Buying a new dishwasher

Our dishwasher is clearly on its last legs. It leaks. It doesn’t clean well. It’s 15 years old. The service call to just look at the thing is $129, so we’re thinking of just buying a new one. Please tell me if you’re exceptionally pleased with your make and model…or if there’s something we should avoid.

I don’t have a dishwasher but I do have a Consumer Reports account. Just FYI here are their listings for “Dishwasher Recommendations”

  • Kenmore (Sears) 1374[2]

  • Price as tested: $720
    • Has excellent wash performance.
    • Has very good energy efficiency.
    • Judged good for noise.

  • Bosch SHE33M0[2]UC

  • Price as tested: $600
    • Has excellent wash performance.
    • Has very good energy efficiency.
    • Judged good for noise.

  • Whirlpool Gold GU2300XTV[Q]

  • Price as tested: $550
    • Has excellent wash performance.
    • Has very good energy efficiency.
    • Judged good for noise.

“If price is your paramount concern:”

  • Kenmore (Sears) 1389[2]

  • Price as tested: $500
    • Has excellent wash performance.
    • Has very good energy efficiency.
    • Judged good for noise.

  • Whirlpool DU1055XTV[Q]

  • Price as tested: $400
    • Has excellent wash performance.
    • Has very good energy efficiency.
    • Judged good for noise.

Lowest rated were:
Maytag MDD8000AW[S] 51/100
Haier ESD310 53/100
KitchenAid KUDD03DT[WH] 56/100
GE GLD6700N[WW] 64/100

I had a Kenmore that lasted about 15 years, and was still working well until the geeklings (my kids) broke the door.


We just bought one (new house, the appliances dated from the 80’s and had seen no maintenance since being installed).

One feature I really like on our new one: no telescoping rod in the center (there are spin-jets on the top, bottom, and maybe sides), and the silverware drawer is on the SIDE, rather than the center of the bottom rack. Makes it far more convenient to wash pots and pans when there’s nothing to worry about blocking. I didn’t realize how inconvenient the old ones were until I loaded the new one a few times. This seems to be common to several new models now, though. (I think ours is the cheap Kenmore, but we’ve only had it a few months. Washes really well…once we got the 26 year old water heater replaced.)

I bought one about 2005, a Whirlpool, loved it. When I bought this house in 2008–where there has never, ever been a dishwasher before, hard to believe but true–I tried for the same model, and failed miserably.

I HATE this dishwasher. I wanted one with an air dry cycle–it says it has one, but it doesn’t do it!

The door never closed properly. As a result of that I tripped over it–when it fell open and I backed up. At that point it really didn’t work. It was still under warranty, so I called them. Should have just bought a new one. They fixed it. (I resist the temption to put “fixed” in quotes. It works, but the door is skewed so I have to sort of wedge it in.) About one time out of three, the soap dish doesn’t deploy the soap.

And this one, too, is a Whirlpool, and it’s really close to the same model.

That was no help at all, was it?

The guy who put it in said he had just installed a $1400 model. I asked what it did. He said it (a) took a whole box of Cascade at a time, so you didn’t have to add it with each load, (b) could do its fastest wash cycle in 28 minutes, and © was very quiet. I think it was a Jenn Air.

I have a Fisher-Paykel dish drawer and love it.

This is the first dishwasher I’ve ever had where I’ve not had to re-wash anything that comes out of it. All the internal moving parts (the whirly water jet thing and such) just lift right out for easy cleaning.

It’s almost completely silent too, which is sometimes a negative point because I find myself getting up to go check it to see if it’s ready to open.

I’m amazed at how the drawer just glides open and closed, without having to “seal” it with a locking mechanism. It seems like it should leak like crazy but somehow it doesn’t.

I got a single drawer rather than a double, since I have a 1 BR condo and I’m not likely to generate enough dirty dishes to justify running a really big dishwasher more often than once every two weeks or so.

If you want to run your really big pots and pans through a dishwasher, then any sort of dish drawer probably isn’t for you because of the lack of vertical clearance. Maximum plate diameter seems to be about 11" for this model. That doesn’t bother me because I prefer to wash my big cooking infrastructure by hand anyway.

Thanks…I probably should have said that usually it’s just the two of us. Occasionally my daughter comes home for a couple of weeks, and every so often my brother-in-law will eat with us, but most of the time, it’s just two human adults. And three adult cats, but generally the cats don’t cook or otherwise dirty the dishes, except for their food and water bowls.

