A quick search on the AskJeeves.com search engine unearths a precious piece of trivia: in 1893, Josephine Garis Cochrane received an award at the World's Fair in Chicago. The reason for this award? Her invention of the dishwasher, a godsend appliance the offspring of which was eventually introduced to the public under the KitchenAid name in 1949.
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I should thank God for Josephine every day.
With two young children and a kitchen roughly 9 feet by 5 feet (including the space occupied by the sink, range, refrigerator, and dishwasher), I'd be hard pressed to maintain my sanity for more than a few days without this GE descendant of Josephine's invention.
In my galley sized kitchen, there's really only one countertop, and that's the top of the dishwasher, so you can imagine the necessity of high dishwashing turnover in my household. Basically, as soon as an eating utensil gets dirty, it gets a quick rinse and heads right for the interior of the dishwasher. On average, I run the appliance about once a day, and I've had this model in my apartment for almost four years, so I'm very confident in its abilities and performance.
Although it has been completely satisfactory for my needs, the GE Potscrubber 720 (or GSC720) is a fairly basic model, with just a few simple cycle choices from which the user can choose:
Potscrubber (63 minutes for washing cycle only) - for seriously dirty, heavily soiled dishes or cookware with dried-on, baked-on, impressively encrusted food: This is a feature I rarely use, mostly because I'm in the habit of scraping leftover food directly into the garbage can and never leaving dishes very long before washing them. Because I prefer reducing the wear to and prolonged hot water exposure of my cookware, I never place pots and pans in the dishwasher.
Normal Wash (63 minutes for washing cycle only) - for everyday dishwashing, appropriate for dishware, glassware, and flatware with an average amount of food soiling: This is the cycle that I use 99% of the time, and it performs beautifully almost every time.
Light Wash (63 minutes for washing cycle only) - appropriate for eating utensils with lighter soiling: This is a feature I have rarely used, primarily because I'd rather be sure that the contents of the dishwasher were thoroughly washed and sterilized than be unpleasantly surprised upon unloading the machine. This cycle does save energy and water in comparison to the Normal Wash and Potscrubber cycles (this is assuming, of course, that you don't have to run the dishes through more than once).
Short Wash (55 minutes for washing cycle only) - for everyday dishes with light to medium soiling and no drying on, particularly good for loads of glassware: Another feature I have rarely used as I prefer the assurance that my dishes will be completely cleaned as with the Normal Wash cycle. Also saves energy and water over the Normal Wash or Potscrubber cycle.
Rinse & Hold (9 minutes) - a feature appropriate for a quick rinse of incomplete loads that will be washed again later: Another feature which I find inappropriate for my purposes, mainly because in order to run my dishwasher, I have to move the appliance out into the central area of my ever so spacious floor space and hook it up to the sink, thereby making it all but impossible to reach anything in the kitchen.
Plate Warmer (32 minutes) - self-explanatory, used to heat clean plates, bowls, serving dishes, etc. before a meal: Unfortunately, I barely have my entertaining act well enough together to serve the food to the guests, let alone serve it to them on warmed plates.
Heated Dry (32 minutes to be added to wash cycle times above) - for drying dishes with heat, rather than naturally, after a wash cycle: A necessity. I always use the Heated Dry feature, and I am still usually greeted with a small amount of water on the top rack. Yes, it's less energy efficient, and yes, it takes a little more time, but considering that I dislike drying dishes by hand even more than I dislike washing them by hand, I consider it worth these slight disadvantages.
Overall, the GE Potscrubber 720 receives very high marks from me. Although I can't comment on the price since it was (fortunately) my landlord's purchase, I am fairly certain that this is a no-frills model. And yet, from a performance perspective, the appliance is completely satisfactory: I put dirty dishes in, I take clean dishes out.
It is very, very unusual that I remove a load of dishes and find any food residue at all stuck to a utensil or plate. The only cases I can recall of this, in fact, were in situations where the food remaining was particularly sticky by nature (i.e., steamed rice). It's true that my stainless steel dinner knives probably would look slightly shinier if I washed them all by hand, but if I had to wait for the time to do that, we would eat most of our meals sans dinner knives.
The machine is rather loud once it is turned on, but as I can easily close the door to my kitchen (and while the dishwasher is running, there is no room for anyone in the kitchen anyway), this is not a problem in my household. Additionally, as mentioned above, the Heated Dry feature does not always render all dishes completely bone dry. However, my experience with other dishwashers suggests that this goes with the territory and is not a defect unique to this particular model.
My model of the GE Potscrubber 720 is off-white with black trim and a formica-like butcher block countertop. It measures 27" deep x 25" wide x 36" high and is on easily rolling wheels. The hose used to connect it to the sink faucet attaches fairly simply (via the Unicouple) once you get the hang of it and easily retracts into the back of the machine after use. Do be sure that you or your plumber attach a faucet adaptor (or the proper aerator) before attempting to use the appliance. You will not necessarily be able to attach the hose properly without modification.
One other note along this vein: be sure to turn the hot water (preferably between 120 and 150 degrees, according to the manufacturer) on after attaching and off before detaching the hose. My husband has more than once hooked up and turned on the dishwasher but forgotten to turn on the water, resulting in nothing more than a load of still dirty dishes with a bunch of congealed dishwasher detergent inside.
GE recommends using the following:
~ Hot water between the temperatures of 120 and 150 degrees
~ Soft water (less than 12 grains)
~ Detergents labeled for use in automatic dishwashers, never laundry detergents or liquid soaps (I'll second this suggestion, having run out of dishwasher detergent once and having used liquid dish detergent with results reminiscent of the Brady Bunch overflowing laundry episode)
~ Rinse agents (in my view, a nice touch, but not really necessary)
The Potscrubber 720 is covered by a full one year warranty, which includes an agreement to provide, free of charge, parts and service labor to repair or replace any part of the appliance that fails because of a manufacturing defect. Further, the appliance is covered by a ten year warranty which applies to the tub or door liner if it fails to contain water because of a manufacturing defect such as cracking, chipping, peeling, or rusting.
GE Answer Center 800-626-2000
Please be sure to read thoroughly the Use and Care Guide that should accompany any appliance purchase. That for the GE Potscrubber 720 is detailed, informative, and easily understandable by even the feeblest in mechanical matters. Pay particular attention to the safety instructions described therein.
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