Any recommendations for dishwashers that actually work?

Layout is important to me, but the most important factor is being able to put in dirty dishes without having to hand wash/rinse extensively first. I have heard mixed things about the Bosch Ascenta, but am also curious about Asko and Viking. Any advice would be very appreciated!

  • Posted by: Sara
  • January 14, 2013


ChefJune January 19, 2013
I have had a JennAir dishwasher for the past 6 years and still cannot get over how quiet and efficient it is. I'm not even going to mention how it matches my dual-fuel range.... Just get you one!
Miafoodie January 19, 2013
I have a Bosch and think it is THE BEST. . . I bought mine in
2004, perhaps before they started to use Chinese parts, but knock on wood I have not had a problem. Love the fact that it is silent and you can do a load with a crowd in the kitchen and no one notices. I do rinse large food particles off before I put them in the washer as I don't want ground up garbage swirling around my dishes. Love the Bosch.
pierino January 19, 2013
And you don't want ground up garbage swirling around your plumbing either. And that goes for your garbage disposal as well.
kayakgirl January 18, 2013
Phosphate run-off causes significant environmental damage, including fish kills, ruining swimming holes and water supplies because of algae blooms. Though dish detergent isn't the only source, a little bit from so many households can really add up. No matter what dishwasher you use, adding a splash of white vinegar to each load can really make a difference in improved cleaning and also reduce spots on glasses, with much less environmental impact.
cookbookchick January 18, 2013
We like our Bosch. Very quiet, does a great job.
QueenSashy January 18, 2013
We had Bosch for ten years and it was outstanding. When we remodeled our kitchen two years ago, we replaced the Bosch with Miele. Miele broke within 6 months, and continues to do below average cleaning job. Bosch continues to shine in my friends house.
bugbitten January 17, 2013
No lawn, only disinformation, pentagon.
Sam1148 January 16, 2013
Thanks Bugbitten. However Phosphates aren't quite as evil as people think. They're basically fertilizer. The problem is when they don't get used by plants and cause algae blooms in water systems. Cattails and Bamboo thrive on it and need it.

Now if run off goes into a lake without such treatment. Algae loves it too..what happens is it blooms in sunlight and then dies on overcast days and takes oxygen away from a pond--resulting in a fish kill. It's all a balance..and the worse offender isn't dishwashers, laundry's your lawn and golf courses and suburban sprawl.
bugbitten January 16, 2013
Fancy answer here: Sam, it all goes somewhere my man. And to 1tspoflove, please increase the dosage of love. May I suggest a one-year subscription to Consumer Reports for both DW recommendations and DW detergent evaluations? I don't always agree with them, but for thirty bucks, at least you have a starting point. I try to keep my thinking on the positive side, but it's not worth poisoning our land just because you can avoid rinsing dishes before they go into the big, unavoidably bad washer.
allans January 16, 2013
The best dishwasher for me has always been my two hands. Never had an automatic - never will...
kimhw January 16, 2013
I went from an overly expensive Bosch to an older Kenmore when we moved. Now that we are ready to renovate our kitchen, I'm really considering keeping the old Kenmore. I have 2 young boys and don't rinse anything.
Sam1148 January 15, 2013
A resturant supply store will dishwasher detergent with the TSP that prevents the white residue.
Alternatively add a drop or two of Dawn liquid dish soap to the poweder/packet you use.
As a lesser environmentally friendly the hardware store will have TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate). A 1/2 tsp of that will bring back the old formula of dishwasher detergent you might be used to using.
bugbitten January 15, 2013
Dear Sam, I'm living two hundred feet horizontal, and sixty feet vertical from our lake which feeds into the NYC reservoir system. Have you gone over to the dark side regarding phosphates? P.S. Happy New Year!
Sam1148 January 16, 2013
@bugbitten Oh yes, in that case I would not use TSP.
Our septic and gray water is separate. The gray water--laundry and kitchen-- goes in a (very old) dry well on hard clay soil..and overflows to a channel with bamboo and Cattails. Love the Cattails...Hate the Bamboo. No algae build up there...and if anything too many frogs and bugs.
drbabs January 15, 2013
We bought a Bosch because quiet was our number one priority--our living room, dining room and kitchen are all one big room. It is quiet, and it gets the dishes clean, but the layout is really old fashioned--not much space for larger (actually thicker) dishes, and the top rack doesn't adjust up and down so I actually bought stemless wine glasses to accommodate that. I think ours is an old model--we bought it on sale so it may have been a close out--I think the newer ones are better. That said, we bought a Kitchen aid for our old kitchen and were really happy with it.
bugbitten January 15, 2013
Thank you Barbara for reminding me of the difficulty of placing stemware in the Miele. On the other hand, the tween-aged Kenmore has two fold-down doohickeys that can keep eight wine glass at a steep angle and still leave room behind for those small mis-en-place cups.

