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310 of 311 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2012
Let's try something a little different this time. Everyone reading this already knows about Bosch's reputation, top ratings in Consumer Reports, blah blah etc. It's also likely that most of you are looking at this as a replacement. So that's the way I'm going to approach it: a review of my new Bosch dishwasher as it compares to the 15-year-old mid-range Whirlpool (similarly priced, IIRC) it replaced. This should give you a good idea what to expect relative to what you had, plus a little insight as to how the state of the art has changed over the past decade.

Good:
- Sharp appearance; much better looking than what it replaced. It's like the difference between, say, a 2013 Ford Taurus and a mid-1980s model; the old one was sharp-looking at the time, but from a 2012 perspective it's pretty lame.
- The Bosch is AMAZINGLY quiet. I used to be able to hear the dishwasher running from the next room. The first time I started up the new one, I literally had to put my ear to the door to find out whether it was actually doing something. (It was.) You'll hear the occasional faint slosh, and of course the sink while it's draining, but that's it.
- The stainless-steel tub (old one: plastic) is a nice touch, as are the row of fold-down tines in the upper rack and the durable-seeming plastic coating on both racks - I don't know what it is, but it definitely isn't vinyl as on the Whirlpool.
- The heating elements are hidden; no chance of a plastic dish meltdown.
- The Bosch uses a LOT less detergent than its predecessor...and could probably use less than that; see below.
- And, oh yeah, it also does a pretty good job of washing dishes (but, again, see below.)

Bad:
- I may still be re-learning to load this thing, but capacity seems distinctly lower than the Whirlpool. Part of this is due to the tableware basket occupying a substantial chunk of lower-rack space instead of the door-mounted basket on the Whirlpool. (Silver lining: it's removable. (Then again, how often do you wash loads without forks and spoons?)) Most of the tines are slanted, which probably helps cleaning-wise but complicates loading. Sum of topic: I did three loads of dishes after installation, which would probably have been two loads in the old unit.
- As of three weeks and maybe a dozen cycles, I have seen the detergent film noted in many other reviews here maybe once in four loads, and it seems to vary with the size of the load - the fewer dishes, the more film. This thing seems pretty aggressive re energy and water conservation, so I suspect I'm simply using too much detergent despite the tiny dispenser (half the size of the Whirlpool's.) I'm going to follow the user's guide to the letter for awhile and actually measure the amount I'm putting in instead of just filling the cup, and see whether and how that affects cleaning and residue.
- Use of rinse agent is mandatory if you don't want spotty glasses. The stuff isn't that expensive, but it does eat up much of the savings on detergent.
- Installation is relatively difficult. The Whirlpool had all connections up front, just behind the kick panel, and was partly self-leveling. The Bosch unit has the drain connection in back, and also has a leveler in back. The installation guide has you tip the thing on its back to hook up water and power, which would require several FEET of slack in all connections. Being rather uninterested in re-wiring and re-plumbing the existing hookups, I made do. Fortunately I could disconnect the drain hose at the sink end to gain slack, and the water and power connections are reasonably accessible with the unit in place. The manual also had you set unit height and leveling before placing it. This is reasonable, but for reasons too involved to go into here I wasn't able to level it until it was in place. No problem in front, but that back leveler was a problem until I figured out how to tip the unit forward so I could nudge the leveler around with a yardstick. I note this only because this procedure was not necessary when installing the Whirlpool. Tedious and time-consuming, but it worked. Sum of topic: follow the guide's instructions if you possibly can.
- No economy (non-drying) cycle, which contributes to the filming problem. The Whirlpool let you disable the dryer element, which in turn let me pop the door open after washing and let the very hot water evaporate quickly and cleanly. I also don't really get the "sanitize" cycle; 90 minutes of scalding-hot water and detergent should effectively sanitize most anything.
- Only a one-year warranty, for an appliance that can reasonably be expected to last a decade or more. Doesn't exactly speak to Bosch's reputation for quality.

Ugly: Nothing. It's attractive and competent-looking, inside and out.

Bottom line: Consumer's Reports tests included several dishwashers listed at over $1500. After a few weeks' experience with this Bosch, I can't see why anyone would pay that much for a dishwasher. This one is good-looking, quiet, efficient, and does its job quite well...and I suspect I can even improve on that with a little nudge up the learning curve. For about the same price - maybe even a little less adjusted for inflation - this appliance is a substantial improvement over the one it replaced, and among the best regardless of price. Five stars.

