Archive for the ‘Dishwashers’ Category

How quiet should a dishwasher be?

February 3, 2014
howquietdishwasher

Doves cry at about 44 dBA.

Dishwasher-makers aggressively tout the quietness of their dishwashers by dBA ratings. A dBA rating expresses a weighted decibel level that puts in human context to how loud or quiet a sound is to our ears, because humans perceive sound differences less sensitively at volume extremes. With dishwashers in the marketplace ranging from 37-64 dBA, what really matters when it comes to quietness and what’s simply hype?

We speak at about 60 dBA, light rainfall registers at 50 dBA, a quiet suburb at night registers at 40 dBA and a whisper registers at 30 dBA. Check out Bosch’s interactive “Understanding Decibels” feature on its website to better understand common noise levels.

Dishwashers used to average about 65 dBA. Now, the majority of dishwashers have dBA in the low 50s to the 40s, so somewhere between dinner table chatter and scattered showers. Not only is that a vast improvement over what you likely have in your kitchen, but I bet it will clean way better too.

The most quiet dishwashers compete on just one or two dBA levels — a difference that is unnoticeable or barely so. The Miele Futura Diamond dishwasher comes in at 37 dBA when used in its Extra Quiet Program mode; otherwise, it’s rated at 42 dBA. The Bosch 800 Plus comes in a close second at 38 dBA “in normal operation,” which I think means with clean dishes.

Miele explains that dirty dishes often lead to louder operation in competing brands, because the dishwasher has to work harder than during testing. The lowest difference between testing its competitor’s dBA claims using both clean and dirty dishes was about 3 dBA levels, which is barely noticeable.

quietestdishwasher

In the real world, we call this splitting hairs, so such a slight difference should not be your deciding factor. Alternatively, you will likely notice 10 dBA levels, which is the point at which audible sound doubles.

However, how quiet does your dishwasher really need to be not to interrupt your life? Current trends in home layouts have kitchens much more open to the rest of the house, but what the dBA levels don’t remind you of is that sound dissipates with greater distance.

Are you home-schooling your children at the counter or for some strange reason installing a dishwasher in your nursery? If you’re not carrying on important tasks near your dishwasher, take the ratings with a grain of salt and consider price, racking and performance as also very important.

GE dishwasher jets pulverize residue in bottles, annoyingly narrow cylinders

January 29, 2014

If you’ve ever tried to clean baby bottles in your dishwasher, the game-changing-ness of GE’s latest Profile Series dishwasher needs no explanation. This is probably the best dishwasher ever. OK, maybe I’m overreacting a little, but just bear with me. 

New, dedicated jets have been added into the top rack to clean dried milk from a baby bottle or, say, the spinach that gets stuck to the bottom of your smoothie jars in case you’re juicing or whatever.

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No use crying over dried milk, here.

Tines on the upper rack are topped with a blue node that sprays water up into its hard-to-reach area. You load the bottle or other tall, narrow opening cylinder on top of the tines and the water will directly spray into the bottom of the containers.

Or if I’m to explain it in another way:

peanutpeanutbutterandjelly

But why stop there?

Silverware jets obliterate yesterday morning’s peanut butter-covered knives and side jets say adios to that stuck-on enchilada mess left on the casserole dish.

best-dishwasher

For those of you keeping score at home, GE touts 54 percent more cleaning jets than any other dishwasher in the industry — 102, total.

Not only is that a big number, but the wash arms reverse and vary speed to ensure better coverage. It’s also a really good way to confuse the mess left on the plate: just when it thinks you’re coming at it one way…BAM! REVERSING JET!

GE profile dishwashers

It also doesn’t hurt that it’s really pretty.

GE Profile Series PDT750SSFSS

$1200 says you never have to handwash a bottle again after you buy this…

Sleek stainless and hidden controls, because it’s modest like that.

 

Cyber Monday Appliance Deals – dishwashers, refrigerators, stoves

December 2, 2013

As big as Black Friday is for appliance shoppers, Cyber Monday tends to be a day of even greater savings on appliances for your kitchen and laundry room. Warners’ Stellian Cyber Monday Appliance Sale is no exception. We’ve made special buys of Cyber Monday dishwashers, washers and refrigerators. Not to mention 25% off Dyson vacuums with free shipping!

