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Thursday, October 17, 2013

What to Look For in a Dishwasher

Today is the last day that I wax poetic about my new dishwasher. I figured it would be helpful to list my favorite features so that those of you who are in the market for a dishwasher (or might be in the future) know a few things to look for.

Bosch 800 Series Dishwasher Features | From @janemaynard at

For much of our marriage we haven’t had a dishwasher. When we did, they were generally pretty bad. The last dishwasher we had was so terrible I stopped using it and hand washed everything instead! Not surprisingly, having my very own, brand new dishwasher that actually does the job feels like a dream! Since I am so familiar with bad dishwashers, I can go on for days explaining why my new dishwasher is so much better. It’s like night and day and I am so appreciative of this machine!

Here is a list of my favorite features of the Bosch 800 Plus Series 24”³ Flush Handle Dishwasher in Stainless Steel:

The Third Rack
The dishwasher has a third rack. The third rack is SO AWESOME. It’s shallow and perfect for holding large utensils and my nice, non-wood-handle knives. There are little grooves made just for knives so that they are held firmly in place. While that is all well and good, the third rack is PERFECT for a family with kids. All of our tiny bowls and sippy cup lids fit perfectly and never flip during the wash. The third rack is full every time I run a wash!

bosch dishwasher review | from @janemaynard at

Adjustable Top Rack
Let’s move down to the next rack, the top rack. This rack has tons of space in it for glasses, cups and bowls. I’m always amazed how much I can fit in. The rack is adjustable, so you can make it go up or down if you need to. You can also remove it completely if you want to wash something especially large in the bottom rack.

bosch dishwasher review | from @janemaynard at

The Dishwasher is Smarter Than Me
The dishwasher has sensors that assess the cleanliness of the dishes SIX times during a wash cycle. The sensors actually necessitate that you do NOT pre-wash (rinse) the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher – the machine cleans better when it can actually tell how dirty the dishes are. I definitely use less water when I do the dishes and things go faster, which is great! The dishwasher also is good at reminding me when I need to add rinse agent or salt to the water softener (which we’ll get to in a minute).

Use Less Soap
This dishwasher only needs about 1 tablespoon of soap for a typical wash. Pretty great! (Sidebar: I have started using Finish powerball detergent and rinse agent. My sister-in-law Jess has been extolling the virtues of Finish for a few years now. Bosch gave me some samples and got me hooked. I have started purchasing Finish instead of the old powder soap I used to use. The dishes come out squeaky clean, with no film or residue. Jess said her dishwasher repairman is the one who told her about Finish – he said not only are the dishes super clean, but their soap is better for your dishwasher, too. By the way, I have no relationship with Finish, I am just totally converted to how awesome they are!)

Oodles of settings
My dishwasher has a ton of settings to choose from, which provides great versatility. I usually just use “Auto” since, as I mentioned before, the machine is smarter than I am. I love the half load option, too, for when we need to do a wash but haven’t filled the dishwasher.

Built-in Water Softener
Dishwashers work better with soft water. If you live in a place with hard water (or really hard water like I do) but don’t have a water softener for your home, then you’re kind of stuck. The Bosch dishwashers have their own water softening system. You simply test your tap water when you install the machine, see how hard your water is, add special salt to the softener, then select the right setting for your home. It was really simple to figure out and I love that this is built right into the machine.

bosch dishwasher filter system | from @janemaynard at

Filter System
Most dishwashers have a disposal system with a blade built in. The blade can never be sharpened and it works just okay. Bosch uses an advanced filter system to break down the food in the water. When they first told us about the filter system I wasn’t sure what I thought about it, but now I totally love it. The filter is easy to pop in and out of the dishwasher. Almost all food can be broken down through the filters, but foods that can’t get caught in a cup in the filter. I check the filter every two weeks or so to see if there is anything in there (there hardly ever is) and that’s it. It’s a great system!

I’ve mentioned this before, but my dishwasher is SO QUIET. It’s amazing. I have the 42 decibel model and you can hardly hear anything. I am not kidding when I say that Anna and I tried to start the dishwasher three times the first time we used it – it was on every time, we just couldn’t hear it! When I visited the showroom, they showed us all the different things they do to make the dishwasher quieter. I don’t remember all the details (I’m an artist, not an engineer!), but I do remember they do a LOT of extra soundproofing that other brands don’t do.

The Dishwasher Just Plain Works
Bottom line: my dishes come out clean. I don’t have a million cups and bowls flipped over and filled with dirty water when the wash is done. There aren’t any spots or grime on my dishes. The dishwasher does just what it’s supposed to do – wash the dishes!

