Pros: Stainless steel tub, quiet operation, adjustable tines, spacious, attractive
Cons: No child-proof locking, fingerprint magnet
About a year and a half ago our contractor supplied GE Dishwasher started to give notice that its useful life was approaching its end. The soap dispenser would no longer stay closed, tines started breaking and finally the rotary cycle selector came off in my hand.
Did we panic? No, thats just not our style. We nursed it along for the next year while doing research on its replacement. The GE to its credit had given us almost 20 years of relatively trouble-free, albeit noisy service. But then 20 years ago, who expected a silent dishwasher?
Finally, a few months ago, the top rack became useless. It would no longer clean. The lovely Mrs. Xeno turned to me and announced, Rudi, its now showtime!
Research, research, research (or killing two birds with one stone)
Actually Im quite fond of birds, so just take it as a figure of speech. As an Advisor in the Home & Garden Category, I have to read and rate a goodly number of reviews each month. So, when Im looking to make a purchase such as a dishwasher, I start reading all the new Dishwasher reviews. Makes sense doesnt it?
After reading and rating a few hundred reviews the cream just has a way of settling on the top. It wasnt too hard to decide that a Bosch was what we were looking for.
In South Florida, Bosch is easily found at both Sears and Lowes. At our local Lowes several Bosch models were on display.
While there are only three of us in our household, we generate a lot of dirty dishes as well as pots & pans. Its pretty much a given here that the dishwasher will be filled and run by the end of each day. Additionally, since we entertain very often we use a lot of large size serving platters and bowls. We knew we needed a large capacity washer with a flexible rack configuration.
Since we do some heavy duty cooking here, I needed a dishwasher that could really handle dirty stainless steel cookware.
While our GE had handled washing dishes reasonably well, it had always been miserable at drying. Unloading dishes and glasses that are still somewhat wet wreaks havoc on white ceramic tiled floors. I wanted a dishwasher that didnt require me to mop the floor after each use.
Finally, we wanted to keep the purchase price to under $1,000.
Bosch Evolution 500 SHE45M05UC Stainless Steel Dishwasher
After looking at several models we concentrated on the mid-level Bosch Evolution 500 series. It seemed to satisfy all of our requirements and operate at a 51db noise level (very quiet).
4 cleaning cycles
14 Place setting capacity
Stainless steel tub
Modular silverware basket
Very high temperature wash
Condensation drying (no exposed heating element)
Silent operation (51db)
In the two plus months weve owned our Bosch dishwasher our overall impression of this model has been one of delight. This is a dishwasher to be reckoned with. In daily use weve put it through its paces, experimenting with all cycles and their variations and have yet to be disappointed.
Rack Capacity & Space Utilization - The main (bottom) rack measures an impressive 420 square inches with virtually all of it being usable space. It is fully tined for a generous 14 full place settings. Half of the nylon tines can be folded flat or angled to accommodate items of virtually any shape. Unlike many dishwashers utilizing an in-tub silverware basket, the Bosch basket is designed to fit over and around the tines, so that it can be placed anywhere in the rack. Additionally, the basket can be divided in two and placed in different locations within the rack for optimum space utilization.
Pot Scrubbing - Pretty much all dishwashers offer at least a nominal Pot Scrubber feature. The extent to which they accomplish the mission is often erratic. Not so with this Bosch model. Its ability to clean even the most scorched stainless steel cookware without so much as a pre-rinse is incredible. This is largely due to the 161 degree water temperature generated by the flow through sealed water heater.
Adjustable Rack Height & Tall Tub Design - The upper rack can be raised and lowered by approximately 3 inches to provide additional clearance to either the top or bottom rack. This is a very handy feature when you have large serving platters to be accommodated on the bottom rack or tall stemware on the upper rack. Additionally, the entire top rack and spray arm are easily removed to allow items as tall as 22 inches to be placed in the bottom rack. We found this Tall Tub feature to be particularly useful for washing large capacity stock pots.
Quick Wash Cycle - The quick wash cycle is a handy 30 minute cycle that weve already used several times while entertaining in order to reuse dinnerware during the same evening. Although the manual doesnt say its required, we have rinsed plates before loading them when we plan to use this cycle. If anything is sacrificed during this cycle it is drying.
Condensation Drying - Most dishwashers rely on an external heating element to dry the contents of the dishwasher. The Bosch, with no external elements utilizes the extreme temperature of the final rinse, with the rapidly cooling stainless steel tub to dry by allowing the wet items to dry through evaporation with the water vapor condensing on the tub walls. This feature is surprisingly effective during full cycles and results in little if any moisture remaining on the tops of cups and glasses. Remember that white ceramic tile floor discussed earlier? Enough said!
Just how silent is 51db? Its very silent. In order to hear anything at all, youd have to be standing directly in front of it and concentrate. This model is so quiet that it really does require the LED Time Remaining indicator on the front control panel. Bosch achieves this level of silence by use of three layers of sound insulation and twin smaller motors that are suspended rather than bolted to the dishwasher chassis.
Few things in this world are perfect. No exception here. The Bosch Evolution 500 Dishwasher is commonly available in White, Black and Stainless Steel finishes. As the name of this model would indicate we opted for the Stainless Steel finish. Heres the rub. Stainless Steel is a fingerprint magnet. The mere thought of touching this machine leaves prints on it. As much as I appreciate the beauty of gleaming stainless, I wouldnt recommend it to a family with young sticky fingered kids.
If you do go for the Stainless Steel finish, I highly recommend the use of Magic Products Stainless Steel Magic. It both cleans the finish and offers some protection from fingerprints left by casual contact.
Lack of Child-Proofing
Only the Auto-Wash Cycle offers any degree of child-proofing. On all other cycles the door can be opened simply by doing just that, opening it. During the Auto-Wash Cycle, some power is apparently diverted from the motor to increase the suction of the seal on the door. While technically not locked, it takes considerable strength to open the door.
The Bosch Evolution 500 SHE45M05UC Stainless Steel Dishwasher gets top marks from this reviewer. With the possible exception of additional child-proofing, Im hard pressed to think of a way that this dishwasher could be improved. Although you can spend more than the approximate $800 price of this unit, its not obvious to me what youd be getting for the higher price-tag.
© Rudi Xeno 2008