Thread Number: 69995  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Vintage kitchen aid dishwashers
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Post# 929184   3/27/2017 at 10:34 (452 days old) by JesseD (Saint Marys, Pennsylvania)        

I am soon going to be getting a dishwasher and I am debating about what to do. I do not like to pre-rinse my dishes so I need something that will really clean. I really would like to obtain a vintage kitchen aid dishwasher.
I would really like to fine a kitchen aid KD-12 but I don't know how it would clean without the four wash arm design or an upper spray arm.

Do the earlier kitchenaid superba dishwasher clean better than the KD-12 or should I go with a KDS-18 since it has the upper spray arm?

Any additional information about any of these machines would also be helpful.

Post# 929190 , Reply# 1   3/27/2017 at 10:55 (452 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Go for KDS18

Post# 929192 , Reply# 2   3/27/2017 at 10:57 (452 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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KDS-18 is generally considered the max of the KA line.  Has an upper rack arm, constant rinse sprayer, and heated dry (vs. the "Energy Saver IV" 19 that followed).

Post# 929195 , Reply# 3   3/27/2017 at 11:05 (452 days old) by Pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

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here is a vintage kitchenaid built in model for sale on ebay but depending on the colors in your home you might have to change or repaint the front panel of the dishwasher since the model shown is in coppertone color

Post# 929197 , Reply# 4   3/27/2017 at 11:11 (452 days old) by JesseD (Saint Marys, Pennsylvania)        

What about the KD-12? How does it relate to the KDS-18 in cleaning performance?

It looks like I am either going to go with one of these two models.

Post# 929203 , Reply# 5   3/27/2017 at 11:57 (452 days old) by Pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

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there was one listed on eby but it was sold sadly maybe some of the members on aw will be able to guide you on where to find 1

Post# 929208 , Reply# 6   3/27/2017 at 12:18 (452 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
The KA 17 series

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4 Way Hydrosweep models also work great with just minimal attention to loading to make sure the upper rack isn't majorly blocked. Used one for 15 years and loved it. They also have heated forced air dry and a super quick turnaround.

Post# 929213 , Reply# 7   3/27/2017 at 12:33 (452 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The 12 series did not have a detergent dispenser so after a warm up purge that mainly warmed up the cast iron pump chamber, it did one wash and and 2 rinses. It was fine for dishes fresh off the table, but you had to supply it with 160F water and, even at that, the wash water temp was around 110F after it hit the room temperature dishes. The redesign introduced in the 15 series was a major advancement with a good detergent dispenser and two rinses before the main wash so things were heated up a bit. The 18 is the apotheosis of the KitchenAid models. You can do a swap to get the full width upper wash arm and China Guard from a 19 and have a super fantabulous KitchenAid.

Post# 929215 , Reply# 8   3/27/2017 at 12:42 (452 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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The KD-12 is a great machine. But... the capacity is small and loading is restricted. You cannot put a pot or mixing bowl in the lower rack and something in the upper rack directly above that item.

The KD-10 thru KD-14 series are truly Dishwashers. Meaning that back then most women still did their pots and pans by hand and did not believe in washing them by machine. These machines also for best results need at least 140 F hot water and the line should be purged before starting the machine. ( which should be done for any machine actually)
Although they don't hold a great amount, the Cycles I believe are around 35-40 minutes so it wouldn't be bad to run a couple of times.

The KDS-18 is ( In my own opinion Hobart's Pinnacle of design) the Best designed KitchenAid ever.

4 way HydroSweep on the bottom. Wash Arm under the Upper Rack. (And mostly everyone will tell you to swap that Short Wash Arm out with one from a 19-23 series machine.) Then the Overhead "Constant Rinse". Which is like the GE version of the Power Shower.