*UPDATE* 8/5/12: The sweet spot detergent-wise is a half-full detergent cup. Less doesn't clean well; more and I start seeing residue on the bottom of glasses and such.
I also discovered that this machine does not have a soft-food disposer as did the Whirlpool; you have to wipe food bits out of the bottom now and then. I'm not sure whether this is a bad thing, as I suspect a jammed water / drain pump is what killed the old washer.

*UPDATE* 1/15/13: Not long after the August update, I stumbled upon The Secret to getting consistently good results with this beast: Don't use the "auto wash" cycle. For normal loads, use "normal wash" with a half-full detergent cup; for baked-on stuff, use "heavy wash" with a 1/2 or 3/4 full cup. Since implementing this rule of thumb, I haven't had a single dish or whatnot that has come out dirty, nor have I had a single glass with a detergent film on top. No idea what "auto wash" is supposed to be sensing to set the wash cycle, but setting it manually yields better results.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Wow, purchased this dishwasher about 2 weeks ago, and to date can honestly say it is the BEST appliance I have ever owned. My 4 year old Kenmore which I paid over $1,000.00 for never cleaned my dishes completely (even after multiple service calls)and was very loud - had to go bye bye Kenmore Hello Bosch. This Bosch although it is not rated as the quietest in the line is amazingly quiet...I forget that I have started the dishwasher at all. Has a strainer at the bottom which catches all the large debris and is easy to remove and clean. The dishes come out clean every time and it is very easy to operate. After this purchase I will definitely make BOSCH my new appliance of choice for all my household needs.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
We bought this dishwasher to replace our ten-year-old Whirlpool, which never really cleaned well and which finally quit draining. The most frustrating thing about it was the frequency with which it re-deposited food inside glasses. My first choice was a Maytag with a hard food grinder, a filter, and steam, but it was not readily available in our area. Having read the negative reviews about this less expensive dishwasher, we bought it with some trepidation.

After using it for several weeks, I love it. Our dishes come out not just clean but sparkling. Because it has been years since I used a drying cycle, I do not miss heated drying at all. I used to open the door of the Whirlpool at the end of the wash cycle, but this Bosch gets most of the dishes dry even with the door closed. Although Bosch recommends using the auto cycle with the sanitize option to get the best drying, I have found that the auto cycle works well alone. And even though I will follow Bosch's insistence that a rinse agent be used, I didn't notice any difference when I ran out of rinse agent.

One of the features I like is that the filter and the spray arms can be removed easily if they become clogged. This was not the case with our Whirlpool, and I often had to poke long pipe cleaners into one of the spray arms to clean it.

Although I do not find this machine too small for our household of four adults, I do agree that the loading is awkward. The pictures in the manual assume that you are washing a number of complete place settings, but few people do that. We are simply loading dishes where they fit. However, if you have children who load for you, this machine might pose problems.

I do not miss rinse and hold or a short cycle as I seldom used them with previous dishwashers. Although the cycles are somewhat longer than those on our Whirlpool, I have not found them inconvenient.

People seem to love this dishwasher or hate it, and even those people who like it report success with different cycles or amounts of detergent. I suspect that variations in households, including water hardness, account for some of these differences.

In short, if you do not want or need the extra cycles or heated drying and you don't have children helping, I would not hesitate to recommend this Ascenta. (And, yes, it is super quiet!)
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2011
I purchased this appliance three years ago because of the name brand and have experienced nothing but headaches. I'm currently looking to purchase another dishwasher because this one is one irritation after the next. Presently the soap dispenser doesn't work (rendering it useless), it's not going into wash cycles when we press the power button, and even when we use the appropriate and suggested products for soap and rinse agent, the dishes do not come out looking clean.

Do not choose this dishwasher.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2013
There are a large percentage of reviews on Amazon that rate this product low. There are percentage reviews on other sites that are much more positive. I found this dishwasher a good deal, easy to install, built well and cleans dishes well. I look to Amazon reviews for my purchases, so I was concerned about this product. The Bosch name is good and they make more expensive ones. I don't think the relatively high number of negative reviews here gives the right impression.

Pros: Stainless steel interior. Solid door that closes well (self closing when running I think).
Relatively easy to install (I did it myself to save 150.) However, installation takes much more than plugging in a toaster and you run the normal risks doing so.
Cleans well. Absolutely quiet.

Cons: Some cycles work better for washing and drying.
Not the best for drying dishes.

I think Bosch dishwashers use less water, so using less detergent actually prevents spotting. I use the normal wash, not auto. This machine perfectly cleaned baked on pie from the bake pan with just a half container of detergent.

It was easy to install. You can connect the electricity and water after putting it inside the cabinets. But the outflow need to be connected first (it's in back). Try 3-4 wraps of Teflon tape (provided!) for the water inflow.

