Thread Number: 72754  /  Tag: Modern Dishwashers
Dishwasher Advice
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Post# 961253   10/7/2017 at 23:06 (377 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

I'm stuck: I live in a 'bedroom' city outside of Houston. And yes, I love it, an acre yard and a creek running through it (no, Harvey didn't flood here). My little city of 30K has the Lowe's and HD, Best Buy, Sears just closed because no one went there. I have one long-term locally-owned appliance store; it's where I bought my SQ washer/dryer pair recently.

My crappy Frigidaire dishwasher from Lowe's has died, with the electronic controls and the drain pump giving out. It's under contract but I want a new one. The prior dishwasher, a $1K Kitchan Aid, lasted a little over 3 years before the racks disintegrated. Even though I'm a compulse pre-rinser in the sink, still had problems with cleaning with that; definitely not like my old Hobart-built one in the distant past.

My local dealer sells KA, Electrolux, Frigidaire and F&P's drawers. Consumer Reports says Bosch is the most trouble-free of any current brand by far, but I'd have to get it at the big box stores.

Would people here go with a brand with reliability problems, but the local dealer's service, or the Bosch with the contracted big box service people? I don't want to spend over about $750 as I live alone and only wash dishes about 3-4 times weekly in one.

Thanks for any advice here.

Post# 961257 , Reply# 1   10/7/2017 at 23:30 (377 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

My first suggestion is since you're a compulsive rinser, any dishwasher you get I'd just use the 30 minute or 1 hour cycle at best.  Sounds like you over ran your dishwasher with the former KitchenAid.  I'd have just used the 30 minute quick wash cycle.  You'd still have it today because you wouldn't have destroyed the racks.  Also go very easy on the detergent.  You caused your racks to be eaten up.  I've had a GE PotScrubber for 21 years and a Kenmore Elite (KitchenAid) for 7 years and the racks were pristine when removed and I don't rinse and let things accumulate.  Grew up in west Houston so curious which "burb you live in. 

Post# 961260 , Reply# 2   10/8/2017 at 00:15 (377 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture

Doesn't pre rinsing cause damage to the racks because there's no "food waste" left for the harsh ingredients to work on , so they work on the plastics and coatings.    I was shocked to see the interior of our next door neighbors similar to mine KitchenAid.. She pre-rinses everything as well and the interior of her machine looks like shite. I pre rinse nothing, barely scrape crap off and it all comes out clean,,  and the interior is still new looking.    Too bad I've had all those electronic problems with it in the beginning which is why I'll never buy another,, but it does clean well  now that it's finally working. 

Post# 961262 , Reply# 3   10/8/2017 at 00:38 (377 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

No, 'appnut', I didn't eat up my racks. In fact, the day after this happened, I went to my local Lowe's where I purchased it. There was the same model there, and when the salesman and I opened it and looked, those brand new wheels were starting to disintegrate. My local dealer, who has sold KA since the 70's, says that he stocks wheels and recommends his customers replace them at least annually. Interesting concept, though, that putting dishes in a dishwasher that are too clean will destroy the racks.

Post# 961263 , Reply# 4   10/8/2017 at 00:46 (377 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
I'm fairly happy w/ my Maytag--does a good job & fancy as it may be, as in in new & electronic, has yet to break...

-- Dave

Post# 961270 , Reply# 5   10/8/2017 at 01:41 (377 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
The truth

Get a vintage Kitchen Aid or reverse rack Maytag, have it serviced by someone like John Lefever, then enjoy, your dishes will be washed and dried in a hour or less, and they will be clean.

Post# 961271 , Reply# 6   10/8/2017 at 01:47 (377 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        

mark_wpduet's profile picture
Mine will be 4 yrs old soon - no problems. I don't pre-rinse anything with the exception of EGGS or MILK. Dishwashers do need food soils for the enzyme detergents to work on. I always do a bob load with auto clean and it takes about 90 min with no dry and I add about 2 tbs of chlorine bleach b4 starting a load and it keeps the interior so clean. The only dirty dish I've ever pulled out was dried mayo on a butter knife and a LONG time ago we did the peanut butter test on here and (I did it twice) - first time there was a little peanut butter left, but when I used a longer cycle, it came out perfectly clean.

Post# 961326 , Reply# 7   10/8/2017 at 10:09 (377 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Get any New Maytag DW

combo52's profile picture

They are simplest, most power full and most reliable great performing DWs on the market.


Skip the dish rinsing, yes KA did have some problems with plastic parts of there rack parts a few years ago, [ Kitchenaid covered most costs of repair for this problem ] but you made it much worse by pre-rinsing your dishes, and if a properly working DW leaves Pre-rinsed dishes looking bad when they come out, it is always related to your water conditions and detergents you are using.


John L.

Post# 961330 , Reply# 8   10/8/2017 at 10:39 (377 days old) by pumpkina (California)        

Norgeway, you recommended a vintage Kitchen Aid or reverse rack Maytag. What particular models do you recommend?


Post# 961337 , Reply# 9   10/8/2017 at 12:09 (377 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
2001 Bosch 300 series---16 years old this month. No repairs

My 2001 Bosch 300 series has never had a repair or service issue since it was installed in October 2001. The only problem was that the lower rack began to rust out about two years ago, and I replaced it with a new one from They no longer make the original 300 lower rack, instead you have to buy a 500 rack with folding tines and a split silverware basket. In addition, there is a handle in front of the rack, which makes it easier to pull out (reduces stooping). These added features made the $170 spent seem like an upgrade, rather than a like for like replacement.

[when/if it faces a major repair, I"d likely buy a new one, since I've already invested $170, and it cost $600 new]

I scrape dishes but never rinse them. This entry level machine has only three cycles: Quick Wash, Normal, and Power Scrub Plus, but that's enough for me. Bosch at the time made two 300 series machines, one with Quick Wash and one with Rinse/Hold. I'm glad I bought the one with Quick Wash, which is useful in certain settings. Even if the dishes are a week old, Normal cycle gets everything clean, so there's really no need for Rinse/Hold.

Newer machines have optical sensors that end the wash cycle when dirt levels ebb, and scrupulous pre-rinsing of dishes can defeat this feature. Bosch does not have a soft food disposer, but scraping is all you need to do.

The only change to my wash habits during my ownership has been to prime the hot water line at the sink before starting the DW, to compensate for the removal of phosphates. I have been using Electrasol/Finish tabs (Powerball tabs today) since Day One. The first rinse uses ambient hot water line fill, which is NOT heater-boosted, so I prime the hot water line per the advice of the own of our local appliance store. For this reason, I would likely not use the delay wash feature found on newer models. If I want to save on time-of-use electricity rates, I just prime and start the machine manually at 22:00, when our lowest rates begin.

Post# 961394 , Reply# 10   10/8/2017 at 21:24 (376 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

KUDI23 Kitchenaid here....23 years old and only a top rack water tube replaced...(I'm talking about Mother's since mine was 23 years old but NIB) or my DWC7602 Maytag that's 20 years old with only one repair.  I still use chlorinated gel or powdered detergents.

Post# 961483 , Reply# 11   10/9/2017 at 09:37 (376 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

I would like to address the "compulsive pre-rinser" part -- I have noticed that a lot, if not most, of the new machines that have a dirt sensor just sense at the first few minutes of the cycle that the load is "clean" and stop the cycle short. It's weird and counterintuitive, but perhaps that very same dishwasher with a heavily soiled load would come out cleaner because then the machine has something to work on.

It's not just the wash cycle that gets changed by the soil level either -- most machines will alter the rinse cycles too, and a short rinse with just a bit of water will also contribute to dirty dishes.

So, if you want any new dishwasher to last and clean well, stop that nonsense pronto, "compulsive" or not. Scrape off the plates and put them in the machines.

The other thing I want to say, and yes, it's anecdotal evidence, but it happens, is that I've seen many people destroy their dishwashers by pre-rinsing everything. The dishwasher detergent is very harsh, the hot water makes it worse, and if you don't have any grease and/or soil for it to attach to and take away, it will take a toll on the machine. My own mom destroyed 2 or 3 machines that way back in the 70's, no less, way before electronics and energy saving high efficiency anything.

It's easier to see in the older models too, before nylon-covered racks came on the scene and porcelain-covered metal parts were common -- first the porcelain starts looking rough, then minerals from the water (particularly if you have even a small amount of iron, which used to react with the bleach and precipitate on the porcelain) start staining the porcelain. When the PVC from the racks got cracked, the bleach would also attack the iron in the steel and rust that point, but the iron would then deposit on the porcelain.

Yeah, I am pretty sure most of you, who did not pre-rinse stuff and lived in areas with natural hard water will be going "WTF? I've never seen that happen", or, worse, "that can't happen".

Well, let me introduce you to some of the problems in natural very soft water areas. It happened in my own parent's home, and several others. It took some time for us to realize that it was only happening where people were pre-rinsing stuff. And yes, it's hard to convince people to stop, but you will have to.

Good luck,
   -- Paulo.

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