Advice about Dishwashers
Berkeley Parents Network >
What/Where to Buy >
Appliances & Electronics >
Advice about Dishwashers
How much to install a dishwasher?
I am potentially moving to a rental home which has no
dishwasher. I am trying to convince the owner to install
one where none previously existed. Does anyone have an
estimate of how much this would cost? Any recommendations
for plumbers and/or electricians?
Trying to Save my Teenager
Not sure why a dishwasher will save your teenager... washing
the dishes is good discipline.
anyway... you need a person that understands plumbing,
electric and carpentry (need to cut out space in cabinet for
Count on a two day job with planning (though can be 1.5
days) plus the supplies (dishwasher, minor plumbing, some
electric, paint for cabinet).
So: two days labor: $1200, random supplies: $125,
I recommend A7 Appliance Installation. The owner Dan
installs major appliances. 925-771-4711
Dishwasher Rack getting Rusty
I have a 10 year old Maytag dishwasher with rusty spots on
the bottom rack (at the joints where the plate separators
are). This happened to my previous dishwasher and when it
stopped working I was told by the repair person that over
time, the rust comes loose and falls into the motor,
damaging it. At the time it was cheaper to get a new
dishwasher rather than repair the old one and get a new
I can't believe this is happening again! My mother's
dishwasher has lasted well over 30 years! Should I replace
the rack, get another new dishwasher, or is there a way to
stop the rust? dishwasher woes
Don't let it get too rusty before you fix it. Use a small
bottle of 'ReRack' vinyl repair for exactly this. Sand the
spots, clean, paint. Do it periodically when you think of
it. Available at the hardware store. anon
Anyone have a dishwasher they love-or hate? Mainly we want
a dishwasher that works great and is reliable. Emphasis on
reliable. Ideally, it would be quiet too. Would be
interested to know about good experiences and bad ones
too-what to watch out for. Any info is appreciated!
We bought a Miele. It is quiet and (so far) reliable.
Before that we had a Kenmore which was a lot cheaper, but
only lasted 5 years. The other one we considered was Bosch.
--dish washer of the family
I love, love, love my miele. Had a sears basic model - we
have an 18 inch space - and it lasted less than 5 years and
never worked great - and we could not be in the kitchen when
it was on. Miele sips water (reduced out bill noticeably -
we run it every night), love the top cutlery tray, things
are always clean, the filters are very easy to clean, and
it's very, very quiet. It has been worth every penny. Got it
thru a huge appliance place in sf - good prices. Never loved
a dishwasher before, or even imagined that I would have such
a strong opinion - but it was the best appliance purchase.
Dishwasher recs, from our recent experience:
No: Fisher & Paykel Dish Drawer. We wanted to love this
dishwasher. Alas, great concept, poor execution. It broke
down often= expensive & frequent repairs. After 3 years of
use, when it malfunctioned again, we gave up & dumped it.
Yes: Kitchen Aid model KUD35FXSS bought from Galvin
appliances. Very quiet, cleans well, well laid-out interior.
Still in warranty; no breakdowns yet.
Seems like the days of dishwashers, washers, ranges, etc.
working for years, maintenance free, are gone. What
happened? @only reasonable
I bought a Bosch at Galvin Appliance a couple years
ago. LOVE IT! I thought my old Kenmore was great, and it
did last for years, but my Bosch is like a whole nother
appliance experience. It is so quiet that I've accidentally opened
it a couple of times because I didn't realize it was running.
It cleans really, really well - breakfast plates with dried egg,
roasting pans with cooked-on bits of meat, does a beautiful job
on wine glasses. One hting to know: it does not have an air
dryer so when the cycle is done you need to open the door to
let the steam escape. Dishes will air dry in a short time.
ISO a dishwasher that cleans well and doesn't emit steam
I am desperate for a dishwasher which actually cleans dishes
and does not emit steam. I can find no new recommendations
for dishwashers, which seem to be much more poorly made
recently. I have a Miehle. It has never cleaned very well,
and puts out so much moisture during the drying cycle that
we began to have mildew in the kitchen cabinets, even when
we leave the kitchen fan on. It is quiet, but otherwise our
model is unsatisfactory. Our old house had a Kitchenaid,
which we loved. It got fabulous reviews many places through
2001, but by now it gets only 1 star. I can find no
dishwashers which get more than 2 stars overall on epinions
and similar sites. Any ideas about where I can turn? I'd
wash dishes by hand but we have a very tiny sink and little
counter space in our small kitchen. Thanks, Judy
We purchased a Bosch dish washer 3 years ago and I love it.
