April 20, 2014

Miele Makes World’s Fastest Dishwasher

Dishwashers are no longer a luxury appliance. They are considered a standard appliance in most of today’s kitchen remodels. But the type of dishwasher you choose can make feel as if you are living a life of luxury.

Miele appliances are known for their high quality and skillful design. We saw some of their newest offerings at the Dwell On Design show in Los Angeles, last week.

As someone who often wants to run back-to-back loads through the dishwasher, needing a quick turnaround of tableware, a quality machine that will save time sounded perfect.
This latest model from Miele is the fastest integrated dishwasher in the world. Boasting cycle times just less than 30 minutes.

“We have a growing number of requests from designers and consumers for a fast, commercial grade dishwasher that would replicate the integrated design of our famed residential models that accept a custom cabinet door panel,” states Deborah Ruriani, Product Marketing Manager for Miele Professional, the company’s commercial products division. “The G8050i delivers on both counts – brilliantly cleaning 12 place settings in less than 30 minutes – with the sophistication of a semi integrated blend into the surrounding cabinetry. We are excited to offer another option that enhances speed and efficiency in the kitchen.”

The new commercial dishwasher has six programs, including an express, economy, normal, china and crystal program and a unique beer glass program as well as a rinse. It also can be configured with or without Miele’s patented third level, separate cutlery tray.

Dishwasher Buying Tips

Before you step into a showroom or start a conversation with a salesperson at your local home store, educate yourself about today’s dishwashers. Then decide what type will be right for you. Here are some thoughts to consider:

Decide on a dishwasher type before you begin. The built-in dishwasher, ideal for fitting into a specially formatted space within your cabinetry, is the most standard of all dishwasher types. The drawer dishwasher, which features several drawers for different capacities, is a relatively new style that allows you to wash only a few dishes per drawer when needed. For smaller areas, countertop dishwashers might be more feasible. A portable dishwasherworks where kitchen space is limited, but can be found nearby. What type of dishwasher you choose will likely be dependent on the size of your kitchen as well as your budget.

Understand capacity levels in dishwashers. While couples and those with small families might find an 18-inch dishwasher to be suitable for their needs, larger families will probably be happier with a 24-inch dishwasher.

Consider energy costs. Look for the Energy Star symbol on dishwasher models, which indicates that the dishwasher conforms to Energy Star requirements and will thus save you money each month on utilities. Energy Star-rated dishwashers not only save you money, but also leave a smaller carbon footprint over time. For more energy savings, look for features like quick wash, which prevents the dishwasher from overusing water and expending extra energy.

Compare dishwasher cycles. While most dishwashers will include standard cycle settings such as economy, light and regular, some dishwashers offer advanced settings, such as a rinse cycle, or settings for specific dishware, such as glass stemware. Although these settings are not necessary, they can add to the overall convenience of the dishwasher.

Look at exterior style and decor. If you would like your large appliances to match, exterior color and look can play a huge part in the dishwasher you choose. When you find a dishwasher with the features you desire, see if that dishwasher is available in various styles. If your dishwasher will set the stage for the other appliances, consider how easy or hard it will be to clean the exterior of the dishwasher. While stainless steel is a popular choice, it’s also more difficult to clean.

Check out the interior layout. Consider how much you like (or dislike) the stacking ability of your current dishwasher and the placement of the silverware trays. You can find silverware trays inside the door of the dishwasher or within the pullout trays located inside the dishwasher.

Read reviews and consumer tips. While you will ultimately have to choose a dishwasher that will conform to your individual needs, reading reviews will give you a grasp on which models don’t live up to their hype. This extra footwork can save you money on repair bills and annoyance with your new dishwasher in the end.

Read more…

Appliance Myths – Dishwashers

Although we use our dishwashers often, sometimes daily, their inner workings remain a mystery to many of us. Here are some common myths busted for you.

Myth – My dishwasher is broken because there is some water in the bottom after the cycle is finished.
Truth – There should usually be some water left in the bottom sump of the dishwasher at the end of a wash. This water keeps the seals moist to avoid them drying out and leaking. When the dishwasher starts, it will first drain for several seconds to remove standing water, then it will fill with fresh water and begin the wash cycle.

Myth – A dishwasher pumps in water to fill it up.
Truth – When needed, a water fill valve simply opens to allow the household water pressure fill the machine. The pump is only involved in draining the appliance and washing.

Myth – A dishwasher stops filling when the float inside the tub rises high enough to represent a proper fill level.
Truth – Most modern dishwashers fill using a timing method, filling for a set amount of time. The float is usually for over-fill protection only, stopping a fill before it gets to the point of flooding. Under normal operation the float and float switch should never come into play.

