{like scrumtralescent but all scrubbified} {oh wait… scrumtralescent isn’t a word.}

Lately I’ve had dishwashers on the brain.

We have ZERO base cabinets but a gaping hole perfectly sized for a dishwasher. And yet, we have no dishwasher.

dishwasher's home

I’m not good at handwashing and will readily admit I am spoiled. I grew up having a dishwasher, had one in our college apartment, and one in our Newark apartment. The one apartment that didn’t have a dishwasher constantly had dirty dishes piled up in the sink. Apparently our habits haven’t changed because it same is happening here at home. We wait until there’s a bunch, instead of doing them as we go.

In fact, my dear cousin was over on Saturday and while we were working on other stuff, she washed our dishes. Wowzers. How awesome is that?!

And kinda wrong! Our guests shouldn’t come over and do our dishes. She’ll says she’s family but still. If we’re letting them pile up, we should be the ones washing them. Or ~ better yet ~ a DISHWASHER should be washing them. And since adding one only requires installation {no remodeling} it’s moving up the priority list.

For 2010, we are going to start LIVING in our home and not just existing around the renovations.

As we started looking at dishwashers, I slowly realized that either 1) There are too many options OR 2) The perfect dishwasher at the perfect price doesn’t exist. My head is spinning with options and specs but I think I’ve finally narrowed down some specs. Obviously the most important criteria is that it actually washes the dishes but the brands we’re looking at are pretty reputable. Energy Star Certified is also a must.

What else I’m looking for:

  1. Stainless Steel – narrowing options by color seems to be an easy & consistent thing to do across the board. All our other appliances {range & fridge} are stainless, the dishwasher should coordinate.
  2. Tall Tub & Racks – I want to be able to fit large items like pots, cookie sheets, & serving dishes in the dishwasher {what have we learned about my desire to handwash?}. I’d love the top to have a tall side/low side so big stuff can fit on both the bottom & top racks.
  3. At least 14 Place Settings – We have big families and lots of friends. We love to entertain & have people over. Room for lots of plates is a must.
  4. A quick wash cycle – Why do dishwashers have to take 2 hours per cycle?! A wine glass & plate I used for a sandwich just aren’t that dirty and I could wash it all by hand in less time than that! {Not that I would but I could if I wanted to.}
  5. Water saving options – While we do love to entertain, most of the time it’s just us. The ability to do half a load or light wash or whatever will save some water would be fantastic.
  6. Quiet operations – As we’ve mentioned a bazillion times, our home is a whopping 18′ wide at the max points! Moving the conversation away from the dishwasher would involve moving to the 2nd floor. Not exactly ideal. We need to be able to have conversations at a comfortable level while the dishwasher is running.
  7. A sleek front – This is purely for vanity & design aesthetic. It has absolutely now impact on the actual washing abilities of the dishwasher and probably shouldn’t even be a deciding factor. But it is. For me. I can picture our renovated kitchen {2 years down the road} and I want a dishwasher that will meld beautifully with my vision. Sure it looks a little indulgent when you look at our current digs but I’m thinking long-term. If we buy something to last for several years, that’s one less thing to be worked into the kitchen reno budget.

I’ve been browsing around online looking at options & pictures. Sunday, Rob & I drove around to Home Depot, Sears, & Lowes to check out some models in person. I’ve done more research online since then. I *think* I’ve got it narrowed down to 4 models across 3 brands. Feel free to weigh in!

All of the models below come in stainless steel, are Energy Star certified, have tall tubs, hold 14 place settings & have an aesthetically pleasing front. Variables left to compare include quick wash, uneven top racks, & dB levels.

Frigidaire FPHD2481KF
MSRP $799

Pros: Has a quick wash & digital display on the front {so you can see how long is left in the cycle}. The dB level is 51.
Cons: It doesn’t have the uneven top rack. The top rack is adjustable but I’m not completely sold on the adjustable thing yet. Most of the adjustable mechanisms I’ve seen seem flimsy but I don’t remember how this particular one is in person.