I don't prerinse, just scrape off the food, and everything
comes out very clean. I haven't noticed a lot of steam.
The cycle is fairly long but it's a quiet appliance. Bosch
is more expensive than some other brands but worth it in my
opinion. We purchased it from Galvin Appliance on San
We have a Miele we got last year. It doesn't emit any steam.
During the drying cycle, ambient air goes around the
*outside* of the interior walls of the machine. This cools
them relative to the hot steamy air inside and the moisture
in the air condenses on the inside walls and drops to the
bottom. --Happy with our Miele
We have had a Bosch for the past eight years or so and it's
great. We bought the lowest-end model. It was still pretty
expensive ($600, I think), but we've had no trouble and it
cleans very well. There is a removable filter and every once
in a while you have to take it out and clean it, but it's
easy to do. We bought ours from the kitchen store on
Shattuck, near where Reel used to be. Bosch owner
We've had good luck with Bosch units. Just don't get the
cheapest one. All of the mid and high end ones are the same
internally with minor feature differences that don't matter.
They all clean the same. It is a known problem with the
Bosch that if it is hooked up incorrectly or only used
rarely that it can have a smell but I imagine that any
dishwasher could have that issue if not used regularly.
Also since it does not have an electric drying element it
dries glass and ceramic perfectly but plastic items tend to
come out slightly damp. I don't notice any steam come out
of ours unless I open it right when it finishes. So my
recommendation would be, if you have mostly glass and
ceramic dishes, run the dishwasher multiple times a week,
and start it in the evening and unload in the morning then
the Bosch is perfect. Oh and using a high quality dish
detergent is probably pretty key. I like to see what caked
on stuff I can get away without prewashing. Pretty much
anything other than lots of dried egg comes out perfect.
Green Dishwasher Soap that WORKS
I've been trying to green our household, including cleaning products,
and am doing well with things like Bon Ami and 7th Gen. But I can't
find a green dishwasher soap that works. Seems that no matter which
brand I use, I get dishes with little chunks of stuff crusted on and
cutlery that looks dingy. I don't want to go back to the conventional
cleaners, but I'm really tired of washing dishes twice when the
dishwasher is actually supposed to make my tasks easier. Any
Trying to be Green
We're use Biokleen Automatic Dish Powder and are very happy with it. You
can get it (I think) at Whole Foods, Andronico's, or El Cerrito Natural
Grocery. It comes in a round, coffee-can-shaped container.
I've tried a few green dishwashing detergents and the one we love (and
haven't had any issues with) is the Method brand tablets. I used to be
able to get them at Whole Foods, but now I see them at Target. They do
an awesome job!
Bio-Kleen dishwasher powder works. I use the grapefruit kind, and it
They also sell a ''free/clear'' unscented but I can't attest to its
Eco-Friendly dishwasher soap:
Both work very well.
You don't say which you've already tried, but we have had pretty good
luck with Trader Joe's. It's enzyme-based, no bleach or phosphates. Be
sure you scrape off big stuff, but don't rinse (the enzymes need
something to ''feed on'' to activate, I guess), and load everything
properly (no nesting; dirtiest side facing the spray, etc.). Our dw is a
Miele, by the way.
Smarty Dish by method is a phosphate and bleach free detergent that
comes in tablet form. Works GREAT. You can buy it at Target stores. I
looked it up on consumer reports and it got great reviews for how well
I would like to recommend ECOVER dish tabs and the rinse agent. They work
VERY VERY well for me, and have been recommended by Consumer Reports ( not
this last time around, but before that). They ranked #3 right under
Cascade. Use the rinse aid. It helps a lot.
Building in a dishwasher in an existing cabinet
We've decided we're going to tear out a cabinet and put in a
dishwasher. But we need some help.
Who does this sort of thing? Am I looking for one professional
for all this or a couple of different ones? Any recommendations?
There's the figuring out if it's possible to do. The sink is
pretty far from where the dishwasher will be, so we're not sure
this is possible.
There's the ripping out the cabinet. A plumber won't do this,
There's the inserting the new dishwasher and doing some custom
hook up work with the pipes and the electricity.
Location is Berkeley. Time is in the next month or so.
PS- I'm not interested in a portable dishwasher. We have one
and don't use it much because of where it is in the kitchen.
We had a handyman install a dishwasher (actually dish drawers) in an
existing cabinet a few years back and it worked out great. I was
really impressed with his ability to fit it into our 1950s cabinets --
you'd never know it wasn't part of the original construction. He took
out some drawers, moved a door over, etc. and then touched up the
woodwork. He also did the plumbing and electrical, which are pretty
basic (although beyond my abilities). I'd call some of the
handymen/carpenters recommended in the archives and see what they say.