Myth – If your dishwasher fails to function, you should call a plumber.
Truth – In most cases, no. Major appliances are considerably different from most other plumbing fixtures. Most plumbers are not familiar with the intricacies of the appliance itself and should only be called if the problem lies in the connection to the household plumbing.

How to Load a Dishwasher

The proper way to load the dishwasher. Husbands and wives have been debating technique for years, roommates have had thoughts of moving out because of it. Some procedures, like careful placement, do guarantee that dishes are cleaned properly and emerge unscathed, dishwasher intact. We’ll let Consumer Reports step in with their official stance -

Here is the proper way to load your dishwasher:
* Skip pre-rinsing, a real water waster, but do scrape off food.
* Load large items at the side and back. Otherwise they’ll block water and detergent.
* Place the dirtier side of dish toward the center of machine, allowing for more exposure to the spray. Dishes shouldn’t rest against each other, or water won’t reach all surfaces.
* Put dishwasher-safe plastic and delicate items on the top rack.
* Rest glasses on prongs to prevent breakage and water from accumulating in them.
* Load forks and spoons with handles down, but place knives handles up. If your dishwasher has an open basket, mix flatware to prevent pieces from sticking together.
* Place items with baked-on food facedown and toward the sprayer in bottom rack.
* Avoid putting brass, bronze, cast-iron, wood, or gold leaf china in the machine.

 
To keep china from chipping, don’t allow dishes to touch other items, especially pots and pans. If you decide to hand wash your fine china and porcelain, line your sink with an old towel to prevent chipping and use a mild dish detergent.

Getting the Dishwasher Clean

We rely on our dishwashers to provide us with sparkling clean dishes, but if the inside is lined with hard water deposits and detergent residue, we are making its job more difficult.

Use this simple method from Heloise to get your dishwasher in shape:

Turn on the dishwasher when it is empty; don’t use any dishwasher detergent.

Let the bottom of the washer fill with water, stop the cycle, then pour in 2 to 3 cups of plain white or apple-cider vinegar. Let the dishwasher finish the cycle. You might need to repeat if you have extremely stubborn hard-water stains inside.

Do this periodically to keep the dishwasher clean and fresh.

Rating the Latest Appliances – JD Powers Results

The 2010 Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study and 2010 Kitchen Appliance Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power and Associates found that awareness of Energy Star certified appliances has increased among U.S. owners of new appliances since 2009 and so has the percentage who purchased an Energy Star appliance.

According to appliancemagazine.com, 86% of 2010 dishwasher buyers reported buying an Energy Star certified appliance, for an increase of 5% from 2009 and a 9% increase from 2008.

Satisfaction with appliance performance is strongly influenced by the owner’s perception of the appliance’s water and/or energy efficiency, the study found. Customers who report that their appliance is Energy Star certified are more likely to be more satisfied with their appliance than customers who do not indicate that their appliance is certified.

The Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study measured customer satisfaction with clothes washers and dryers based on performance in six factors:


• ease of use
• features (such as the number of settings available and appliance capacity)
• performance and reliability (including energy efficiency, noise level, and how well the appliance functions)
• styling and feel
• warranty
• price

CLOTHES WASHERS: Samsung ranked highest for the second year in a row when it came to satisfying clothes washer owners, with a score of 832 on a 1000-point scale. Samsung performed particularly well in four of six factors:

• performance and reliability
• ease of use
• features
• styling

Other brands that broke the 800-point mark in the clothes washer rankings included:

• Kenmore Elite (817 points)
• Electrolux (816)
• LG (811)
• Maytag Epic (802)

CLOTHES DRYERS: Samsung scored 833 and was No. 1 in the clothes dryer rankings – the third consecutive year it’s been in the top spot. J.D. Power reported that Samsung did particularly well in four of the six factors:

• performance and reliability
• ease of use
• styling
• features

Only two other brands scored more than 800 points in the study:

• LG (814 points)
• Kenmore Elite (809)

Kitchen Appliances Study
Customer satisfaction was measured based on performance in six factors:

• performance and reliability (including how well the appliance functions, noise level, and energy efficiency)
• features (such as the number of settings available and appliance capacity)
• ease of use
• styling and feel
• price
• warranty

REFRIGERATORS: Samsung – for the sixth year in a row – ranked highest in satisfying refrigerator owners with a score of 803. Samsung performed particularly well in:

• ease of use
• performance and reliability
• features.

Samsung was followed by LG (781 points) and Kenmore Elite (776 points).

DISHWASHERS: Miele ranked highest in customer satisfaction in dishwashers with a score of 806 and performed particularly well in four of the six factors:

• performance and reliability
• styling and feel
• features
• warranty

Bosch also cracked the 800-point mark, scoring 801 points.