Due to the nature of the discount, all offers are good while quantities last and must be taken or delivered within 30 days! As always, local delivery and appliance recycling are free on orders $499 and up.

cyber-monday-dishwasher-dealssamsung-dishwasher-cyber-mondaySave $250 on this Samsung fully integrated dishwasher (model DMT400). Choose either white or black for only $399.97.

cyber-monday-dishwasher-dealsYou’ve probably heard raves about not being able to hear a Bosch dishwasher. They are rated the quietest dishwasher. This fully integrated, stainless steel Bosch dishwasher (model: SHX43R55UC) is rated at only 48 dBA, ya hear? Now only $599.97 when you SAVE $300.

If your Thanksgiving nearly ruined your stove like my Thankgiving did, you might be thinking a new range would look good under the tree, er, in the kitchen. Choose any color – stainless, white or black Samsung electric range (model FER300S) for only $499.99 — and you’ll save up to $300. Plus, we’ll deliver it, install it (parts extra) and recycle your old one easy peasy all included. Now if only the turkey were this simple!

black-refrigerator-cyber-monday

stainless-steel-fridge-cyber-mondayThis Black Samsung Bottom Freezer Refrigerator Closeout (model RB195ACBP) is only $799.97, after you SAVE $400. Or update to stainless steel and sleek handles for $999, with this Samsung Stainless Steel Bottom Freezer Closeout (model RL225NCTASR). It’s a $700 savings!

cyber-monday-microwave-deals

Another common casualty of Thanksgiving and the onslaught of leftovers is the microwave. So we put together a killer deal on some over-the-range Samsung microwave (model SMH1622). It’s only $129.99 for black or white or $139.99 for stainless steel, save $70 or $80.

Other featured deals:

  • Save $130 on a new Whirlpool Washer (model WTW4930XW), now just $399.97
  • Score a new Whirlpool Gas Dryer (model WGD4800XQ) for only  $449.97 – you’ll save $150
  • SAVE $250 on LG third rack dishwasher in stainless steel with towel bar (model LDF7561ST):  $749.99

Best Bosch dishwasher features review

October 8, 2013

The appliance that hands down gives our customers the most headaches are their dishwashers. They don’t clean, they’re loud, they don’t always fit my big dishes or enough of them at a time.

Note: if this sounds familiar, it might be time to stop making excuses and start making plans for buying a dishwasher.

Certainly there a lot of cool features that dishwasher-makers are coming out with, but I have to give props to a brand that focuses on being the best in those three areas that cause the greatest heartache. Bosch dishwashers are the quietest in their class and are often recognized for their cleaning power. And the newest generation of Bosch dishwashers tweaked the design to free up even more space for dirty dishes.

Dishwashers should actually clean your dishes

It’s a novel concept: a dishwasher that washes your dirty dishes so well that you don’t wash them yourself before loading. It’s a bad habit that many can’t shake, but being the past owner of a bad dishwasher myself, I can empathize.

When I visited the Bosch training facility last year, my favorite room was the small, enclosed dishwasher room. Cozy on purpose to amplify every sound a dishwasher makes.

bosch dishwashers

This room was small, so you could really hear the difference a decibel makes.

We put every imaginable mess on plates that you’d usually soak or rinse off before handing them over to the dishwasher.

But they came out clean every time — by no accident of course. This is how they are designed and tested. But it was especially fun to witness this process. And to not be the one having to load and unload the dishes.

Is this thing on?

Our best Bosch dishwasher in terms of sales registers at 47 dBA, a sound level between hand washing and typing. (FYI, the quietest Bosch dishwasher is 38 dBA, which is scientifically equivalent to a tree falling in the woods when no one is around.) Translation: they’re super quiet.

They achieve this stunningly silent operation through a combination of insulation, water jet trajectory design, and quiet-focused mechanics.

Some Bosch dishwashers are so confusingly silent, engineers added InfoLight to beam a small red orb onto the floor beneath to indicate that it was, in fact, running. TimeLight goes a step further to beam the time remaining. Unnecessary? Probably. Cool? You betcha.

Nice rack

We’ve all experienced the anxiety of “will it fit?” And I’m not just talking about your skinny jeans in January.

Bosch’s RackMatic design totally gets that the tallest stemware is a favorite for allowing the largest “just one glass of wine” pour. And the tallest cookware (roasting pans, cookie sheets, frying pans) are the ones we least like to tackle by hand.

The unique V-shape of Bosch’s rack means never having to handwash.  Simply by lower or raise the RackMatic rack to accommodate all the awkwardly shaped wine glasses and pans you want.