The old dishwasher is a Kenmore, and this is the first problem we’ve had with it.

I’m rather surprised that the Maytag had a bad rating, but companies change. I’m subscribing to this thread, and I’ll show it to my husband when he’s awake. There’s just no way that I was going to go to a department or appliance store this weekend.

Not all models of a manufacturer’s line are going to be good or bad. Make sure you shop for the models that have been tested and recommended. There are other review sites on the web that feature consumer reviews, not just tester reviews. I’d recommend looking at those also. Just Google: dishwasher consumer reviews, or something similar.

Here is a thread I started last year when I was looking.

We got a Kenmore Elite which has worked out very well for us. It does a great job cleaning the dishes.

I would avoid Frigidaire dishwashers. We had a bad experience with ours and replaced it after four years.

Yeah, staying out of any commercial section is wise this weekend. Who on earth with half a brain would try to do any kind of commerce on Black Friday, much less make a whole day (or weekend) of it??

Theoretically, I would think a dish drawer would be good for two people.
We have a Kitchenaid dish drawer (we actually have two) and I hate it.
It just doesn’t clean that well, and it is noisy. We can set it for time delay so the noise is not that big a deal. But I dread opening it up in the morning.

I’ve read that Fisher and Paykel make the newer Kitchenaid dish drawers. I don’t know if that’s true. Have heard good things about F &P but I guess I missed out.

I have also heard that Asko dishwashers are prone to repair, but we had one for 9 years and it was the best dishwasher I ever had, as well as the quietest.

I miss it.

I echo the sentiment about Frigidaire dishwashers. Bad news.

I had Jenn Aire for 15 years and it was a true workhorse. Cleaned beautifully and was very quiet. The last few months some of the tines on the top rack were rusting at the base, but I was willing to tolerate that for the otherwise fine quality. But after 15 years, what do you expect?

Ikea sells a whirlpool one. I guess they truly demand quality before they stamp the Ikea mark on it and sell it integrated in their kitchens (which also rate top-notch in consumers magazines)

We bought a Maytag 11 years ago from the folks at the below link. Still going strong. I think the rack clearance/holders/etc. are better thought out than other designs we’ve had. Stuff just seems to fit better. We brought it home and installed it ourselves to save a little dough. We tried a Kenmore before this one, and it didn’t last too long.

They’re local to you, I think.

It is my understanding (Though do not have a link to hand) that Kenmore, Frigidare, Whirlpool and a few others are all made in the same factories, and are all just brand names.
The NA models in my experience, are quiet initially but become significantly noisier after 6-8 months. They feature a small spinning blade “macerator” in the drain line, whilst a good idea in principle my experience with a Whirlpool machine was it was always getting clogged, and I was having to repair it frequently.
I subsequently bought a Bosch, this has a simple filter trap that you need to empty occasionally. But two years since I bought it, it is as quiet as new (Which is pretty quiet)

Two features I recommend spending the extra money on, stainless steel inside (Stays clean, does not stain with tomato etc.) and a delay timer. Most days we load up and then set the machine to run in the middle of the night

When we bought our house it came with a dishwasher, an 18" dishwasher, which I had never seen before. In fact, the kitchen was built around it to some extent. We will be replacing it soon (8yrs later), and will seek out another 18" model as we have little choice other than totally reconfiguring the kitchen.

That said, I was a little suspicious, when we moved in, that it wouldn’t do the job like a full size model or last as long. I was wrong on both counts. Not only did it do a great job at getting the dishes clean it lasted really well. And we cranked dishes through it too.

I would never even consider going back to a full sized model now. Even when we had the whole family over and there were plenty of dishes or loaded it to the max it always did the job.

I thought it would surely cost a premium to buy as it’s undersized but, having checked, it’s really not and they have them at every dishwasher outlet I checked.

Something to consider is all I’m saying.

Also, whatever brand you buy, you can prolong its working life considerably by cletting it cun a cleaning cycle every three months. With a product like this one or this one. Also recommended for clotheswashers.

I know this isn’t what you’re looking for, but just for fun pull the spin arms out and make sure they’re not all clogged with gunk.

I have one of these, though it was the first drawer model they made. I love it, though it has been a little flaky (I hear they have gotten better). I will never go back to a non-drawer design, though I may go with a different brand.

Some Kenmore dishwashers are made by … Frigidaire.
Who makes Kenmore Appliances is a place to start.