Remember those “growing up” moments when you get to put on your big-girl hat?
First time without a diaper. (Okay, I don’t actually remember that.)
First time without swimmies in the pool.
First time driving without an adult in the car.
First time picking out your own major appliance.
Yes, I’m now officially all grown-up with my own house and my own husband and my own big girl job and my own new dishwasher that I picked out all by myself with the help of that husband. This is our first appliance purchase since we’ve been homeowners, because all the rest were left in the house. So this is what you might call a Big Deal. Somebody needs to treat me to ice cream. Ice cream that will not be eaten with this slimy, freshly washed fork.
Our former dishwasher was old when we bought the house a year and a half ago, and the inspector couldn’t tell us the make/model because the sticker was all worn away. It had been running less and less effectively over the past several months, a problem we like to call My Newly Washed Plates Are Covered In Something That Might Be Old Lasagna But I Can’t Be Entirely Certain Because We Haven’t Recently Eaten Lasagna. This was especially not okay because we were obviously pouring water and energy into getting that maybe-lasagna off in the first place, and might as well have just started feeding our dollars to the cats. Like this one, who thought the dishwasher box was her personal hotel.
So we did a little research on dishwashers and found that the best time of year to buy most large appliances (with the exception of refrigerators) is September/October because that is when new models come out, and stores need to clear out old models. (New refrigerators hit stores in May according to several websites.) However, we weren’t keen on waiting too much longer because of the crusty dish factor, so we decided to buy one in August. As it was, our dishwasher of choice (this Whirlpool Gold Built-In) was already on sale for 10% off ($549 original price), plus we used a 10% off Lowe’s coupon on top of that, and received an additional 5% in cash back by linking through Shop Discover. This brought the grand total of our new toy (before tax) to $422. Not the cheapest dishwasher ever, but not the most expensive, either.
We were willing to pay a bit to get exactly what we wanted versus settle for something okay that we’d later want to get rid of (not the best plan with expensive appliances) so here were our non-negotiables, in order of importance:
1. A white, glossy, non-textured finish. What? White? But you know white is not trendy? Yes. And I don’t care. We found that white models were typically at least $50 less than the stainless steel version of the same dishwasher, but that really wasn’t why we opted white.Truth be told, I just don’t love stainless steel, no offense to anyone in the stainless steel fan club—it NEVER looks clean enough (with streaks, smudges, etc.) and this drives me batty. I don’t want to have to clean my appliances every few days. The end.
2. Great reviews from other buyers. At first, we were getting frustrated with not finding any reviews on the dishwashers we were looking at. But then a lightbulb went off, and I realized why there were none or very few: because everyone is buying and reviewing the stainless options. Because I am the only one in the world buying white. (Duh.) Sure enough, while there was just one 4/5 star review for our white version, there were 30 for the stainless with an average of 4.5/5 stars. Sold. There was actually one model we really liked until we read the reviews, which said multiple times that if you put bowls in the upper rack, your dishes don’t get clean and/or your kitchen floods. Um, what? Reviews=lifesavers.
3. An Energy Star rating. The one we picked out will only cost $27 a year to run, if we were to run it 4 times a week, which we don’t.
4. Hidden controls. You’ll pay more for this, but it looks a lot nicer. And I am highly attracted to good-looking major appliances. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration/weird statement. Erase it from your memory.
5. A chrome or silver handle. Okay, that was just something I was looking for. Rick doesn’t care. It looks nicer than regular plastic. Refer to #4. It’s the little things…
Everything else was negotiable. Like the individual slots for silverware and the fact that the upper rack can be lowered to fit larger items up there.
As for the old dishwasher, it’s currently taking up space in our enclosed porch. We’re debating putting it on Craigslist for really cheap or free if someone wanted it for parts or repair, or if someone doesn’t like to cook and would appreciate the maybe-old-lasagna that is generated upon washing dishes. This is a definite selling point.
Are you a white or stainless steel appliance person? Do you want our old dishwasher for leftovers?