Happy Not Washing By Hand
Eco-friendly dishwasher detergent?
Can anyone recommend an environmentally safe dishwasher detergent that really
works? I tried a powder version from Trader Joes that was OK, but not great. Maybe
Method? Ecover? Seventh Generation? Thanks.
We've had good results with both Method and Ecover - the tablets. I agree
that the TJ's
doesn't seem to get stuff off that well.
I recently switched to Ecover tabs plus Ecover rinse aid and
finally I'm getting clean dishes out of my machine! (For a
while I thought it wouldn't happen without phosphates... a
couple that I tried that didn't work were 7th Generation and
I just checked Consumer Reports -- both Ecover tablets and
powder got excellent ratings. Good luck!
I'm on my first box of the Ecover powder, which I bought based
on the online recommendations for it at Drugstore.com, and it
seems to be working well. I also found the Trader Joe's powder
lacking; their liquid did the job but I didn't like the smell
(kind of fishy). I really love the grapefruit-scented Method
Dish Cubes, but they are pricey. That's my 2 cents!
Tried 'em all
I am using Shaklee products for most of my household and laundry needs.
dishwasher detergent works very well and a little (of all of their
products) goes a long
way. I don't like Shaklee just because Oprah plugged the company about a
ago. I like them because their products are tried and true - my parents
used these as
I was growing up. They are still Shaklee fans. Anyhow, check it out:
www.shaklee.com Best of luck!
We are very happy with Shaklee's product which, like all their
products, is all natural and very eco-friendly. Larry
In general I found the liquid kind to be better than powder for
my dishwasher (no clumps and streaks). Ecover and Seventh
Generation are pretty good. If you are looking for a good list
eco-friendly dish detergents and detailed reviews, check out
I gave up on the powder version of dishwasher soap and am very
happy with Trader Joes or Seventh Generation gel dishwasher
soap. Ecover was OK, but I prefer the other two.
None of the zero-phosphorus detergents worked for us, and we tried them
all. Our dishes simply didn't get clean. The best low-phosphorus
detergent we could find is Palmolive, in a yellow bottle. It may depend
on your dishwasher, though.
Dishwasher for plastic things
We are looking at getting a Miele dishwasher for our newly
remodeled kitchen. The one thing that concerns me is that it
might not do a good job washing/drying all the little plastic
tubs/cups/etc. that we seem to have. (At least that's the problem
with our current dishwasher -- not a Miele, though). Does anyone
have experience with Miele dishwashers or have another fantastic
one to recommend? Thanks
tired of hand washing
I have a Miele dishwasher which I LOVE, especially since my son was born. We got
high end model, which has a sanitary cycle, which runs VERY HOT and does a great
of drying plastic items. I don't use the sani cycle so much now that we're not
bottles, etc and find that I have to leave plastic items on the counter for a
while to air
dry, or dry them with a dishtowel right away. All my friends find this to be
any brand of dishwasher with plastic items. The wash cycles on the Miele are long
(1.5-2hours) but it does a FANTASTIC job of getting things clean. A little trick:
Ecover dishwashing detergent to avoid detergent residue taste on plastics.
We LOVE our Miele. With 3 kids, I know exactly what you are
talking about with the plastic stuff. The Miele is not only the
quietest dishwasher you will find, it is the gentlest, as well.
Plastic items don't get contorted or ''blown-away'' like in most
dishwashers. After a friend showed us her gold-rimmmed china
that had been put through her Miele dishwasher for many years and
it looked like new, we stopped hand-washing even our crystal and
china. You cannot go wrong with Miele. Based on our
satisfaction with our dishwasher, we have since bought a clothes
washer and dryer and double ovens
we just got a miele optima and love it! w/ my old washer, i
needed to rub my utensils clean before company used it. it is
great for sippy cup parts and plastics. i separate all of
those little parts and put them on the top utensil rack. there
is also ample plate space for all of the plastic kid plates you
may have. enjoy squeaky clean dishes and the ultra quiet cycle!
Looking for a portable dishwasher
We are looking for a portable/movable dishwasher. We have jsut moved into a new home without a dishwasher and it's not possible to install a traditional one. Any and all information on good models and ones that are for sale or re-sale, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
This is in response to the woman seeking a portable dishwasher. I've owned my Maytag MDC4000AWE for almost 7 years, and am very happy with it. It is standard size, and if I ever remodel the kitchen, it can be installed. It has a fake wood top, that is a bit cheesy, but I keep it covered with a cutting board and it is fine.
