you pasted, then gives an A to F grade for the overall quality of the reviews.
posted by Homer42 at 10:10 AM on May 14

Very happy with our Bosch. The only oddity is that if you hit the 'Quick30' button, it starts a 40 minute cycle.... which like.... couldn't you have just named it 'Quick40'? The quick cycle is effective in a pinch, but we're fine with the normal 2.5h cycle usually.
posted by so fucking future at 10:25 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]

I've got a Kitchenaid (KDTE204), and it's better than the Bosch I had in Chicago a few years ago (note: I still like the Bosch, just not as much as this one). Quiet, fairly quick, reasonably unobtrusive, easy to clean filters. I was going to just do Bosch again, but my employer had a special arrangement with Whirlpool that made Kitchenaid stuff substantially cheaper for me so I went with it, and now I'm glad I did.
posted by aramaic at 10:36 AM on May 14

I'm a consistently contrary voice on dishwasher threads, we have a Bosch and I loathe it (to be fair, it's their entry level Ascenta line. Still.) It really struggles to clean dishes even with pre-rinsing, manually selecting heavy wash and sanitize mode, the racks don't fit American sized bowls well, the filter needs regular cleaning (unlike our older filterless dishwasher) the drain pump has failed twice, the soap/rinse aid dispenser has failed once, the tines in the racks have rusted out in spots and the plastic font panel has cracked near the pull handle. I've been able to keep it going relatively inexpensively by doing all the repairs myself, but I'd never consider the brand again.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 10:36 AM on May 14 [3 favorites]

Adding my vote for Miele. We inherited one with the house that was almost 20 years old, and got a new one when we updated our kitchen a couple of years ago. It is the best! They start at $1000. They are all equally quiet and have Energy Star rating, but upgrading a model from the base will get you a sensor to sense how dirty the dishes are (saves water), extra cycles like express and half load. We went up a couple of models to get the AutoOpen feature that opens the dishwasher after it's done so the dishes will be dryer. This is great when you are running it overnight, for example. I have no complaints and it's so gentle and effective that I feel comfortable putting 'top rack only' items anywhere in the dishwasher.
posted by beyond_pink at 10:45 AM on May 14

Bosch, Siemens or Miele. I have a Bosch and it's wonderful.
posted by essexjan at 11:54 AM on May 14

We've got a Miele that is their entry-level model or close to it. The inside is all stainless steel and the filter is pretty easy to access. In the beginning I would intentionally "test" it to see how good it could clean off gunk and it was able to handle whatever I gave it. The cycle takes a fair bit of time so it might be worth it to get one with a quick setting for times when you've got a lot of dishes to do at once. One gripe I have is that the door doesn't lock when the cycle is running and so people will open it in the middle of the cycle if they don't look first (because it is pretty quiet).
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:55 AM on May 14

I have a Bosch SHP865YP5N and am pleased with it. It's very quiet, it has a little red spotlight on the floor to let you know it's running, the filter is easy to get to, it hasn't leaked yet, and the racks are easily adjustable. I run it at least twice a day. It takes a lot longer than an hour, though, if that's a concern -- more like two and a half hours. I always open it and let dishes air dry, so I can't speak to that.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:05 PM on May 14

> the racks don't fit American sized bowls well

That's the one thing I don't like about my Bosch. Plates and some of my "pasta" bowls fit perfectly, but cereal bowls don't. I have a varied assortment of bowls, though, and so I don't know if any dishwasher could make me happy.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:07 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

Like Mx. Syndrome, my entry-level Bosch is a shitty dishwasher. It’s very easy to get the bottom drawer out of balance and then the wheels LITERALLY FALL OFF and the dishes crash and...it’s very dramatic! This is the $500 model, and is, to be fair, an improvement on the GE it replaced, but that caught on fire so the bar is low.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 12:25 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]

I purchased a Whirlpool WDTA50SAHZ two years ago, and so far I've been very happy with it. The filter is easy to remove and clean (it just twists into place, no tools needed), it holds a fair amount, and the rack fits larger bowls and plates just fine. I always do a fast pre-rinse while loading, so I can't speak to performance with caked-on food unfortunately. I usually use the "normal" cycle with heated drying, which takes 2.5-3 hrs, note any new dishwasher will be like this as the longer cycle uses less water. However, there is also a 1-hour quick cycle that works quite well if I have a lot of dishes.

