Thread Number: 35842
Best New Dishwasher that Really cleans
[Down to Last]

Cool Washer Stuff on Amazon:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 534494   8/2/2011 at 10:29 (4,513 days old) by newhobartowner ()        

Quick story, had a 1998 kenmore that worked GREAT. Replaced with a slightly used 2003 kenmore (inside looked the same) but does not clean worth a crap. Just given a KDS -56 old Kitchenaid portable (like new) could be converted but uses a lot of water (im on a well and septic)and would need to be converted to undercounter. Should I go for the conversion or buy something new?? I want something that CLEANS, that I don't have to prewash dishes. Advice???

Post# 534497 , Reply# 1   8/2/2011 at 10:31 (4,513 days old) by HotpointFan (United Kingdom)        

hotpointfan's profile picture

good quality


Post# 534512 , Reply# 2   8/2/2011 at 11:41 (4,513 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
tip to avoid prewash

pierreandreply4's profile picture
you should stay with a kenmore dishwasher and to avoid having to prewash rinse your dishes with cold water first then put in the dishwasher.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO pierreandreply4's LINK

Post# 534514 , Reply# 3   8/2/2011 at 12:09 (4,513 days old) by retropia ()        

We replaced our 1998 Kenmore Ultra Wash (on the right) with a 2010 Kenmore Ultra Wash (on the left). They are fairly similar. The new one is a slightly less expensive model, so not as much sound insulation. We don't find the sound objectionable.

The new lower rack doesn't have the bump-out in front, so it doesn't hold quite as much as the old one. However, the new racks are nylon coated vs. vinyl. The old racks were rusting, which is why we needed to replace the dishwasher.

The new Kenmore cleans fine, although I use the Pots and Pans cycle mostly as I feel it is closest to the Regular cycle on the old one.

One thing to remember, if you have even moderately hard water, and if you don't have a whole-house water softener, then you need phosphates in your dishwasher detergent to achieve decent cleaning results.

I almost returned the new dishwasher to Sears, unhappy with the cleaning results, until I discovered I was using new Cascade without phosphates. After I secured a supply of vintage Cascade, the new one cleaned as well as the old one.

Someone on this board posted that the Kenmore I've linked to is discontinued and on clearance.


Post# 534521 , Reply# 4   8/2/2011 at 12:38 (4,513 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture


Modern dishwashers, and many "vintage" units, should not need any prerinsing or prewashing of items before loading.


My machine is routinely disparaged as being useless but can easily clean an item like this, so any 'real' dishwasher surely can do better!


Post# 534550 , Reply# 5   8/2/2011 at 14:04 (4,513 days old) by stevet (West Melbourne, FL)        
get down in there!

New Hobart Owner...
You did not mention if you have a tall tub Kenmore or the Ultrawash Standard tub.
If you have a tall tub, then the poor results you are getting may be caused by a lack of water getting into the tub to begin with caused by a clogged filter screen in the fill valve especially since youa re on a well system. Without a sediment filter between the pump and the house system, you can accumulate enough "stuff" in that valve to stop the flow of water quite a bit. Let the machine fill completely and see where the water level ends up. It should cover the whole bottom of the tub to at least the bottom of the float cup. If it doesn't then clean the filter and go from there. That would apply to either style unit you may have.

If it is the tall tub design, most cleaning failures short of poor detergent and lack of water are caused by the pump intake getting clogged with debris. You would be surprised at what you will possibly find if you take the wash arm off and then remove the wash tube leading up to the top arm and then remove the filter assembly. The soft food disposer in there is not made to handle anything more than soft food so the pump openings are pretty restrictive by design. You need to get down in there and clean it out and then reassemble it to see if that makes a difference. I am sure that if you have enough water in it, it will wash like a brand new machine.

I sold a neighbor a standard tub UltraWash Dishwasher because he said that Sears wanted 500 bucks to fix the pump on his tall tub which was not cleaning the dishes.
When last I checked, he was still using the standard tub and loving it.

However, I took his old machine and filled it with water and turned it on and it really did not pump a bit of water but the pump sounded fine and did not leak.
I took it apart and found out why it didn't wash anything.

The pump inlet openings were clogged up completely with cellophane, 3 sheet metal screws that were there for who knows how long as they were all rusted, 20 grapefruit pits, 4 pieces of broken glass, 6 toothpicks and even a some old bones.

A quick cleanup of the pump and to this day, it cleans like there is no tomorrow, rivalling my new Kitchenaid. It just doesnt dry as well!

As far as the KDS56 goes, If you can get used to thew loading necessities, it can be easily built into your cabinet by simply removing the top, the casters and the water and drain lines and you will be able to slide it right in. You can leave the sides on if you like, though I would personally remove them, wrap the machine in fiberglass or other sound deadening matrerial and then replace the sides and back to make it quieter.

One other thing, the Ultrawash standard tubs have a much better pump system than the tall tubs but you may want to open that up too and see what if inside of that one too. Over the years, all kinds of stuff cna find its way in there and neevr work its way out.

If you want to get an exploded diagram of your machine for guidance, you can go to and put the model number in and it will give you a breakdown of it so you can see how it comes apart.

Hope this helps

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy