Thread Number: 73746  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Topload Dishwashers
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Post# 974078   12/16/2017 at 17:12 (310 days old) by Supersurgilator (Indiana)        

Can anybody tell me why these were ever a thing? I've seen about 3 as POD in the past week or so, and they just seem so awkward to me. Was the lower rack a full rack, and the upper one came apart in 2 pieces? I just don't think it would be very convenient at all. What if you dropped silverwear into the bottom and have to go fishing it out?

Post# 974082 , Reply# 1   12/16/2017 at 17:37 (310 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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The early designs of dishwashers that were top-loaders with awkward racking is most probably because of the washing systems and the assumption that the dishwasher would be used like an 'electric dishpan' - ie: after each meal.  Some of the models in the 30s, 40s and even into the early 50s did indeed have racks or rack sections that had to be removed from the upper rack to gain access to the lower rack.  


Dishwasher manufacturers did adjust and made racks somewhat more accessible by leaving a gap or empty section in the upper rack; the top-loader portables that survived into the 60s and 70s had a swing up upper rack section to  allow easier access to the lower rack.  


As for dropping the silverware, yes that can be a ROYAL PITA.... However most dishwasher manufacturers recommended that the silverware basket be loaded outside of the dishwasher, then place in the machine.  The technique works well.  


But you get used to loading them... no, really!!  I recall that when we got our first top-loader in 1967 or 1968, it took some getting used to, but it was way better than the alternative of doing dishes by hand (and full disclosure, it was my 'job' to do the dishes when I was a brat - my father felt sorry for me having to do this every day so he's the one who decided we needed a dishwasher).  I sure loved having that top-loader....

This post was last edited 12/17/2017 at 00:53
Post# 974086 , Reply# 2   12/16/2017 at 17:47 (310 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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I have to say, our Princess 24' roll out always did a incredible job, Mom was NOT a pre rinser but damn, the noise and the results beat hand washing any day.

Post# 974103 , Reply# 3   12/16/2017 at 18:48 (310 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

You do not understand these because you were born in 1984. For those of us alive in the 1950s, top loading dishwashers were the main type and we were adept at loading them. In 30 years some youngster will ask the same thing about top loading agitator automatic washing machines.

Post# 974123 , Reply# 4   12/16/2017 at 21:22 (309 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Ask someone who owns one.....

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Top loading dishwashers are fine, long as one does not need to keep much or anything on top of lid when not in use. Am here to tell you that having to shift "counter stuff" off and then back onto the GE Mobile Maid in order to load and unload gets old fast.

As for the rest, top loading dishwashers appealed to certain design sensibilities for same reasons as washing machines. That is no need to stoop or bend.

Think about how one does the washing up; dishes are scrapped then moved into a sink, washed then moved into a rack or dried by hand. With a top loading DW you did the first bit then put things down into the machine instead of having to bend down and load one or two levels of racks.

Yes, there TL dish washers often failed is in the rack design. Most required some sort of planning as to get at bottom level you needed to remove the top rack. Later incarnations of KitchenAid, Whirlpool and General Electric solved this issue by having top racks that raised out of the way when lid was opened; this gave full access to lower level easily.

As for dropping things, yes, it could be an issue. Especially anything sharp and that Plastisol tub liner of GE Mobile Maids. That and or you could risk chipping the porcelain of other machines. Main issue is having to fetch the darn thing out. With the GE MM you have to lift out the entire lower rack to get any anything. This in turn requires removing the upper lift out rack first. Oh and if the lower rack was even partially loaded everything had to come out before you can lift the thing.

My GE Mobile Maid washes the Frigidaire 18" (badged Kenmore) DM design dishwasher under the table, and holds more in the bargain. But the novelty has worn off, and likely soon will simply get shot of the thing. Use the top of any portable dishwasher as "counter space" and having to shift the Maxim convection oven off then back onto the MM is getting on one's nerves.

Post# 974147 , Reply# 5   12/17/2017 at 00:33 (309 days old) by Brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

I’ve always assumed that it was a water sealing thing as well. If it opens at the top you can rely on gravity to keep the water in. If it opens at the front, then you need a way to seal the vertical gaps to stop it leaking.

