Washing dishes by hand is so 20th century – there was once a time when it was easier to wash dishes by hand and simply use the dishwasher for disinfecting. Those days are long gone, however, and modern dishwasher detergent actually works better when there’s food on your plate. They react to the enzymes in the food to activate, and loading hand-washed dishes hinder their performance.
Most Reliable Dishwasher: Whirlpool Gold WDT720PADM
Whirlpool is known for making reliable dishwashers, and the Gold WDT720PADM is no exception. This dishwasher scored an impressive 75/100 in Consumer Reports, with far fewer repairs needed than comparable machines by competitors like LG, KitchenAid, and GE. It’s Energy Star certified and includes two unique wash cycles.
With 1-Hour Wash, the dishwasher does exactly what you’d think – run for one hour (half the time of a typical dishwasher). On the other end of the spectrum, the Soak & Clean cycle is a 7-hour runtime to clean the most stubborn pots and pans. You can also set it for Sensor mode to let the dishwasher determine for itself how long it needs to run.
Quietest Dishwasher: Bosch 800 Series
Another reliable brand, where Bosch really takes the cake is in sound level. Coming in at sound ratings from 40-44 dBA, depending on the configuration, these are the quietest dishwashers on the market. They also clean better than most models and have a bevy of additional features, such as removable 3rd racks, stainless steel tubs, and a wide variety of cycle modes.
Although a bit on the pricy side (ranging from $800-$1000), the 800 series provides a spotless clean in just under 2 hours. They also include an Eco mode and customizable panel options to get the exact look and feel you need to match your current kitchen appliances. With the Bosch 800 series, you won’t know you’re washing dishes unless you’re in the kitchen with it (which there’s no reason to be).
Best Value Dishwasher: Kenmore 13479
Costing only $500, you’d think Kenmore’s 13479 would fit in the “you get what you pay for” category. However, numerous tests found it cleans just as well, in some cases even better, than luxury dishwashers costing over $1000. In fact, the seasoned reviewers at CNet found it to be one of the best cleaning dishwashers they’ve ever tested.
It’s low on features and not exactly going to win any beauty contests, but it does exactly what you need it to do. If you’re not the type that needs an eye-catching appliance or specialty wash cycles for fine china, casserole dishes, etc., this is the best bargain dishwasher on the market.
Washing dishes isn’t the chore it used to be, at least not with one of these models. If you’re tired of finding food leftover on your supposedly clean dishes or struggling to have a conversation over the sound of a loud running engine, perhaps it’s time to buy a new dishwasher. We can repair a lot, but we can’t turn your generic machine into one of these gems.