The unit does not have a heating element on the bottom. The dishes get 95% dry when running the sanitize feature. If absolutely dry dishes are necessary for you, I would look elsewhere.

Remember, less detergent and try normal wash, not auto with sanitizer on.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2012
I love this dishwasher. It is quiet. You just hear the washer swishing. As long as I turn on the sanitizer, the dishes come out dry. The interior is smaller than other dishwashers, but I was aware of that and it didn't come as a surprise. We've had it for a month and it runs everyday. My husband installed it with no problem and no previous plumbing experience. It just took him some time. I spent about six months researching dishwashers. I was looking for a machine that was no louder than 50 decibels and a good value. This is the one I found. I am very sensitive to sound and at first I wished I had spent an extra $200 to $300 to get a 47 decibel machine, but now my ears don't even hear the water swishing.

This was a purchase from Sears, not Amazon.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2013
I purchased this 24 months ago and intentionally waited prior to writing a review so I would have had ample run time on the machine.
When my dishwasher died suddenly I replaced it quickly without doing all my usual research. If I had, I probably would not have gotten this one. That said, I do like it but would prefer the next level up for additional features. Installation was very easy and doable by your average home handyman. Everything needed was included and for once I did not need to run to Home Depot for anything.
PRO¡¦s:
* Extremely quiet, so much so I had to check the first couple of uses to make sure it was actually working! It is so quiet, the delay wash feature really is not necessary.
* Cleaning ability is good but not the best I have seen. With no disposal it¡¦s best to pre-rinse well (although this is always a good thing to do with any machine). Most dried on food washed away but not as well as I would like but it does pretty good (prior washer did better). Top rack cleaning is excellent.
* Simple easy to use controls. Remembers most settings after a power outage.
* No problems with operation after 24 months of use. Insides look as nice and clean as the day I brought it, racks so no signs of age, door seal still feels like new with no discoloration.
* Have had no signs of the major problems other reviewers have mentioned.
* Food catch screen is easy to remove and clean.
* Care and Maintenance, as called for in the manual, is easy to perform. The guide states ¡§During normal use, the filter system is self-cleaning. This to work well, I have observed only a very minor build up on the ¡§micro filter¡¨ during my 2ed yearly maintenance.
* No ¡§delicate¡¨ cycle for your fine china.
* Full cycle takes a long time. The user¡¦s manual shows ~2.5 hours for Auto Wash with Sanitize, my experience is ~3+ hours. NOTE- this is likely due to my low inlet water temp.
* Does not completely dry dishes.
* Top rack wire arrangement seems off. By this I mean my glasses and other top rack items do not fit well and as a result sometimes tend to move around, strange, maybe I need metric glass ware (º). Bottom rack layout works fine.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2012
I bought this about a month ago and so far am very happy with it. It is so quiet that I have to put my ear to it to make sure that it is running. My dishes come out sparkling and there is plenty of room for dishes and pans..I've had a lot of dishwashers in my life and this one beats them all. I also like the panel because it shows you the time left in the cycle while the dishes are being washed. There aren't a lot of confusing buttons and it is easy to use. So far, I'm loving it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2014
I purchased this unit a few weeks ago to replace a older Kenmore Elite. It does a great job of cleaning the dishes and it very quiet BUT who ever designed the top and bottom racks obviously never had to do dishes in real life. The bottom rack is great for plates and desert bowls BUT try to put in a pot or two or a large bowl. The tines are all in wrong places and slanted. The top rack has two useless rows unless you have glasses for midgets and the little niknac shelf does not adjust so unless you are washing expresso cups under it, it is pretty much useless. I did not realize until I took delivery that it did not have a separate rinse cycle. Not deal breaker but I thought all dish washers had this cycle.
PRO: Very quiet, excellent cleaning of dishes
CON: Rack design
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2011
We bought a Bosch Ascenta dishwasher after it earned a solid review in Consumer Reports magazine. I must say it's very quiet. But unless you buy a single brand of dishwasher soap -- Finish -- and add the same brand of rinsing agent, it fails to clean routinely soiled dishes and glasses even if you use the Power Wash option. It seems unable to rinse the dishes clean and then bakes on the dirty residue of the wash cycle so that you have to scrub each dish and glass after removing them from the dishwasher.

Additionally, the upper basket is poorly designed. If you fill one row with cups or glasses, you have to leave the next empty.

We called a repairman and he said the model is operating as designed. So I'll have to pull it out and purchase a higher quality brand before the warranty expires. What a disappointment!
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