Which KitchenAid dishwasher is best?

Since KitchenAid introduced the first commercially successful dishwasher in 1949, they have been trusted by households everywhere. Other dishwashers only splashed water on dishes, glasses and utensils, while KitchenAid dishwashers sprayed water under pressure to clean dishes, not just get them wet.

If you are looking for a KitchenAid dishwasher that is roomy, efficient and quiet, take a look at the KitchenAid 44 dBA Dishwasher with FreeFlex Third Rack and LED Interior Lighting It has an advanced clean water system and a fan-enabled drying system.

What to know before you buy a KitchenAid dishwasher

All KitchenAid dishwashers have multiple wash cycles that can be tailored to clean the most difficult cooked-on messes. They also have durable stainless steel tubs for long service, unlike plastic tubs used in cheaper dishwashers.

How many place settings do you need to wash at once?

KitchenAid’s smaller dishwashers hold 12 place settings, while their larger models have room for 16 place settings.

Controls

  • Front panel controls: The controls situated on the front panel of the door are always visible, making it easy to check the wash status while the dishwasher is running.
  • Hidden controls: Those who prefer a sleeker look choose dishwashers with controls mounted on the top of the door. While the look is cleaner, you cannot use the controls without opening the door and interrupting the wash.

Racks

Dishwasher racks are typically made of steel that’s clad in either nylon or polyvinyl chloride.

  • Nylon-coated racks stand up to hot water, detergents and abrasives. Nylon lasts longer without peeling, cracking or rusting.
  • PVC-coated racks that were once common are now used only in budget dishwashers.

Handles

  • Recessed handles give your dishwasher a clean look.
  • Bar handles give you a place to hang dish towels and a larger area to grasp with either hand.
  • Scoop handles are the smallest — just large enough for one hand.

What to look for in a quality KitchenAid dishwasher

Racks

  • Number of racks: Most dishwashers have two racks. When you have a third upper rack, you have more room and the ability to customize the load for maximum cleaning.
  • Adjustability: The more you can adjust the middle and upper racks, the easier it is to load your dishwasher as efficiently as possible.
  • Tines: Racks with adjustable tines let you fold them flat to make room for bulky items.

Quiet

Water sprayed under high pressure makes a lot of noise. Better dishwashers use more insulation and sound-deadening materials. Noise is measured in adjusted decibel scales, referred to as dBA. The lower the dBA number, the quieter the dishwasher. 

Wash cycles

Most dishwashers have light, medium and heavy wash cycles. For a better way to wash your dishes, look for one that has additional cycles like these:

  • Express: You can use the express option when you have only a few things to wash and don’t need the cleaning power of a full cycle. It saves on water and energy too.
  • Heat: Dishes dry more quickly when using heat and a fan to circulate warm air throughout your dishwasher.
  • Hold: Once you’ve loaded your dishwasher, you may not want to start the cleaning process right away. With a hold function, you can set the controls for your dishwasher to do its thing later.

How much you can expect to spend on a KitchenAid dishwasher

KitchenAid dishwashers range in price from $1,000-$2,100, depending on the features you choose.

KitchenAid dishwasher FAQ

Do I have to rinse my dishes first?

A. The more baked-on and caked-on your foods, the harder your dishwasher has to work to clean your dishes. Taking a few minutes to rinse them before loading will save you from having to rewash them. 

Where can I find a guide that helps me learn to load my dishwasher better?

A. KitchenAid has an online guide with all the ins and outs as well as the tips and tricks the pros use. For starters, always load all racks from back to front and unload from bottom to top.

What’s the best KitchenAid dishwasher to buy?

Top KitchenAid dishwasher

KitchenAid 44 dBA Dishwasher with FreeFlex Third Rack and LED Interior Lighting

KitchenAid 44 dBA Dishwasher with FreeFlex Third Rack and LED Interior Lighting

What you need to know: This dishwasher is roomy, efficient and quiet.

What you’ll love: The third rack has rotating wash jets and a removable utensil tray for large cooking tools. The filtration system circulates clean water to dishes in all three racks. The ProDry system uses hot air circulated by a fan to get your dishes really dry. 

What you should consider: Some users say the utensil rack should be at the front, not the back.

Where to buy: Sold by KitchenAid

Top KitchenAid dishwasher for the money

KitchenAid 39 dBA Dishwasher with PrintShield Finish

KitchenAid 39 dBA Dishwasher with PrintShield Finish

What you need to know: KitchenAid’s quietest dryer has a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel face that is specially coated so you clean it using only water and a soft cloth.

What you’ll love: You can lower the adjustable middle rack to place large dishes there or raise it to make more room for pots and pans in the lower rack. The Heat Dry option heats the final rinse water, and the air inside and can be extended another 14 minutes for things that need extra drying time.

What you should consider: A few say broiling pans and cookie sheets do not fit in this dishwasher.

Where to buy: Sold by KitchenAid

Worth checking out

KitchenAid 44 dBA Dishwasher in PrintShield Finish with FreeFlex Third Rack

KitchenAid 44 dBA Dishwasher in PrintShield Finish with FreeFlex Third Rack

What you need to know: The ProWash cycle uses sensors to measure soil levels, shortening wash time and temperature for lighter loads and lengthening it for tough messes.

What you’ll love: KitchenAid’s largest third rack has an angled design that fits 6-inch tall glasses, mugs and bowls. The rotating wash jets get your items clean, and the drying bar wicks moisture away from glasses so they won’t spot.

What you should consider: Some wish the top rack was roomier.

Where to buy: Sold by KitchenAid

 

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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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