It also looks quite nice, in case that matters to you - the sleek finish on the pocket-handle model was a big selling point for me (and a major step up from our old, white GE). Looks like it's going for ~$700 now, so within your budget.
posted by photo guy at 1:37 PM on May 14

We bought a house 6 years ago that came with a GE meeting all your requirements, and we have no complaints. I'm not sure it even has a filter to clean? I just pulled out the manual to find the model number, and there's nothing in the "Care" or "Troubleshooting" sections that references a filter. Anyway, if it does have one, I've never cleaned it in 6 years and it works fine :)

Looks like the current models of that basic type retail for between $1000 and $1200, but maybe you can get a deal for Memorial Day coming up.
posted by slenderloris at 3:40 PM on May 14

I have this Bosch, I think. Absolutely love it. It is incredibly quiet, does a great job cleaning, has been extremely reliable. Cleaning the filter is reasonably easy. Any problem we've had has been with the filter needing a clean. Love the third rack for silverware and other small utensils (mixing spoons, whisks, etc).

We got it to replace a GE dishwasher which was an absolute piece of junk. It was loud to the point where conversation was impossible, never did a great job cleaning dishes and eventually failed about 3 months out of warrantee (which, come to think of it, is fantastic engineering driving by bad management). The failure mode was that the heating element no longer worked and the agitator was likely not moving at all and routinely came off.

The houses on my street were all built within a few years of each other and when mine failed, I asked around and found that nearly everyone who had gotten GE appliances had their washer fail, some more dramatically than mine.
posted by plinth at 8:42 AM on May 15

We looked at Consumer Reports, since they don't appear to have any ax to grind.

The MacWilliams family bought a KitchenAid three years ago, and have had zero trouble. Like all new dishwashers, it does take a long time, but the dishes come out clean, and no filter cleaning
posted by Pablo MacWilliams at 9:07 AM on May 15

I have had the quiet mid line Bosch and it cleans most of the dishes most of the time. Sanitizing cycle takes just over two hours, and I regularly use the quick wash for dishes from the same day - that runs in half an hour. It gets used regular and had zero issues in six years of ownership. Wait - there is a single spot on one of the racks that is rusted where I broke off the coating. We got it on sale at ajmadison - a couple of hundred dollars off a new unit delivered to our door.

The door seal needs to be cleaned on the monthly - especially at the bottom where it gets gross. Just a wipe down.There is also a filter that is a three part assembly in the bottom of the tub- a twist and it's out. I use a bottle brush on it and dish soap at least monthly. It's not a terrible process and you can buy special cleaning tabs. The machine uses a fair bit of rinse aid, but I have nothing to compare it to, so ¯\(°_o)/¯ . And I have preferences for which kind of dish tabs we use, some smell like urinal lemons. Sometimes I open the door after a cycle and sometimes I don't. If I go on a long vacation there is a little bit of water in the filter area that can get gross so I put a squirt of bleach in avoid repeating that lovely smell.

Other machines I've used in the past scoured and scored dishes, especially glassware. Most of our glassware have generally held up- lasting 4 -6 years. Plastic items have also lasted years of steady abuse. If something gets in the way of the spinning arms that whole rack of dishes needs to be re-washed. I scrape most of the dishes for composting, but don't rinse so the dishes are generally pretty dirty going in.

If the Bosch goes out completely I would consider a 500 level replacement, but I would also look closely at a comparable machine from an American company. Those usually feature a grinder to make cleaning the filter less frequent/never and scraping dishes optional. Plus some of the new ones can vent the tub at the end of the cycle which would be a nice feature.
posted by zenon at 11:17 AM on May 15

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