That sounds expensive

It’s not that bad. We bundled together the best-selling Bosch dishwasher (on sale for $599) with all its kitchen counterparts and then cut the price by 25% ($3699)…while supplies last.

bosch kitchen set

And actually, a kitchen full of high-efficiency, German engineered appliances sounds very quiet.

Tips for buying a dishwasher

September 25, 2013

Sizes & styles

Though dishwashers are relatively standard in size at 24” wide, you may have less than 34” in height if, say, new flooring was laid on top of old flooring. Or your countertops are slightly lower for handicap accessibility.

In these cases, you will need to seek out a “short tub” or ADA compliant dishwasher. An increasing number of dishwashers now offer hidden controls along the top of the door instead of front controls for a more seamless appearance. For a truly integrated appearance, several manufacturers offer models with an unfinished door, able to accept a custom wood panel.

Frigidaire's OrbitClean alternating arm action  focuses four times more water and detergent in a  concentrated area while rotating around the interior.

Frigidaire’s OrbitClean alternating arm action focuses four times more water and detergent in a
concentrated area while rotating around the interior.

Basic models offer just one or two spray arms, but most dishwashers have a spray arm on the bottom, in the middle, and at the top of the dishwasher tub. These spray arms typically have a direct feed of water as opposed to the indirect tower design of the past.

European-style models (i.e. Bosch, ASKO, Miele, Electrolux, etc.) use a slightly different approach to cleaning. These models feature high wash temperatures (30-40 degrees more than comparable models) and increased water pressure. The increased water temperature and water pressure creates a more effective wash cycle, able to cut through even the toughest baked-on grease.

miele-cutlery-tray

Traditionally, silverware baskets are located front and center in the lower rack, but some models feature a long basket on the side of the lower rack, which often can be split into sub baskets and relocated or removed. Some high-end dishwashers offer a flat, dedicated silverware tray at the top of the dishwasher that frees up more space in main racks.

dcs-tall-dishdrawerFor flexible use options, consider dish drawer dishwashers, which can be purchased as single drawer (using half the water and electricity of a standard dishwasher) or double units (each drawer runs independently for convenient flexibility). Drawers also reduce bending for those with back or knee problems.

Features to consider

  • Anti-Leak Safety – shields hardwood floors from damage in the case of an internal leak. Water will be contained within the pan, shielding hardwood floors from damage. A sensor within the safety pan may also shut down the dishwasher to prevent further damage.
  • Internal Water Softener – ensures soft water is used, which reduce fogging and etching to glassware and improves cleaning power of detergent
  • Stainless steel interiors are less likely to absorb odors or stains than plastic interiors and results in a quicker overall dry time through condensation
  • Third racks may be adjusted and nearly removable to use otherwise-wasted space. Sometimes used as a glassware rack for the frequent entertainer.
  • Hard food disposers typically grind up food particles and flush them out, but European-style models’ high wash temperatures and increased water pressure emulsify food waste that is washed away at the end of the cycle. Not using a disposer means less energy consumption and fewer moving parts, resulting in fewer breakdowns and quieter operation. A food trap prevents more durable items, such as chicken bones, from entering into the mechanics of the unit.

Star-Sapphire_time

  • LED electronic read-outs – show the time remaining in a cycle. Wash times are longer today than they were in the past to make up for today’s more eco-friendly but less-potent detergent. A normal wash used to be 45- 60 minutes, but is now between 90-135 minutes, depending on the model.

5 appliance myths that waste your time & money

September 4, 2013

washing-machineMYTH: Cold water won’t properly wash your clothes

FACT: Modern washers are designed to clean in cold water and 90 percent of a washer’s energy goes toward the water heating. So by washing with hot water, you’re pouring money down the drain.

MYTH: You must rinse your dishes before they run in the dishwasher

FACT: Dishwashers and detergent clean best when starting with dirty dishes. The detergent needs food to activate and many dishwashers use sensors to determine the “turbidity” level of the water so if the dishwasher thinks the dishes are already clean, it will run shorter and colder.

Today, an Energy Star dishwasher uses only 4 gallons of water or less, and some estimates say you’ll use 20 gallons of water from your faucet pre-rinsing dishes. So it’s better to run the dishes through 4 times than to put them in rinsed.

