This is the one you want.
This is a lengthy and detailed review on the Kitchenaid model KDTM404EWH3 (white). Pour yourself a glass of wine before proceeding.
I've long since lost my fascination with stainless steel appliances. So when it was time to remodel the kitchen, I decided to go with white. Believe it or not, stainless steel will go out of fashion one day. If you don't think so, think about this: I'm old enough to remember when fashionable appliances used to be avocado green, brown, burnt orange, harvest gold, and almond.
Lately I see that Black Stainless is gaining in popularity. I wonder what the next trendy color or finish for kitchen appliances will be? Perhaps something with a romantic, Italian-sounding name, like "Roman Bronze", "Corsican Copper", or maybe "Venetian Verdigris?" If you start seeing these names on appliances, just remember where you saw them first.
After weeks of research, why did I decide on this model instead of something else? Take a sip of wine, and let me break it down for you:
Washing: If you're looking to replace your old dishwasher, the first thing you should know is that newer models take longer to wash and dry a load of dishes than they used to. In some instances, it may take as long as four hours. Four hours? Well, it won't necessarily take that long. But it could, depending on whether or not you select options like sanitized wash, sanitized rinse, extending drying, etc.). It also depends on the amount of dirt on your dishes (the dishwasher can adjust cycle times depending on how dirty the dishes are).
Cycle times on newer dishwashers also take longer because of water and energy restrictions that didn't exist when your old machine was built. Since newer dishwashers aren't allowed to use as much water as they used to, they now run for a longer length of time. I know that sounds counterproductive. But newer machines are more efficient and use less electricity than older models.
Kitchenaid uses a total of three (3) wash arms on this model. The bottom wash arm is motor driven, and it doesn't look like any other wash arm I've seen in any other dishwasher. It might be said that the design of the lower arm is a marketing gimmick. However, I can't argue with the fact that the dishes come out clean.
This dishwasher does an excellent job of washing the dishes. But I think it's important for you to understand how I use this machine. I usually don't accumulate enough dishes in one day to do a full load. Therefore, I use the "Rinse Only" cycle on a daily basis, and I delay running a wash cycle (with detergent), until I have enough stuff for a full load (usually two or three days).
Unlike some people, I don't pre-wash my dishes (with detergent) in the sink before I put them in the dishwasher. I scrape or wipe off what I can, and I let the dishwasher do the washing. I also wash my dishes promptly after eating, so I have no idea how well this dishwasher works when washing dishes that sat overnight.
Water Quality/Detergent: I have hard water. All of my glasses and flatware are covered with a white film. When I bought my new Kitchenaid dishwasher, I was determined to solve this problem once and for all. I installed an under-sink water filter on the hot water line to the dishwasher, switched to Cascade Platinum pods, and started using Lemi Shine Booster once or twice a week.
I don't know if it was the water filter, the Cascade Platinum Pods, or the Lemi Shine that did the trick (or maybe it was the combination of all three). But after several years of being annoyed by white film, my dishes finally look clean.
Drying: Perhaps more than another other reason, the majority of complaints about
newer dishwashers is that they don't dry the dishes very well. Many dishwashers no longer use a heating element to dry the dishes. In the interest of energy conservation, some only offer condensation drying.
Kitchenaid has a feature called ProDry. It uses a heating element in conjunction with a fan. During the drying cycle, the heating element cycles on and off, and a fan blows moist air out of the dishwasher (the air exits near the bottom of the door, on the left side). This process dries the dishes very well (be sure to use rinse aid).
Wash Cycles & Times: I usually use the "Normal Cycle". In my experience, this cycle takes about 2 1/2 hours (with ProDry selected). I say "about", because wash times are affected by the water temperature entering the machine, as well as the amount of soil on your dishes.
There are numerous other cycles on this machine, including a High-Temp Wash, a Sanitized Rinse, Express Wash, and ProScrub (for things like dirty casserole dishes). When I'm in a hurry, I use the "Express Wash" cycle. Express Wash is the shortest wash cycle available, and it takes just under one hour to wash (but not dry) the dishes. Adding ProDry to the Express Wash adds an additional hour (two hours total). The "Rinse Only" cycle takes about 15 minutes.
