Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ma and Pa Kettle Shop for a Dishwasher

Our 12-year-old dishwasher finally bit the bullet this weekend. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did, as it came standard with the house and was one of those cheapo no-name brands.

For a second we considered becoming one of those back-to-basics families that spend their evenings washing and drying dishes by hand while having heartfelt conversations. Then we laughed and headed out to look at appliances.

After several hours and many stores later, I learned something very important: Dishwashers now come with a lot of extra crap.

Our old model cleaned and dried dishes, period. Oh, there were some nice options, such as Air Dry and Short Wash (as oppose to the Full Wash), which you selected by twisting the dial a certain way. But now, a lot of the newer models also offer a delayed timer (what?); "Adaptive Wash," in which sensors (you heard correctly) determine how much cleaning your dishes really need; and a sterilizing mode. Because it's not really clean until it's sterilized.

Apparently when you don't shop for household appliances very often, going into the stores is like being an Amish person shopping for a cell phone. Really, the number of options were quite overwhelming to us, as were the widely varying price ranges. If I'm going to pay more than $1,000 on a dishwasher, it better clean my dishes, charge my iPod AND offer me a neck and shoulder massage.

In the end we selected a well-reviewed, reasonably priced model from a locally owned appliance store. We didn't go for the bells and whistles (don't you love old-fart phrases like "bells and whistles?") because we just want a machine that washes and dries. We did splurge on the stainless steel exterior and also will receive a rebate from our utilities company because we picked an energy-efficient model.

I feel so modern.


Mokihana said...

We have an old, and I mean OLD, KitchenAid dw that came with the house. Wash and dry. Just three cycles. But it gets the dishes really clean. And it dries them too. Nothing fancy, no bells and whistles. It's not even plastic on the inside! I mean the racks are. But it's such a workhorse!

We've lived in our house 20 years now. I love my dishwasher!

Love your post. Your humor is Summa Cum Laude!

Kikue Mugen said...

This only reminds me that mine is biting the dust and I think I'll have to start looking more seriously. But true, all the bells and whistles makes stuff so over rated when all I need is something to get my stuff clean. Glad to know that you got your miracle cleaner and that in itself is a good thing. Way to go! You are modernized!

stephanie said...

WOW - a new dishwasher ... when mine bit the dust, I used it for about a year and a half as a drying rack and pot "hider" (you know - "OMG - so-and-so is here - quick, throw all that dirty stuff in the dishwasher!!") Then my dad bought a new dishwasher for his place, and I lucked into HIS old one - it squeals, but it works!!

The delayed start timer is nice to have tho, I can set the dishwasher to start in the middle of the night, so the squealing doesn't bother me over my snoring ...