It's been a little over a month since we had our new Bosch dishwasher installed, so I thought I'd give a review of how it has gone and what we think so far. We had it replaced after the old one sprung a second leak. For the record, we purchased the model SHX3AR75UC. It was one of the highest rated dishwashers on Consumer Reports and received a ‘Best Buy' recommendation.
I looked around and ended up purchasing the dishwasher at Sears. I actually ordered it online. At the time, we were able to purchase installation and delivery. I purchased it on a day when Sears was offering a discount of 10% on all appliances, plus I was able to use a $50 off code that I found. The dishwasher retails for $799.99, and our total bill was $784.91, which I thought was a good deal considering that price included delivery, installation, new hoses, and sales tax. Sears used to be the top destination for appliance shopping, and though they've taken some steps back here, I was very satisfied with the purchasing experience.
Delivery and Installation
As mentioned, we purchased the delivery and installation, but since we bought it online, all we could do was pick out our date. We placed the order on November 20, so I was a little bummed when the earliest date available was December 4. That's two full weeks. I ended up selecting December 6, being that was a Friday.
I received a call a few days later to confirm the date. I missed the call but the message said that I had to call back to confirm the date. I thought this was a little odd since I had already selected the date online. Still, I called back and confirmed, and was told that I would receive a call the night before from the tech to schedule the exact time. That call did come, at around 8:45 on December 5. I thought it was a little late, but regardless, he was able to schedule the install for the next afternoon right at the time I'd wanted.
He showed up on time, and even called before as I'd requested. He did a very professional install. When he saw our old dishwasher, he joked that it was the loudest one ever made and wondered how we had put up with it. He said that it's a standard builder grade that costs the builder around $85, and that they still sell them today! He was very courteous, even confirming that it was OK to drill a hole in the side of the cabinet, pointing out that the old hose had been run incorrectly), and asking because he didn't want to scare our son, who was watching from a distance. He gave us a quick run through and answered a few questions we had. My only complaint about the install is that the tech reeked of cigarette smoke. I'm guessing that he smoked in his van and that his clothes had absorbed the odor.
We've run a number of cycles and I am very impressed with the cleaning. I've found a total of one item that had a small speck left on it. This is in sharp contrast to our old machine, which always seemed to leave food caked on somewhere.
I'm also impressed by the fact that the machine takes a lot less soap. With the old machine, we filled both containers (the pre-wash and wash) with soap. Now we fill one container, and per the recommendation of the instruction manual (which, yes, I did read), we only fill it about one-third full for most cycles. All told, we've probably cut our soap usage by 80%, which will re-coup some of the cost of the machine over time.
The machine comes with a whole slew of cleaning options, but we've only used the ‘Auto' option which is good for most cycles. It claims to check the water quality to know when the dishes are clean. So far, it seems to work fine. Some of the other cycles are ‘Heavy' for items with heavy grease, ‘Half' if you are running a partial load, or ‘Express' which will run in about half the time but should probably be run right after the dishes are used, so it doesn't have to spend time getting anything caked off. You can also have your dishes sanitized, in which case it will heat the water to near boiling.
Loading and Capacity
For the most part, this is a wash compared to our old dishwasher. It actually seems to hold more plates, it holds roughly the same amount of glasses, but where it takes a step back is with bowls. The issue we have is that we have Fiesta dishware, which is very thick. As such, there's no well designed place for the bowls to fit. All of the loading spindles are angled, which works great for the plates, but they're all spaced throughout the machine that the bowls don't fit well between any of them. We make it work, but lose a good deal of loading capacity in the process.
From an overall capacity standpoint, the tub is much bigger than the old one. They apparently make the tub bigger by taking away space underneath, so there's less room for the motor and such. The top shelf is adjustable and will even wash wine glasses (something we haven't tried yet but seems to get good marks from other reviewers).
I overlooked the fact that the machine does not have an electronic drying element. Back in my single days, I rarely ever used this feature, but my wife always has, especially when we had babies that drank from bottles, and we would use the extra heat to sanitize the bottles that were washed in the dishwasher. Now, you can still sanitize (see above) but instead of relying on the heat, this machine will superheat the water. We don't have any need for that.
Even though the machine doesn't have an electronic drying element, it runs air through the system, and also requires Jet Dri or another agent, and things come out relatively dry. If I prop open the door after the cycle runs, virtually everything is dry within an hour, even plastic which tends to hold onto droplets for the longest time. It's a minor step back, but it's no big deal at all for us.
The change in the noise level is astounding. When the old dishwasher was running, you couldn't be on the first floor and carry on a conversation, listen to music, or watch TV without going slightly mad. With the new dishwasher, you can stand right next to it and still hear everything else just fine. It's remarkably quiet.
We got the stainless steel option even though the rest of our appliances are white (except our stove which is white with a black door…weird). We were worried about the mix and match, but the idea is to replace appliances as needed, and gravitate toward stainless steel. I figure if we get two of the other three appliances (fridge, stove, microwave) converted as well as the dishwasher, maybe we'll do the final appliance early. We'll see 🙂
The stainless steel looks great, and it is further enhanced by the fact that the control panel is on the top edge of the door, so you really have a very clean look, just the panel and handle.
Outside of the compatibility with our bowls (which I expect would have presented with other manufacturers as well), I really have few complaints. A couple of things:
- Bottom rack alignment – The bottom rack has rollers that run on the inside of the door for sliding it in and out. There's no real grooves or track for the rollers, so if you don't pull the rack out perfectly from the middle, it will inevitably lose its alignment, forcing you to pick up the entire rack and maneuver it back into place. Though the weight from adding dishes seems to help it, there have been times when we've had to do this with a bunch of dishes in the thing, which isn't fun. This is a common complaint.
- Odor – One thing I read when researching these is that some Bosch dishwasher owners reported that the inside of the machine smelled stale. I have noticed this to a minor degree. Bosch has never acknowledged the problem, but the general consensus is that the issue comes from the fact that there is very little room under the dishwasher, so if there's a U-shaped trap under, it likely holds very little water and could be allowing some odor to filter through. It's not bad, and generally seems to be noticeable if we don't run the machine for more than a couple of days. It's not a big deal at all, but I hope it doesn't present as more of a problem when the summer months hit.
- Inside material – A couple of years ago, Bosch went from a full stainless steel interior to a mix of stainless steel (walls) and plastic (bottom). I point this out simply to advise anybody looking at this review to make to check that they haven't switched out other items in the name of cost savings.
- Buttons – As mentioned, the controls are along the top edge of the door. The controls to start the machine or to change the cleaning type are done via buttons. I would have preferred touch pad controls versus having to depress a button, as I feel that the button is more prone to breakage.
We run our dishwasher roughly every two days, and so far we've been very happy with it. The machine seems to clean well, it's very quiet, and has a sleek, modern look. Though it has a few faults, I would expect that every dishwasher is going to present issues of some sort. From an operational, design and value perspective, I would recommend this dishwasher without hesitation.
The true test will be to see how long it holds up. The cheap, builders model that cost $85 was loud and leaky, but it kept going for 14 years. Bosch, you are officially on the clock.