Dishwasher 411

Two weeks ago, my Monday morning was starting like everyone else's: waking up children, making breakfast, making lunches, doing hair, getting dressed, feeding dogs, chugging coffee, finding backpacks and shoes, running late, quick kiss goodbyes, etc. The last dishes were in the dishwasher and my day was about to "officially" get started. As my husband pressed the dishwasher start button before literally walking out the door, all I heard was a gush and a girly scream. Water everywhere on the kitchen floor, water in the dishwasher, water underneath the dishwasher and into the basement below. Dripping, puddling, splashing water all over the place. Cue REM's "Everybody Hurts," and that summed up my moment.

Upon inspection a day later from the appliance repair service, it confirmed my suspicion. Technically, I could salvage this appliance, but I would be replacing most everything and that + labor = about the same cost as a new dishwasher. Great. A new dishwasher. Because that was what I thought we'd be budgeting for this month:) 

I decided to start off thinking maybe I could hand wash dishes for a while and perhaps that would encourage less waste from the abnormal disposal of cups and plates used on a daily basis. This lasted about 1 1/2 days. Hand washing dishes is not fun. Almost in the same category as doing laundry. I needed to move past my "great idea" and move along with looking for a new dishwasher.

Consumer Reports is always a great place to start. And who knew that there were multiple "Top 15 Dishwasher" lists online. Apparently, this is a hot topic. But my gut was telling me I needed more information than just what these reports were saying. I needed real opinions from people I knew. Hello, Facebook.

What seemed like a boring question to pose to my Facebook friends turned into the hot conversation of the day. EVERYONE had an opinion about their dishwasher. I had no idea I had that many particular friends!! But I am so glad I do!! From Bosch to Kitchen Aid, Whirlpool and Kenmore. I got the lowdown and then some. Here are some of the responses I got:

Whirlpool. Going on 10 yrs now. 

DItto for Whirlpool. Very pleased with it. Our GE flooded the kitchen, and the guy at Lowes told me he's heard that a lot.

I've had a Bosch and now have a Kenmore Elite. Paid a lot less for the Kenmore and it is just as good as, if not better than, Bosch.

I had an ASKO and hated it!!! FYI

I love my Bosch - it is the high end one & my 2nd. First one lasted 15+ years

We have a kenmore on the recommendation of our appliance guy. It has been great. And the price was right!

I don't really like our Bosch at all!

I love our Fisher Paykel drawers.

Don't care for our Bosch either:(

My parents have a Bosch and it's horrible. It smells like garbage far too often and (the appliance store) told my parents - no joke here- to run a rinse cycle with lemonade kool aid weekly to cut the smell. That was their service advice. They knew of the issue when they sold it.

We have Thermador and it loads funny but it cleans. I wouldn't recommend it.

My only constructive advice is to actually take your dishes and make sure whatever you get actually loads your dishes well.

Hated our Bosch! Didn't clean very well and all parts were ridiculous to replace. Got a kitchen aid and love it.

Love my kitchenaide

I love my Bosch. I have had a bunch of different ones and Bosch has always been the best. Also I always hear great things about Asko.

We bought a Bosch last year. Super quiet and I love the top third rack. However, it does a horrible job drying the dishes.

I had Fischer paykel dishwasher drawers at our old house. It was broken a lot because it was the first edition but I've heard they've made improvements & I really loved the drawers! In this old house I just have a standard piece of crap--but it literally runs all the time. I think it's a maytag. My sister & parents both had Bosch & hated them. Good luck

We have a kenmore Elite, love it.

I love my JenAire dishwasher. Great cleaning and very quiet. Mom got a new Bosch about a year ago and it was a mess. Her dishes were discolored. The only solution they could provide is a new detergent. We are a bit suspicious of the brand.

Don't get the FP drawers - not intended for heavy use. Our technician said he services them all the time (they were in our house and broke immediately when we moved in). We asked what do you not service often and he said kitchen aid. Going on 9 years no problems!

I have a Bosch. Going on 9 years, not one issue. Had one at previous house with no issues. Cleans well and is soooo quiet.

I went cheapest stainless with steel drum - frigidaire pro thinking I would have to replace soon too. 8 years and no issues. And no name in outside so can't tell what brand it is anyway.

All I know is we have the worst luck with dishwashers. 8 years is a dream. Lucky to get 8 months.


So here I was with excellent information. Obviously, not everyone agreed on the same one. But I had some takeaways:

1) There was not just one dishwasher that everyone liked.

2) The more expensive brand didn't mean the best performing brand.

3) Figure out what was important to me about what I wanted with a dishwasher and go from there.


So what did I get? My criteria was really not that high maintenance: 


-Buttons on top (rather than front of door). I knew that would be a tempting "toy" for my 6 yr old:)

-Quiet during cycle (less than 50 db) and option to have a short 1 hour cycle. (Many of these units take up to 3 hours to wash dishes).

-Energy efficient

The opinions about Bosch were too mixed for me to pony up that much money. Kitchen Aid sounded great, but not sure I wanted to spend that much either. Adding dishwasher drawers would have never worked with my old kitchen set-up. Basically, I didn't need something with lots of bells and whistles, but wanted something that looked good and was typically reliable.

With this criteria in hand, I opted for the Whirlpool Gold 48dB Built-in Dishwasher.


It had gotten great reviews on reports and was rated as being "The best bang for your buck." I am sure that every dishwasher out there has offended some owner at one point or another, but this one seemed to have more consistent good reviews than bad. And at $550 on sale, the price was right. And at the end of the day, it's JUST a dishwasher, right? I'd rather save my money for a new set of drapes or piece of art anyway!










(Photo found at