Post# 974183 , Reply# 6   12/17/2017 at 06:19 (309 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Oh geez, that video of loading the KitchenAid is still out there.... LOL   No wonder I didn't get the last 5 jobs I applied for!   



Post# 974193 , Reply# 7   12/17/2017 at 07:36 (309 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Honestly- I might prefer these over a regular front load- especially if they had a single rack. Less bending over so to speak.

Post# 974214 , Reply# 8   12/17/2017 at 09:29 (309 days old) by appnut (TX)        
especially if they had a single rack. Less bending over so t

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Well Chet, it's called a single Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer on either side of the sink and storage drawers under each. 

Post# 974219 , Reply# 9   12/17/2017 at 10:08 (309 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Good point there. Do they still make them?

Post# 974222 , Reply# 10   12/17/2017 at 10:19 (309 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Front loading dishwashers are not sealed at the point where the lower edge of the door joins the tank. The water should not normally rise that high, although oversudsing in any dishwasher can be a dramatic mess. The inner liner of the door extends over the front edge of the tank to provide a baffle that prevents water from escaping and, during dry, serves to enhance air circulation either as an entry point for cooler air which is heated, convected up and vented out through the vent at the top of the door or, like in the KitchenAids, serves as the exit port for the heated air that enters at the back of the tank.

Launderess, why don't you mount a shelf to the wall above the GE that would hold the stuff on top of it? then you could pull it out of its "carport" to load without having anything sitting on top of it.

Post# 974228 , Reply# 11   12/17/2017 at 11:10 (309 days old) by RevvinKevin (So. Cal.)        
Good point there. Do they still make them?

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Really?  You need to get out more... laughingtongue-outlaughing


F&P Dish drawers have been "all the rage" since they were introduced 20 years ago!  They even install them in high-end RV's!


  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 974235 , Reply# 12   12/17/2017 at 11:35 (309 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Glad to see they still do :) Around here they aren't to popular, at least I haven't seen them in the wild much. A window Kitchen-aid on the other hand is the thing to have.

Post# 974236 , Reply# 13   12/17/2017 at 12:01 (309 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Already have shelving along wall were MM is kept.

Thing about the Maxim convection oven is the thing is rather deep owing to the fan/motor/heater on back. Then you have the feet....

Can see what the thing looks like here...

Post# 974262 , Reply# 14   12/17/2017 at 14:37 (309 days old) by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        

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I'd love to see pictures of your mobile maid!

Post# 974336 , Reply# 15   12/17/2017 at 20:39 (308 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
There are some scattered in archives somewhere

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Post# 974383 , Reply# 16   12/18/2017 at 05:34 (308 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Drawer Dishwashers

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Post# 974430 , Reply# 17   12/18/2017 at 10:33 (308 days old) by jakins (Kissimmee, Fl.)        
I love my Toploaders

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I bake a great deal. and I love the top load dishwashers as I can take the top rack out and wash a full bottom rack of cookie pans and cooling racks. they are great for other large items, stock pots, canners if used for cooking, I like mine for the insert to my westy roaster. all larger items usually work in a top load dishwasher

Post# 974598 , Reply# 18   12/19/2017 at 10:35 (307 days old) by whitetub (Montreal, Canada)        

I had a top-load Inglis (Whirlpool) dishwasher when I first moved out of my parents, when I was 20 years old. I bought it for 50$ at a used furniture store.
I thought it was really cool, but everyone else thought it was weird.
One thing I liked about it, when loading dishes with liquids left in it, like coffee, milk,water, it did not splash all over the door, and floor. The splashing was contained in the dishwasher..

In 3 months, I am moving to my new place which is equipped with Fisher Paykel Dishdrawers... So I will be back using top-loading style dishwashers. That should be fun. Unless they do a lousy job...Can't wait to try them out.

Post# 974614 , Reply# 19   12/19/2017 at 12:45 (307 days old) by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        

hippiedoll's profile picture
Thanks for the link about your mobile-maid.
Very interesting & suspenseful. It had me on the edge of my seat as I was reading the posts!

So glad you got your mobile-maid back in service!

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