Note: To see all the cycles, times, and temperature options for this machine, go to
the Kitchenaid website and download the owner's manual. Not all options are available with all cycles. For example, you can't select a sanitized rinse when selecting the Express Wash cycle.
Wash Baskets: The upper and lower wash baskets on this dishwasher are deep. And they glide very smoothly on ball bearings. In fact, they glide easier than any dishwasher I've seen at any price. Also, unlike my old dishwasher, the lower rack won't slide out so far that it jumps off the track.
Note: The upper rack adjusts for height. However, be aware that if you lower the upper rack all the way down, the upper wash arm (or the upper rack itself) may come in contact with large plates in the bottom rack. This is to be expected. There's only so much room in a dishwasher. If they made it any taller, it wouldn't fit under your kitchen counter.
Third Rack: This model has a third rack at the top of the dishwasher. While I was doing my research, I wasn't really sure that I'd use it. But now I use it all the time. And I much prefer to use the third rack for flatware instead of the silverware basket. Using the third rack keeps all of your flatware separated, and it's easier to see and find everything when you're putting stuff away (see the attached photo on the best way I've found to load your flatware). If necessary, the third rack can easily be removed and reinstalled in just a few seconds (no tools are needed).
Note: The third rack is not very deep in height. But it's deep enough for flatware,
cheese graters, potato peelers, and large kitchen spoons. Forget about using the third rack for bowls, or for anything more than about one (1) inch in height.
Filter: This model has a self-cleaning filter. There's nothing to clean or take apart.
Noise: It's very quiet, but it's not 100% silent. I can hear it hum when it's running. However, I never knew a dishwasher could be this quiet.
Door Latch: No levers or latches. Just a gentle push to close the door.
Door Handle: The door handle on this dishwasher is a solid piece of metal. It feels very substantial, and contributes to the overall feel of quality. At each end of the handle is a red medallion, engraved with "Kitchenaid 1919". If you don't like the Red on Red medallions, Kitchenaid offers two optional medallions at their website for purchase (Chrome with Red letters, and Black with Red letters).
Controls/Digital Display: All of the controls on this dishwasher are located on the top edge of the door. There are no buttons to press. All functions are operated by capacitance touch (like the glass display on a smart phone). Simply lay your finger over the desired function, and a light will illuminate to verify your selection.
This dishwasher has a digital display. As you select the different cycles and options, the display shows you the estimated time to do a load of dishes (remember, the actual cycle times will vary). Depending on the depth of your kitchen cabinets (and the amount of overhang of your countertop), the digital display may or may not be visible when the door is closed. In my case, I can just barely see the display well enough to see how much time is left on a cycle.
Once you've made your washing and drying selections, select "Start". At this point, the display will begin counting down…4, 3, 2, 1. You have about three seconds to close the door after pressing "Start". If you need to open the dishwasher for any reason during the wash cycle, select "Start" again, and close the door. The dishwasher will resume where it left off.
You also have the option to cancel a cycle that has already started, select a new cycle, or to drain away any water that might be in the tub. This machine also has a delayed start feature, which delays a cycle for 1 to 24 hours.
Other options on the control panel include a child lock function, as well as the ability to turn off sound (beeps). Please download the manual for this model to see all of the available functions on the control panel.
Cycle Status: There's a small light on the front of the dishwasher (just to the right of the handle). It's very visible when the door is closed. The light is blue when the dishwasher is washing, red when it's drying, and white when the cycle is complete.
Final Thoughts: If you've made it this far in the review, your wine glass should be empty by now. Don't rely solely on online reviews. Go to the stores, and bring some of your dishes along for a test fit. Slide the baskets back and forth. If you don't like what you see, it's better to find out now than after it's been delivered and installed. A dishwasher is something many people use every day. You don't want to get stuck with something you don't like.
Originally posted on Kitchenaid.com
Yes, I recommend this product