Water Hog... YES. Lot's of water changes on the Normal Cycle. Soak and Scrub (even with the static heating which most will poo-poo) will take the rust off a Trailer Hitch from a 1960s Chevy Pick Up. To me the static heating is like the Pre cursor to the Steam Cycle. The Machine (with the indentation on the dispenser filled will start washing then stop to pre heat the water. This occurs 2 times. The soapy water clings to the wares and loosens the baked on or heavy soil. From then there is a rinse, Pre wash, Rinse, Main Wash and then 3 rinses followed by a heated air dry.

Racking is incredibly versatile. (I have found). Between tilting or raising-Lowering the Upper Rack there isn't much that can't be loaded creatively.

I am getting ready to remove my JennAir RR and put back my KDS-20 which is not my favorite but I think it cleans better than a RR. I am starting on my KDS-58 portable (KDS-18 Portable series) this week upon the arrival of some parts.

And of course there are the Whirlpool Power Clean Module Crew here that adore that machine hands down over a KitchenAid. I have a KenWhirl (WP built Kenmore from 2004) that is a great cleaner. Takes a bit longer but I dislike the racking although I use it as my Daily Driver until the KDS-58 is ready to roll.

I have a small cache of 18 parts to hopefully keep them going until I go down into the sump.

That's my take. Your mileage may vary. Just my thoughts and I think you can get many BobLoad certifications with a KDS-18. Right Bob ??? Hmmmm ??? ; )

Post# 929216 , Reply# 9   3/27/2017 at 12:47 (452 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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I see a few posts were added while I was striking the keys with passion : )

Post# 929220 , Reply# 10   3/27/2017 at 13:18 (452 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        
Those refurbished KA s on ebay...

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Seem to have been there forever. Seriously... Years.

Post# 929222 , Reply# 11   3/27/2017 at 13:41 (452 days old) by Frigidaireguy (Wiston-Salem, NC)        

We had a KD-10 that lasted 21 years. Did a good job but I will say we pre-rinsed the dishes. We loaded EVERYTHING in that dishwasher. We would put plates on the side and pots & pans in the bottom middle or slanted in the top. As you said they were limited but beat the heck out of hand washing !!!!

Post# 929233 , Reply# 12   3/27/2017 at 15:16 (452 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Although I love my 'one-arm wonder' Kitchen Aids, I think the 18 series would be the best choice for everyday use from what I hear from folks who own one.  I think when Phil moved to his new house and took his '63 Custom Imperial spin-tube with him, he put in a KDS-18 to replace it and I believe it's doing a stellar job!  

Post# 929266 , Reply# 13   3/27/2017 at 19:35 (452 days old) by JesseD (Saint Marys, Pennsylvania)        
Heated water and dry

I would really like to get the Kitchenaid KD-12 because it is older. Would it do a good job cleaning plates flatware and glasses? I really like both of these machine and will only be able to choose one. I am completely divided on what I should do.

Does the KD-12 have a water heater and a heated dry?

What are the main differences between the two machines?

Post# 929271 , Reply# 14   3/27/2017 at 19:54 (452 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I use a

Custom 21 , which is fine, but I once had a KDS 17 that was better too me, BUT I DO NOT put my cookware in a dishwasher, I have vintage aluminum cookware that I keep polished like new and a DW will ruin it, the KDS 17 was the best at blasting off burned on stuff in Pyrex or Corning dishes,, it dried the dishes much better than the 21.....I NEVER rinse ANYTHING!

Post# 929278 , Reply# 15   3/27/2017 at 20:36 (452 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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No, the KD12 does not do any water heating. 

Post# 929281 , Reply# 16   3/27/2017 at 20:51 (452 days old) by stevet (palm coast florida)        
Heat and no heat!