Best portable dishwasher, washer/dryer?
We're moving from our house to a small apartment and can't bear the thought of
being without dishwasher and washer/dryer. Unfortunately, they will need to be
portable, with no vents for the dryer. Does anyone have experience with what the
good brands/models are? Anyone have bad experiences with something that we
should steer away from? Any good ''consumer reports'' websites we could check out
that review portables?
Hooked on Appliances
I have the Haier 18'' portable dishwasher -- it's the standard
height for a portable, but is only 18'' wide and about 20''
deep. I've found this to be the perfect size for my small
apartment, and it's just big enough to hold one to two days
worth of dishes for my small family (me and my son). I bought
it at Best Buy about 8 months ago, for $269. I notice it's on
sale right now for $209. I love it, and would definitely
recommend it! Here's a link to the product description:
Go to www.bestbuy.com , and type
in ''Haier dishwasher'' in the search window.
We bought a used Kenmore Ultra Wash portable dishwasher off the BPN Marketplace
newsletter 2.5 years ago. It is still going strong, and we're extremely happy with it.
Though portable, it is very spacious--visiting relatives with a much newer, non-
portable dishwasher, we were surprised at how much smaller their capacity was than
ours. We can fit our highchair tray top in our portable, they can't fit the same model
tray top in their built-in! How do the manufacturers waste so much space? Not
sure how newer models compare, but I'd check out the Kenmore.
no dishpan hands
I had a portable dishwasher from Sears for a few years that was
a true workhorse. It had wheels and you had to hook it up to
your kitchen water spout and turn on the hot water for it to
run. another hose discharges water into the sink. It usually
took about 60-90 minutes for it the dishes to run thru the
cycle and dry. During that time I obviously couldn't run the
tap. There was a cutting board on top of the dishwasher (faux
counter). What a wonderful time-saving invention. In fact, it
worked better than my current built in dishwasher. The only
real suggestion is that you get one that has a built in food
grinder type mechanism. It grinds up the stuff left on your
dirty dishes (I used to put them in really dirty) so that you
do not end up clogging your kitchen pipes. Sears has two models
(one with the grinder and one without). This invention saved
me countless mind-numbing hours. You will always be able to
sell it when you move.
a dish washing mom
i can't comment
on small dishwashers, but we lugged a portable full size around
from rental to rental, and it was absolutely a life saver. i
understand the need for automation.
clean and shiny
Bosch Dishwasher producing Smelly Dishes
We are having a strange problem with our Stainless Steel Bosch
dishwasher and can't seem to find a solution so I thought I
throw it out to the group to see if anyone has had a similar
Our dishwasher is quite new and almost from the beginning has
produced a nasty, rotten-food smell on many washed loads.
Sometimes the dishes don't smell at all and wash fine, but
other times (often) we have to wash 2 or even 3 times to get
the smell off of the dishes and silverware.
We've called the manufacturer who suggested we use Cascade
granules (the right amount) and make sure all traps are clean
(including air gap and garbage disposal). These things made
absolutely no difference and the dishes continue to smell
rotten. A plumber came in a suggested we turn up our water
heater to high because there is a bacteria that can live in a
water heater at the heater's former temperature. This sounds
promising, but none of our other water smells bad (showers,
clothes washer, etc), just the dishes, so I'm not convinced and
I'm worried about scalding esp since we have two babies who
will eventually use the faucets.
Has anyone encountered this problem? It's incredibly
aggravating as we thought we were buying an excellent
dishwasher and we waste a lot of water and money doing repeat
Thanks for any advice!
Throw in a cup of vinegar.
No longer smelly
Our Bosch, also stainless steel, was purchased in 2000, and we have a
similar problem, although maybe not as bad as you. I smell something
bad when i open up the dishwasher after it runs, quite often. but i'm not
sure if the dishes themselves really smell.
also, it leaves some grainy stuff on our stuff sometimes too. but that may
be because of buildup in our trap.
Curious to hear if others have similar problems, and/or if bosch will do
anything about it.
I'm looking for advice on where to buy a portable dishwasher. I've checked with Sears Outlet in San Leandro, but they don't have any. Any suggestions on another inexpensive place thatwould have a decent selection? Thanks!
We bought ours about 4 years ago from Galvin Appliance, in Albany, on San Pablo ave. It helped that they were right around the corner from where we live, but also that they deliver the new one, and haul away the old one. I can't remember if we paid much of a delivery charge (and that may have changed anyway, since we did this a while ago!). The thing about portables is that they are *never* cheap. They cost quite a bit more than built-ins, and I seem to recall we spent around $500 for our machine. I cannot live without a dishwasher, especially with my small apartment kitchen, so it was worth it for me. The other thing would be to try to find one on this list...