MYTH: More soap = more clean

FACT: Just because dishwashers and washers now require less water to clean properly doesn’t mean that everyone has gotten the message to reduce our detergent use in conjunction. Too much dishwasher detergent can leave a white film on dishes and too much laundry detergent can cause oversudsing in the washer, reducing the performance and lifespan of a washer not too mention leaving soap residue on your clothes that didn’t properly rinse out.

MYTH: Using an old refrigerator as a second beverage refrigerator is a money-saving idea

fridge-cost

FACT: The electricity to power an old refrigerator over several years will cost more than an energy efficient replacement…and then some! Energy Star’s website cleverly offers a Refrigerator Retirement Savings calculator.

I plugged in what I consider some common figures and found that the cost to a homeowner of a 20 year old top-freezer fridge (probably 18 cu ft) would be $620 over 5 years. A new Energy Star model costs about $40/year to run vs. $125/yr PLUS many local utilities will actually pay you $35 or more to let them come haul away your second refrigerator.

MYTH: Buying a more powerful A/C will cool down your space faster

FACT: The A/C will just cycle off more frequently when it reaches the temperature in the room, reducing efficiency, lifespan and causing uncomfortable temperature fluctuations. Buy a window air conditioner or room air conditioner that’s just right for your space.

MYTH: When the oven’s preheating chime sounds, it’s fully reached temperature

FACT: Some preheat chimes are on a timer so it shouldn’t be trusted for finicky bakers, who should test the temperature with a thermometer. For your everyday pizzas and casseroles, you’d be fine however.

MYTH: You don’t need to turn on your ventilation until there’s smoke

FACT: You should start running your ventilation 10 minutes before you start cooking to create an airflow and leave it running 5 minutes after you’re done for best results.

4 days left to get up to $1,700 in Appliance Stimulus rebates

February 28, 2013

appliances-twin-cities

appliance-stimulus-sale

The Appliance Stimulus is back, at Warners’ Stellian through Sunday, March 3

Warners’ Stellian re-created the government’s Cash for Clunkers-style appliance rebate program that was so popular, it crashed the state’s website a few years ago. Not everyone got to take advantage of the limited rebates, and customer requests for similar savings was huge.

Plus, many needed new dryers, microwaves and ranges, which were excluded from the government’s program. Our event has become wildly popular, so we’ve made it an annual mainstay and continue to make it bigger each year.

Like the state’s program in 2010, rebates must be reserved online at warnersstellian.com. Participants may receive up to $1,700 in rebates total but will receive at least $100 in many cases per appliance.

Sample rebates include:

$150 rebate on a refrigerator that costs between $1,000 and $1,4999
$100 rebate on a dishwasher that costs between $499 and $999
$200 for a cooking appliance which costs between $1500 and $2499.99

$50 for a freezer which costs between $299 and $499
$50 for a vacuum which costs more than $328

Rebate total details

Dishwasher (limit 1):

  • $499 to $999.99 – $100 rebate
  • $1000 and up – $150 rebate

Cooking – Ranges, cooktops, ovens, microwaves, etc. (limit 2)

  • $699 to $999.99 – $100 rebate
  • $1000 to $1499.99 – $150 rebate
  • $1500 to $2499.99 – $200 rebate
  • $1500 to $2499.99 – $300 rebate
  • $2500 and up –  $300 rebate

Refrigerator (limit 1):

  • $699 to $999.99 – $100 rebate
  • $1000 to $1499.99 – $150 rebate
  • $1500 to $2499.99 – $200 rebate
  • $2500 and up – $300 rebate

Washer and/or Dryer (limit 1 washer and dryer):

  • $499 to $999.99 each – washer $50 rebate, dryer $50 or $150 for a qualified laundry pair
  • $1000 and up each – washer $100 rebate, dryer $100 rebate or $300 total for a qualified laundry pair

Freezer (limit 1):

  • $399-599.99 – $50 rebate
  • $600 and up – $100 rebate

Vacuum (limit 1)

  • $329 and up – $50 rebate

Water Softeners and Water Heaters (limit 1; can be combined with utility rebates for even greater savings; check with your provider)

  • $499 to $1399.99 – $50 rebate
  • $1400 & up – $200 rebate

Participating brands we are advertising: Bosch, Electrolux, Samsung, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, GE, LG, Bertazzoni, Liebherr, Capital, ULine, Asko, Speed Queen, Panasonic, Dyson, Blomberg and more.