Also I'm reminded of reading somewhere that a stainless interior is pretty much just for show. Probability is that you'll replace the unit long before the white interior is done, and you'll save the price of some nice craft earrings which might become a family heirloom.

Of course, all the machines can be set to start two hours after you're asleep. I guess my vote would be for the American-type design, bndut we all know where almost everyone of these devices will be manufactured!
bugbitten January 15, 2013
We have a Miele in the city, and a humble Kenmore in the country. I really prefer the Kenmore for its layout which seems to hold about 15-20 percent more, and it has a more intuitive layout and stronger rack construction. The Miele is virtually silent owing to the charming New York aural ambience.
pierino January 15, 2013
My advice would be to think of the dishwasher as a sanitizer rather than something that will scrub all of the crud from your dirty plates etc. Hey, it's a mean old world. You still have to do much of this by hand. In a restaurant the three stages for dish washing are, washing, rinsing and sanitizing. You can't skip any of them. Plus, you are putting your plumbing at risk if you do.
Greenstuff January 15, 2013
Mine is old enough that you aren't in danger of getting it, SHU 5300. The repair guy, who I've unfortunately gotten to know, has said that the problems are (or were) well-known. So my general advise is just to research your model carefully. I had another Bosch in another house (for just a year) that seemed fine.
Sara January 15, 2013
Sorry, that question was intended for Greenstuff.
Greenstuff January 15, 2013
My Bosch has been a lemon. Choose your model carefully.
Sara January 15, 2013
What model do you have?

And thank you all for the amazing & fast responses!!
Sam1148 January 15, 2013
My Bosh was a lemon also---the repair guy said that when they're good they're very good, when they go bad; they go very bad and leak and almost difficult to repair. Ours ruined the kitchen floor from leaking. (this was 1998).
What was very strange about the design they seemed to expect it to leak, as there was a drip tray behind the kickplate to collect and evaporate leakage; I'm sure the designers called it a 'feature' (IE you wouldn't notice it until it warranty was over and the leak became flood).

amysarah January 15, 2013
Had a Miele for years. Usually worked well, but one note: when it did need repairs, they were always very costly - both parts and factory certified service. Very. (This may also be true with Bosch, Asko, etc. - my experience was just Miele.)
ryanm January 15, 2013
My parents were fed up with their GE, bought the Bosch that Consumers Reports likes, and have been very happy.
Bevi January 15, 2013
Well, I got a Bosch that we had to fix. It turns out the motor in the machine we bought was fabricated in China instead of Germany, bought at Sears. Now that we have the proper motor, everything is fine. Dishes do not have to be clean prior to washing. It's a very quiet machine, and there is a short washing cycle.
mainecook61 January 15, 2013
Ditto to SKK. Have had a Bosch for several years.
DBoldt January 15, 2013
We have an Asko. It cleans everything very well, but the wash cycle is 2.5 hours long! Not only that, but the Swedes must eat only on flat plates: there is no space for bowls so you end up handwashing them. If you're like my family, and like to eat, say, cereal, soup, ice cream or rice in a bowl, you may want to look for a different brand. As far as reliability and noise (not much), it's great, but realistically, it doesn't work well for the way we eat.
SeaJambon January 15, 2013
Ditto to SKK -- and know that if you've noticed that your dishwasher no longer cleans the glasses as well, and sometimes there's a grainy, sand-like residue, well, it isn't the dishwasher's fault -- it is the required removal of phosphates from dishwasher detergent. FWIW: I'm all for this change, but know a couple of people who were about to replace their dishwasher because they thought it didn't work anymore, when it was actually the detergent. Using extra "drying agent" (like Jet-Dry) helps. I've found that using those little packets that include Jet-Dry AND also having it loaded in the dishwasher compartment really helps.
SKK January 14, 2013
Love my Bosch! Dishes don't have to be well cleaned before loading.
bigpan January 14, 2013
After hearing Miele at a friends house, I can't wait to remodel and get one. Costly - yes, but quality costs a bit more.
boulangere January 14, 2013
I've used a Viking for about 4 years. It holds a lot, but its cleaning action is just okay. And the dishes have to be very well cleaned before being loaded. My sister has a Bosch and is very happy with it.
Recommended by Food52