COOKTOPS/RANGES/OVENS:
Wolf ranked No. 1 in cooking appliances with a score of 812, and performed particularly well in five of six factors:

• ease of use
• performance and reliability
• styling and feel
• features
• warranty

Samsung ran a close second in this category, with a score of 809, and was the only other appliance brand to top the 800-point threshold.

The Studies

The 2010 Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study was based on responses from more than 5100 consumers who purchased clothes washers and more than 5100 consumers who purchased clothes dryers from a retail store or received one through other means (such as a new-home builder or a gift) during the past 24 months. The study was fielded between March and April 2010.

Underwear in Your Dishwasher – Versatility Only Goes So Far

Washing baseball caps in the dishwasher is old news; I’m quite familiar with the idea of sanitizing kitchen sponges there too, and we’ve written here before about cooking lasagna in the dishwasher, but washing your underwear?

Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz of the Chicago Tribune writes of her adventures with her dishwasher:

One recent evening, I ran a variety of non-kitchen items through a dishwasher cycle, including flip-flops, baseball caps, hairbrushes, makeup brushes, dish sponges and, the test of honor, underwear. The computer keyboard was a risk I was unwilling to take.

I also, separately, made dinner in the dishwasher, the goal being a simple meal of poached salmon, steamed asparagus and baked potato. I avoided the dishwasher lasagna Florentine, for which there is a recipe online, and which sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

The results, although not tragic, were unremarkable.

The baseball caps, two of which I placed on the bottom rack and two on the top, emerged after a normal wash cycle smelling far better than they had going in (thanks to the lemon-scented detergent), with no damage to fabric or shape. Some stains appeared to have faded, but were they immaculate? No. And they were soaking wet.

The plastic flip-flops, long smudged with dirt, still looked filthy when the cycle was over but were undamaged. The plastic hairbrush (hair removed) and an eyeshadow brush caked in Halloween makeup definitely looked cleaner, but not thoroughly. Perhaps the best outcome was for the dish sponges, which went in disgusting and came out looking and smelling almost new.
The two pairs of cotton underwear I draped over the prongs on the top rack had seen better days, poor things. My sopping wet skivvies, which had drooped down through the rack’s cracks like Dali’s melting clocks, were cleaner, but not perfectly, and the fabric looked as if it had been stretched out.

Perhaps the meal would be more triumphant.

Following a recipe for dishwasher salmon from Bob Blumer, author of “The Surreal Gourmet,” I greased the shiny side of a 12-inch square of heavy-duty aluminum foil with olive oil and placed two salmon fillets on top. I drizzled the salmon with freshly squeezed lime juice, added salt and pepper, then wrapped the aluminum foil tightly around the fillets, and wrapped another layer of foil around that. I prepared the asparagus the same way.

I had already run the potatoes through the dishwasher to clean them (a good time-saving trick). I wrapped them in aluminum foil, as well, hoping another cycle would soften them more. With everything on the top rack, I ran a normal cycle, high heat, no soap.

Dinner was meh. The salmon, while cooked, was a little rubbery and not flavorful. The potatoes weren’t cooked nearly enough. The asparagus, however, was steamed perfectly, to a crisp al dente, far better than the mushy spears I often end up with when I throw them in a pot.

Still, the meal was a colossal waste of water. Unless every other appliance in your kitchen has failed, leave your cooking to the stove.

Dish sponges, baseball caps, gardening tools and hard plastic toys are probably the best candidates for a dishwasher cleaning — the high heat sanitizes the items.

As for underwear, when times are desperate or it’s just too cold outside, I’d rather just hand-wash in Woolite — as my mom used to do.

States Ban Phosphate-Laden Dishwasher Soap

According to USA Today, July starts a ban in  sixteen states of the sale of dishwasher detergents that contain high levels of phosphates, a source of pollution in lakes and streams.

Stores will not be allowed to sell detergent with more than 0.5 percent phosphorous. The bans do not apply to commercial dishwashing products, and detergents for hand-washing dishes generally contain no phosphorus.

States instituting the rule include Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, reports the Associated Press.

Some areas such as Spokane County, Wash., have had such bans in place for years.

“Phosphorous is like a fertilizer. It increases algae and aquatic weed growth in water bodies,” Bernie Duffy, natural resource specialist with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, told the AP. He said too much algae depletes oxygen needed for healthy fish and aquatic life.

Sewage treatment plants and private septic systems can remove much but not all of the phosphorous from wastewater, so some of it ends up in lakes, streams and rivers.

As a result of the ban, some familiar brands such as Cascade and Colgate-Palmolive are offering dish soaps with few or no phosphates.

Clorox has launched a Green Works product line that won the endorsement of the Sierra Club and Martha Stewart has developed a low-phosphate “Clean” line with Hain Celestial Brand, reports Environmental Leader, which says eco-friendly brands such as Seventh Generation and Method have gained in popularity.