Beyond the Stimulus rebate savings, there will be deep discounts on all categories of appliances. A few examples:

  • Frigidaire front load laundry pair for only $899 (regularly $1399)
  • KitchenAid stainless steel dishwasher for just $599 (regularly price of $999.99)
  • Save $1000 on a 4-piece stainless steel kitchen package (fridge, range, dishwasher, microwave) from GE Profile, now just $4249

Aggressive discounts on kitchen packages hope to encourage consumers to replace their existing refrigerators, ranges, microwaves and dishwashers all at once. For example, shoppers can get $1000 savings on a GE Profile stainless steel kitchen package, making it just $4249.

Plus, 18 months special financing available. And as always, local delivery (including free-standing appliance installation) and appliance recycling are free on orders $499 and above.

WHEN:  Now through Sunday, March 3. Customers can reserve their rebate online  

WHERE:  Eight Warners’ Stellian locations, including our:

appliance-stimulus-rebates

Dishwasher troubleshooting: How much dish detergent to use

January 31, 2013
Who's ever been that happy to open her dishwasher? I'll have what she's having, please.

Who’s ever been that happy to open her dishwasher? I’ll have what she’s having, please.

When determining how much dishwasher soap to use, ignore the size of the dispenser in your dishwasher and whatever you do, ignore the suggestions made by the detergent-makers, whose interest it is to get you to overuse soap.

You probably only need a fraction of what detergent-makers want you to use. If that sounds fishy to you, consider that modern dishwashers use far less water than their ancestors, they also require less soap to do the job.

Back in the late 70s, the average dishwasher cycle burned through 11 to 15 gallons. This decreased to an average six to 10 gallons per normal cycle in 2000. These days, dishwashers use as little as 2 gallons of water; they simply use it better.

 

Proper dishwasher detergent amount

So, the answer to the $64,000 question?

KitchenAid says to use anywhere from 2 teaspoons to 3 tablespoons, depending on how dirty your dishes are and how hard your water is:

dishwasherdetergentamountchart1

Postscript (now, this is important)

soap-dishwasherIt doesn’t matter how much or how little soap you use, if you pre-wash your dishes, they won’t get as clean. Sounds counter-intuitive, right?

But dishwasher detergent needs a little bit of grime to activate. And some dishwashers are equipped with a “turbidity sensor,” which monitors how clean the water in the dishwasher is and adjust accordingly, eliminating cycles and not fully heating the water if the dishwasher doesn’t sense that it needs to.

Scrape, don’t rinse and try using less soap. Get the hardness of your water tested, as that can also be a giant leap toward clean dishes.

Cyber Monday appliance deals

November 26, 2012

This year, Black Friday appliance deals were some of the best we’ve ever seen.

But if you were out scoring a TV or an iPad and neglected your poor kitchen, the sales are not over yet, courtesy of Cyber Monday.

Like this stainless steel Frigidaire refrigerator for only $399.97. Model FRT18HS8KS.

 

Score a GE top load washer for $349.97 and the matching gas dryer for $399.97 (save $400 on the pair). The GCWP1000MWW washer isn’t shown online, but is available while quantities last. Dryer is model GTDX100GMWW.

Upgrade to a stainless steel, towel bar dishwasher that’s Energy Star rated AND super quiet.

This Bosch Ascenta dishwasher is $200 off, at $499.97. Model SHX2ARL5UC.

Or, get even quieter with the Samsung stainless steel dishwasher with Stormwash, rated at only 48dB and selling for $250 off at only $599.98. Model DMT800RHS. Colors available at the same price.

All Dyson vacuums are 25% off  through today AND they ship for free.

Shop our Cyber Monday discount refrigerators, washers, ranges, dishwashers. Heck, even freezers are on sale.

Shop Black Friday appliance deals before Black Friday

November 19, 2012

 

Many think that Black Friday shoppers are out scooping up discounted gifts for their loved one’s holiday wishlists.

And they are, don’t get me wrong.

But the day after Thanksgiving is becoming a day savvy shoppers use to score deals for themselves, as well. Think Black Friday refrigerators. Black Friday washers. Black Friday dishwashers. Yep, I’m serious. If you discount it, shoppers will come!

And savvy retailers and brands are hatching Black Friday appliance deals early to ensure the catching of that worm.

So shop now while the supplies are still available. (Hint: we have our lowest deal on a stainless steel kitchen package since…well, at least a couple years — I can’t even remember. But we can’t advertise it!)

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, after all.

 

 


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