Most helpful positive review
310 of 311 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding for the price
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.
- 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.)
- 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.