Monday, December 2, 2013

Bosch Über Alles

Warning: The following is an unpaid product endorsement.

I just can’t get over what a great job the new dishwasher did over the holiday. Since it is machinery, it is my responsibility in the kitchen. I load and run the dishwasher. I got a lot of practice over Thanksgiving. At one point, I ran three successive loads and even washed some of the heavy-duty cooking dishes. Linda said, “Are you supposed to put pans like that in the dishwasher?” I replied, “Sure, they fit!”

A few months ago we were struggling with our old dishwasher. The tops of the glasses would come out full of soap and had to be re-rinsed and dried. I called a repairman and he diagnosed the problem as a failing pump. Without full water pressure, the rinse cycle wasn’t getting all the soap out that was trapped in the small depressions on the top of glasses and cups. Plus, the cleaning just wasn’t up to snuff.

As I suspected, he said that a new pump would cost as much as a new dishwasher, so I went on the hunt for a replacement. I checked out Consumer Guide (I have a subscription for the online Consumer Guide) for the best dishwasher. I always check CG for any major purchase. I like to have the best and, often, the cheap turns out expensive. The current dishwasher is about fifteen years old, but I expect good machinery to last longer than that. Sadly they really don’t make things like they used to. Most of the latest gadgets are designed for about five years of life and then they are not only obsolescent, but most likely kaput.

I was not surprised to learn that the top three or four models of dishwasher in Consumer Guide were Bosch. I first saw that German model at a store in Beaverton, Oregon. My dad took his rug shampoo machine into this little specialty shop for repair. While there we looked at the Bosch dishwashers they carried. The owner and chief handyman gave us a great sales pitch about the quality of Bosch. I remember the particular model my dad looked at had a flat drawer on top where you would put your silverware one piece to a slot. That prevented “spooning” from hiding a dirty side of a utensile from the cleansing water.

I went down to Lowes. Both my nephew Joel and my son Mark were working there, so I got an employee discount. I picked out a very nice model of Bosch in stainless. The only choices were stainless or white. Our kitchen is almond. (That’s right, we built the house in 1986. You can tell the age of any home by the color of the appliances.)

I know from watching shows on the Home Network or the Realty Network or something like that, that everyone swoons when the kitchen appliances are stainless, so that’s what I chose. Of course, “stainless” is a misnomer as the brushed metal shows fingerprints like a police blotter. Still it does look nice, and — best of all — it does a super job of cleaning.

In the CG report they showed how they tested dishwashers with baked on peanut butter and other impossible dish tests to determine the best cleaning dishwasher. As usual, they also look at value for the dollar. Even though Bosch is no bargain basement brand, it took the top three or four spots in the evaluation.

So I bought one of the top models and had it installed. I don’t mind doing electrical work, but I leave plumbing to the professionals. I like the fact that, if the installation fails and my kitchen floods, I have a major corporation to back me up. That happened to my neighbor. Her new dishwasher ended up costing almost $6,000 when you include the new kitchen they had to put in when the water hose came off. I wanted the insurance of an installation warranty just in case. So far, no kitchen flood.

The funny thing is that Lowes insists on selling you a new water hose … the fancy metal woven, high quality, and quite expensive kind. When the installer put in the dishwasher, he said to return the fancy hose for a refund since Bosch has a permanently installed hose. And it’s just a simple plastic hose. He said that must be new. I hope that Bosch isn’t “cheaping” out on me and that hose is good for twenty-five years. One advantage of being 66 is that a twenty-five year guarantee is really a life time warranty.

Anyway, this dishwasher fulfills all promises. Linda used to prewash things before they went into the dishwasher. Her neanderthal husband just puts in the dishes and glasses, all stained and yucky. I press the button. (The dishwasher actually adjust to how dirty the dishes are and adjusts the time of wash … don’t ask me how it does that, but it has a count down clock and I’ve seen it adjust when the dishwasher was full vs. partially filled. Maybe that’s the metric it uses to set wash cycles.) It also only uses one shot of soap; not the two cups of soap … one with a cover. It also told me when it was out of “finish.”

So there you have it folks. If you want to buy the Cadillac of dishwashers (or maybe, since it is German, the Mercedes of dishwashers), then this consumer analyst highly recommends the Bosch dishwasher. Tune in tomorrow when I’ll be writing about our refrigerator. It’s the original from 1986, and it has taken a lickin’ and kept on ticken’.

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