Bosch SHX6AP05UC
MSRP $899

Pros: Has a 30min Quick Wash & Bosch’s certified leak protection. dB level is 50! I also like that the controls are tactile buttons, not just a flat flexible layer of plastic that you press.
Cons: No uneven top rack. Again the top rack is adjustable but I’d want to play with it in person. It also doesn’t have any indicator lights on the front to let you know if it’s done or not.

Maytag MDB6759AWS
MSRP $649

Pros: Price! By far the least expensive & it has the uneven top rack that I really like. At 59dB, it’s not the quietest but still not super loud. I also like that it vents on the front, not out of the top {& under the counter}.
Cons: No 30 minute quick wash. I really wanted a quick wash cycle but it has everything other than that. Are the extra couple hundred saved worth not having it?

Maytag MDB8959AWS
MSRP $949

Pros: It has the uneven top rack AND InstaWash cycle {Maytag’s quick wash cycle}. At 56dB, it’s quieter than the cheaper Maytag but not as quiet as the Frigidaire or Bosch.
Cons: Price. Nearly a grand!! That’s just a lot of money. And I haven’t see the top rack adjustable mechanism in person; I’m pretty judgemental about how those work and would need to try it out before any final decisions are made.

So that’s what we’re looking at. Any first hand experience or suggestions for us? Things you’d look for in a dishwasher? Have another recommendation to throw in the mix?? Models to beware of?

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11 Responses to Scrubtralescent!!

  1. livi says:

    Love the Bosch. I’ve had two (in two homes). They are extremely quiet – you cannot even tell they are running.

  2. livi says:

    Also, the new Bosch I have has a light that shines on the floor (red) when it’s done with the wash.

  3. Bethanie says:

    Ditto the bosch! Ours has a quiet beeping to let us know it’s done- that’s the only way we even know it was ever on!

  4. I got a Bosch from Lowes about two years ago. It wasn’t the tippy top of the line, but it wasn’t the bottom, either. I want to say it was around $785, so maybe it’s a cousin to the one your are considering.

    It beeps three times when the cycle finishes and then once every three minutes or so until you open the door (you’re supposed to open the door after the cycle ends to let the dishes cool and get the steam out). Some people complain that dishes are wet when the cycle is done, but it’s probably because they don’t open the door after the cycle is over.

    I am SO happy with the cleaning power. Compare that to my boyfriend’s mother. Her fancy Maytag (not the one you’re considering, a totally different and older one) is awesome inside (three racks!), but dishes come out dirty, even when she uses the pot scrubber type setting.

    Check out the appliances forum on GardenWeb. They pick apart everything! It was a great resource when I was looking.

  5. Sylvia says:

    I have a Bosch 18″ dishwasher that I cannot say enough good things about. It is incredibly quiet, sleek and I certainly do not miss the old clunker dishwasher we used to have. Also, I can say that I haven’t had any trouble with the adjustable top rack. It cleans beautifully even with all the dishes I pack into it. Good luck!

  6. Kellie says:

    OMG, someone outside my circle of friends know scrumtrulescent, you’ve made me happy today Carrie!

  7. katie says:

    i’ll be different and say kitchenaid – we got a kitchenaid dishwasher from best buy about a year ago and i love it. we did a ton of research before buying our dishwasher and felt like the kitchenaid had the best reviews and features that we needed. it is very quiet and fits enough dishes that we only have to do a cycle maybe once or twice a week. i looked at a few bosch dishwashers but we would have had to spend a couple hundred more to get the same features on the bosch that the kitchenaid had – having the stainless steel inside instead of the plastic was important to us.

    • Nancy says:

      Hi! I havent met you guys yet, but I live in Ironbound and your blog is the first and oly blog I subscribe to!

      I renovated an old studio apartment in the Village, 10014, and after 2 years of planning, I got a Miele. I could not live without the top rack for the silverware. Every piece of flat wear has its own slot! I loved it and I never regretted for one second the extra money it cost. I got the one without a door and I put one on a door that matched the cabinets. I loved that dishwasher… sigh.

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