Hope this is helpful for those of you thinking about dishwashers! Thank you once again to Bosch! It’s been wonderful working with them!

UPDATE 3/16/16: Almost 3 years later and I am still completely in love with this dishwasher. Never any problems, works beautifully, and that third rack is my favorite.

Disclaimer: Bosch provided me with the dishwasher in exchange for reviewing the product. While they are wonderful and generous, all opinions are my own and, as always, I will share my honest opinions.


  1. 1

    You are seriously making me want one of these dishwashers! And, I already have a nice dishwasher so it’s not like I need it… I just want it! Haha!

    I was actually going to post a question asking what kind of detergent you use but then you went ahead and read my mind and answered it. My dishwasher tends to get some build-up. We also live in Southern CA so we have very hard water (no water softener and not one in our dishwasher). I was thinking maybe our detergent was to blame (Costco brand liquid, not powder) so I tried a few different brands – Finish Gel and Cascade Complete. I think I can honestly tell a difference now that it’s been a few weeks. The Finish Gel was still leaving some build-up but the Cascade seems to be leaving the machine the cleanest (I haven’t tried the Finish PowerBall). Anyway, the reason I was even going to ask the detergent question was to see if you noticed a difference in build-up depending on which detergent you use? So, if you ever use anything other than the PowerBall I would be curious what you find. 🙂

    • Jane Maynard

      I think with both laundry and dishwashers, powder soap is always the way to go. the liquid soaps tend to cause build up in the machines.

      the finish powerball packets are filled with powder soap. even with finish I would probably not use the liquid soap.

      using a rinse agent DEFINITELY helps with the build-up, too.

      as for my experience – I was using cascade powder soap in our old dishwasher and no rinse agent and I would get the filmy build up (that dishwasher was brand new but also not nearly as good as the bosch). I switched to the finish powerball soap and using rinse agent when I got the new machine – I’m sure it’s a combination of all those factors, but I don’t get any of that filmy build-up on any of the dishes.

      hope this is helpful!!!!

    • carolina

      Interesting… I’ve always used liquid detergents because I thought they rinsed cleaner than powder. I will have to give them a try!

      I forgot to mention in my original post that I do use a rinse agent (Finish). And the build-up occurs on the front insides of my machine, not my dishes. The dishes are always squeaky clean, it’s the machine that I have to scrub every month or so. I can tell I’m going to be spending a bit of moolah trying to find the perfect cleaning solution! 😉

  2. oooh, I’m SOOOO loving some features you have on yours! My dishwasher is only a year old, and I’ve noticed it doesn’t always clean my dishes so great – for example when I set mine to “sensor” clean, and I don’t prerinse, I always have dishes come out still dirty!

    I also started using Finish tabs about 6 months ago, and sometimes a little bit of the tablet remains in the compartment – I’m really thinking this is an issue with my machine, not the tablets.

    I’m SO jealous of your third rack AND the water filter!!

    enjoy it my friend!!

  3. great features!
    three racks, love it!

  4. 4

    I want 3 racks! I want this dishwasher. Seriously. Ours is currently a mess- spills water everywhere, the door is hard to shut, it’s awful. Yours looks magical. 😉

  5. That third rack is definitely a huge selling point for me. I’d love it.

  6. 6

    Quick question – how long does it take wash the dishes on a normal cycle….mine seems to take FOREVER!!! (not a Bosch) 🙁

    • Jane Maynard

      2 hours. which is also FOREVER. 🙂 I guess that’s the next innovation for dishwashers, faster loads! there are settings for a quick wash and a half load, which are shorter, but I always have a fun load I need to wash.

  7. 7

    Three racks are a dream!

  8. I have an older Bosch model that I’ve always loved, but now I want this one! Love that third rack!

  9. 9

    That extra rack looks amazing. We always run out of room in our dishwasher, and I end up washing half of them by hand. The joys of having 6 people in the family, I suppose. I’m glad you’re enjoying the dishwasher! It was so fun to transition from hand washing daily to loading them up here. It was a requirement for me when we moved.

  10. 10

    How does it dry? I have a Viking that washes great but takes forever. The drying takes place with a dish towel if you are in a hurry or open the door to air dry before you go to bed. No forced air drying system so they could get an energy star, but have to use the hotter than normal wash to help with drying.

    • Jane Maynard

      that’s a great question. Everything is dry when I take it out. A few of the little bowls I put in the third rack will have a bit of water on the top, but less than my last dishwasher had. I used to have dry with my old dishwasher but I haven’t had to with this one.

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