Anyway, we had a great shopping/buying/delivery experience with Galvin Appliance, and would use them again.
What's the dish on dishwashers?
My dishwasher is kaput. I've looked online for recommendations but get
conflicting reports. Does anyone know what's currently the most reliable
brand/model/where to buy,etc.? Thanks.
We love our Bosch. I don't have any data on its reliability, but
it is one of the most efficient in terms of water and energy use.
We have used ours daily for 1.5 years without any problem. The
best feature to me is that it's extremely quiet; I usually can't
tell that it's on. Since we usually run it as we're going to
bed, this is handy. You get a PG&E rebate if you buy a Bosch,
due to the efficiency, but it's quite expensive. Sometimes you
can find them on sale at Sears.
Does anyone have any recommendations on brands of 18-inch
or 19-inch dishwashers? We're hoping to install a
dishwasher into our kitchen and don't have room for the
standard 24-inch size. Also, if you used a contractor to
help you with this and had good luck, please let me know!
Thanks for any advice!
I have only found 2 companies that make these - Miele
(sp?) and Kenmore. Kenmore makes one model - around $400
or so (maybe less). Miele makes a few that start at
$1200. Have not purchased one yet. Heard the kenmore is
a little loud from someone who has it. I have also heard
the Miele holds as much as a 24 inch Kenmore type.
My husband and I are considering an expensive Miele
dishwasher. We hear they are extremely reliable. Is this true?
We have a Miele dishwasher and other Miele products and
they are top of the line appliances. We bought a sale
model at a high end appliance store in San Jose for about
50% off list and are very happy with it. The cutlery top
rack is the best, once you use it you'll never go back to
the silverware basket where everything is dumped in willy
nilly. It's pretty quiet, on ocassion with regular
household noise going on, I've opened it to load something
in it and didn't know it was already on. We've had it for
about 3 years and use it almost daily and it's worked
great. You can email me if you have any other questions.
Dishwasher For Shallow Counter
I am looking for recommendations for non-standard
size diswashers that fit under narrow countertops
measuring about 20'' front-back. Do dishwashers like
this even exist? Has anyone with such narrow
countertops been able to find a dishwasher that
worked? We know we have the option to get a portable
dishwasher, but ideally would be able to find one to fit
under the countertop next to the sink. We also know that
the ''compact'' dishwashers that are 18' wide are not
compatible with our countertops because they are still
about 25'' deep. Thank you in advance for your help.
We had this same problem 6 years ago, when we
moved into our home built in 1939. Happily, our
contractor said there is usually some dead space
between the back of the cabinets and the outer wall of
the house that can be used to make room for a regular
sized dishwasher. That's what they did, and ever since,
we've been using our dishwasher with no problems ,
without having to change the counter depth at all. I'd
advise you to consult about this possibility in your
Love my dishwasher
We went to Sears Outlet a couple of weeks ago and found a portable for
$199.00 which turned out to be $170. off the "retail" price. They get more
appliances in daily from lots of different Sears stores so I would
recommend going out there once a week or seeing if they can alert you if
one comes in. Word of warning - they give you 30 days to try the thing out
but they didn't give us the sink adaptor and when I called to order it,
they screwed up my order so I still haven't been able to try the thing out
and I'm halfway through my trial period. Also, I had to pay to have our
water filter redone to accomodate and had to get another plug placed in the
right place in the kitchen so I spent almost the $170.00 on that. Still
better than paying full price. Barbara
To the mom who's sick of dishes...
Right before the birth of our 2nd child, I decided I couldn't hack the
lack of the dishwasher anymore. But we had a similar problem--the
space we had was too small for standard dishwashers, and no room for a
portable. We ended up purchasing a dishwasher from Galvin Appliance on
San Pablo Ave. in Albany that was smaller than the standard
American-size models. It's a KitchenAid IC Series dishwasher; as I
recall, it's made for the European market rather than here. They had
exactly one in stock at that time (over 2 years ago), a floor model,
so you'd have to see what they have now. Also, I've seen ads in
magazines for something called a Dish Drawer, that is actually a large
drawer that you stick dishes into to wash them (!) that might be worth
looking into. An appliance store might know more about this.
The model we bought was more expensive because it's very quiet (very
important) and an unusual size--altogether, with installation ($350,
because of the work that had to be done in our kitchen to fit it in),
the total was around $1100. They provided an installation person (who
was a little odd, but did a pretty good job!). But it's been well
this page was last updated: Feb 5, 2013
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network