No Kitchenaid ever heated its water until the advent of the 15 series and that was only in the Superba models. We are talking standard undercounter units and not the portables which were unique to themselves and had features that would not always be the same as the regular undercounter machines. The later series of 16 and 17 machines were nearly the same with the heating feature only on the Superbas but I do remember a KDI-16 that did have a sump heater but only 700 watts which I converted back to a KDS15 for my Aunt because the 15 tank had a minor leak in the sump. It worked just as well as the 15 with the added feature of a constant rinse but sure took a long time to heat up the final sani rinse to 180 as compared to the standard heater at 1400 watts. Members like Combo52 and others who serviced the domestic lines could vouch for all the stranger combinations that KA produced over the years. And as John often points out, Hobart was probably the last to join the bandwagon when it came to heating the circulating water to a specific set point. Something now needed with the inferior detergents available now.
The 18's continued the heat only in the Superbas as well but once the 19 and higher series came out which preheated the water, all models had some sort of heat source in the sump including all the earlier models of the 21 series. The later 21 units had the sump heater for the Superbas and the Imperial and Custom models had the raised element over the bottom of the tub which also acted as the heat source for the drying portion of the cycles.This carried over into the 22 and 23 series as well, with the 23 series finally having the wash temp delay which insured that you had at least 140 degree water circulating before the timer would advance.

Drying has always been achieved by means of a fan forced heating system with an externally mounted heating element and in later years, on lower level models, a fan forced system that had the water heating element as the heat source which would turn on and off at intervals during the drying sequence.

Energy saving drying was first introduced in the all of the 17A models and continued on the 18, 20 and all later models. Only the 19 series lacked the optional button to turn off the heated dry because there was NO heated dry on it at all. It used the residual heat of the dishes and tank to dry the dishes. As many members always point out, drying results could be enhanced with the use of a drying agent and even still it could be lackluster at best.

So long answer short, no tank heat on the 10's, 11's or 12's but they always had heated dry!

Post# 929313 , Reply# 17   3/27/2017 at 22:19 (452 days old) by JesseD (Saint Marys, Pennsylvania)        
How do these models compare to others?

I have been told by many people that the KitchenAid dishwashers made by Hobart are the best cleaning machines.
I was wondering how these two KitchenAid models compare to a Whirlpool DU8500XX-0.

I just really don't know what to get!

Please Help!

Post# 929330 , Reply# 18   3/27/2017 at 23:25 (451 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

I'd say if you're set on a KitchenAid, go for the 18, it seems to have the most features and there are a lot of members here that like them. We have a 1997 Maytag Jetclean that will clean just about anything you can throw at it, and I may look for a KitchenAid if it dies. Maytags of that era seem to be few and far between around​here, but they are great machines in any case.

Post# 929361 , Reply# 19   3/28/2017 at 04:47 (451 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

The newer Whirlpool/Kitchenaid made Kenmore dishwasher I have now is a good machine for getting things clean. I unfortunately bought a Kitchenaid machine back in the early 80's that did have a second spray arm under the glasses, but not the small top sprayer at the top of the tub. It left particles all over the top rack glasses. It also had a temp boost which at the time I found very annoying. It would stop when the water was under temp and heat and start again over and over and over. It took about 3 hours for a cycle in a time when most machines took less than an hour. It made me dislike Kitchenaid dishwashers for many years to come, since it had cost me more than any other TOL dishwasher I could have purchased at the time. It was a nice looking machine and well built with all push buttons and I assume a rapid advance timer. I think they only made that model a short time and went back to having the small sprayer at the top of the tub after that. Just a shame for me, since I had paid that much for it and then replaced it the next year with a Maytag RR TOL. That Maytag was the best machine I had ever used up to that point. It had the power dry blower, like the Kitchenaid. I had it for over 10 more years.

Post# 929392 , Reply# 20   3/28/2017 at 10:01 (451 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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of the many models of Kitchen Aid I got to see and use.....

they all have lived up to their reputation.....

bottom line....."It's a HURRICANE in a box!"

that's all the explanation you need....

Post# 929482 , Reply# 21   3/28/2017 at 20:55 (451 days old) by JesseD (Saint Marys, Pennsylvania)        

Thanks everyone!

I have decided that the best way to go would be the Kitchen Aid KDS-18.

Know that I have made up my mind, does anyone know where I can find one of these machines in working order? Color is not important.

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