Looking for a new dishwasher? You might feel “overloaded” with all of the choices. Consumer Reports says job one of any dishwasher is clean dishes!
Testers spend a day dirtying dishes, glasses, and silverware—smearing on peanut butter, sauce, egg yolks, spinach, and more. Then the dishes are left in the dishwasher overnight, letting all of that food get caked-on, just like you might do.
A dishwasher that does well in Consumer Reports’ tests, whether very good or excellent, should be able to handle anything you throw at it. Some dishwashers leave behind small bits of food, but many dishwashers produce nice clean dishes.
After cleaning performance there is more to consider, including run-time. The normal cycle for most dishwashers these days is between 2 and 3 hours. The $800 Blomberg DWT54100SS cuts cycle time almost in half with an 85-minute normal cycle. It is a bit noisy, but even with its shorter cycle, the dishes come out super-clean.
In the end, top-ratings went to the $1,300 Kenmore Elite 12793, from Sears, which solves another problem. With most dishwashers’ spray arms, if something such as a stray fork gets in its path, it gets stuck and the water can’t reach everywhere. The Kenmore Elite has a motorized spray arm, so when it hits the fork, it reverses direction. The Kenmore Elite is also available without the motorized spray arm for $100 less.
Consumer Reports also named a Best Buy for about half the price. It’s a little bit noisier and doesn’t have a stainless-steel tub, but it delivers excellent cleaning power. It’s the $730 Bosch Ascenta SHX3AR7UC and is available online at Lowe’s.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.