Awkward Loading but Quiet Cleaning

Jan 5, 2013
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Quiet, Quiet, Quiet
Good at its main task of cleaning
Sleek design 

Cons:Silverware Holder in Door: If you don't know you like it, avoid it

The Bottom Line: A good repair record and a good performer: this is worth serious consideration.

We chose the Whirlpool WDT910SAYM dishwasher because of its high ranking in a published head-to-head competition.  We have been pleased so far but we are not ecstatic.

The stainless steel exterior and curved handle make for an attractive front.  We never before realized that there is a difference in stainless steels, and that used on the Whirlpool shows fingerprints more than on our stainless from other manufacturers.  They wipe off easily but need more attention than our other pieces.

The controls are hidden along the top of the door which adds to the contemporary look.  The blue indicator lights are sufficient but the labels for each button are not easy to see under the edge of the counter.  Six cycles include Eco, Sensor, Normal, Overnight, 1 Hour Wash, and Heavy Soil.  There is no quick rinse cycle, which is disappointing; the closest option is the 1 Hour Wash.  Running options, available in combination with the above cycles, include the Power Scour wash, High Wash Temp, Sani-Rinse, High or Low Dry settings, and a 4 hour delay.  The controls can also be locked to avoid little fingers from resetting your choices.

While most of the above options are self-evident, the Power Scour option is one that is unique to the Whirlpool line.  This setting redirects the water to a series of dedicated jets on the back of the tub, allowing a direct and constant wash of those pans set to receive the blast.  I’ve tried it and it does work, although not as well as one would hope.  Consider a 9” x 12” casserole dish: the sides would not be in direct line with the back of the tub, but instead would be perpendicular to that surface. This means that the direct water stream is not so direct on all the surfaces and the cleaning is not always complete.

The racks provide reasonable choices in set up.  The tall tub allows the top rack to be set high or low.  There is a set of tines on the bottom rack that move to allow pans or plates to be better set.  The top rack includes one folding shelf to hold down some plastic storage items, while two clips are mounted to do a similar task.  Two?!?  Really?!?  The plastic do-dads can’t be all that costly yet more would improve the loading options a great deal.  The same goes for the folding shelf: having gotten used to two of them in our last dishwasher, to have only one on a top-of-the-line model is disappointing.

A part of the Whirlpool design that we do not like is the narrow, on-the-door silverware holder.  Some folks love them, but we’ve always thought it problematic.  We’ve avoided this brand for years because of this feature, but thought we would give it a try to see if we have been wrong all these years.  We have not been wrong.  The holder is so narrow that it easily tips when set on the counter, the bins are often too small for a kitchen utensil to fit in, and the front face can open unexpectedly, dumping your silverware on the floor.  This opening face is supposed to be a nice feature to allow quick emptying of the holder.  But if you don’t click it closed correctly, or if an item catches on it wrong, then the whole front falls open and you’ve got yourself a mess.  We have now moved the holder off the door and into the bottom rack.  This avoids the awkward horizontal loading required if it is on the door but it takes up precious rack space.

The unit runs very quietly and does an admirable job of cleaning.  It is vital to keep the rinse aid dispenser full to avoid having food re-deposited on the dishes.  We also set that dispenser to the lowest setting as we were going through the rinse aid like a sailor on shore leave.  Even at this low setting, the dishes come out clean every time.  While the washer does have to run a long time for each cycle, it is the quietest dishwasher we have owned.

At the end of the day, it is a dishwasher.  Not much to get excited about.  It runs quietly and cleans well.  We don’t love all the features and the quirks, but we have adjusted.  As long as it keeps doing its job, we’ll be happy.

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