I need to just admit this up front: I am a dishwasher snob. Not only is a dishwasher on my list of life’s must-haves, I need one that works. And by “works” I mean dependably cleans dishes, glassware, silverware and an occasional odd piece or pot. And it has to be quiet.
I use a dishwasher for more than washing dishes. I wash car mats, baseball caps, small waste baskets and anything else that needs a bath, animals and small children excepted.
Faithful readers will recall that nearly two years ago, my husband embarked on a major remodel of our home. (If you missed that you can catch up by going to EverydayCheapskate.com, then clicking on Mary’s Life to find the story with photos).
That remodel was just amazing, because not only did my husband do the work, we did it economically enough to allow for top-of-the-line new kitchen appliances. I opted for a fabulous KitchenAid dishwasher with bells and whistles the likes of which were beyond anything I’d ever heard of. It did everything but put the clean dishes away in the cupboard.
I enjoyed that dishwasher. For about three months. That’s how long it took for us to have a life-changing moment in which we decided this was not a house we could afford to really own (without a mortgage) in our lifetimes. We put it up for sale. The first party to arrive for the Open House made a full price offer on the spot. We had 45 days to pack it up and move it out. And by “it” I mean our lives–27 years’ worth.
Most everything went into storage as we assessed what we would do and where we would go. We decided to take a year or so to get our bearings, as we settled into a very small apartment that had no dishwasher. But not to worry is what my husband said. He’s about as clever as any designer/builder you can imagine. And me? Well, I’m kinda’ clever myself.
I set out to match quality with need–a principle I’ve mentioned to you from time to time. I needed enough dishwasher to get through 18 months. It needed to be functionally solid, which means a dependable machine that washes dishes. I didn’t care whether it had 47 settings or was whisper quiet. I didn’t care what it looked like. We had no time to search for a used appliance that would meet our needs and budget.
After checking lots of reviews, I opted for this Amana 24-inch White Full Console Dishwasher with Energy Star (Model ADB1100AWW). I paid $289 for it on sale at Home Depot. Seriously, folks. Less than $300.
In my heart I was prepared for it to work well enough to get me through a short season of life. Beyond that, my expectations were low. I mean, really … $300? How could anything that cheap be any good?
Oh, my. Where shall I start? I love this thing. It is quiet, works like a champ and get dishes really clean. It uses very little energy and knows how to work hard. I will admit that I don’t want to push my luck, so I scrape and I do a quick sponge-rinse on dishes that are quite messy. I run it only full and opt for the longest cycle. I fill both detergent cups as well, measuring carefully.
This dishwasher is so lovely, so friendly and such a great little helper, there is no way in the world I am leaving her behind when we move. We will restore her little area back to what it was before we moved in because she’s going with me to our new home in Colorado. I already know where she will reside, too. We will be finishing that home’s large walk-out basement with a guest suite, which will include a bar and kitchenette. Perfect!
Would I recommend this dishwasher to my friends, of which I count you to be one? Yes, and without hesitation. Just scrape and sponge-rinse the food off before loading her up and you’ll be good to go. And she’ll keep your car mats and baseball caps clean as well.
This low end Amana Dishwasher is a full sized appliance (not one of those counter-top models) and the cheapest dishwasher out there. For my needs, it is also the best.
Question: How are you and your dishwasher getting along these days?