Does anyone else call them wishdoshers or is it just our family?
This is a review of my Baumatic dishwasher, which I have had for a few months now. I actually own the identical model in silver (BFD66SL) but they no longer make them in silver.
~~~ Why a new dishwasher? ~~~
Having recently had a new kitchen put in, after our old one started falling to pieces around our ears (well maybe not absolutely literally, but honestly not far off!) we found ourselves in the position of having to go appliance hunting. Beyond wanting something efficient (this has an AAA rating) I was fairly open-minded.
~~~ Why Baumatic? ~~~
I should say that this dishwasher would probably not have been my first choice were money no object, as I normally tend to go for what I think of as 'solid' makes like Bosch, but as we were getting to the end of the allotted kitchen budget by this point I was looking for a slightly cheaper model. On looking round a 'sell to the trade' appliance showroom we saw quite a lot of Baumatic appliances, so I thought they would be worth checking out. I must admit I'd never previously had any experience with them, but the guy in the shop recommended them as a quality make (even though we were clearly just browsing at this point).
In the process of searching online for good prices, I actually discovered that on Baumatic's own website there is a section where they sell off discontinued lines - very well worth a look - I found a few great deals on here (hob review to follow...) but one was this silver dishwasher which we got for around £200. Generally as I write the BFD66W seems to be retailing around the £320 mark.
~~~ Size? ~~~
It's a full size dishwasher which is supposed to be 12 place settings.
My personal observation is that it seems smaller than my old dishwasher somehow - maybe it's the internal layout, or perhaps I haven't mastered the best way of loading it, or possibly our crockery isn't a standard size ... - whatever it is, I don't appear to able to fit as much is as I used to, and sometimes find myself having to run an extra load.
~~~ Internal layout ~~~
Well, I would definitely recommend checking out the internal layout against how you plan to use a dishwasher - I confess I didn't give this too much thought.
This is actually something Baumatic have tried hard with. The top rack can be set to two different height positions. The top 'glass' racks can also be set at two different heights, or removed. The bottom 'plate' racks can be dropped down completely for washing larger items. This all sounds very flexible - but in practice I have found it quite tricky to arrange and have had to experiment to find the best layout for me, and to be honest I'm still not totally happy with what I've managed.
There were instructions as to how to do all this, and yes, I am one of those rare souls who read instructions, but even when I found the English ones (not as easy as it sounds - they came in a separate booklet!) I couldn't make much sense of them. They could do with a better translator.
One thing I really do like is the lift-out cutlery holder - it's quite hard to describe, but it basically has a kind of lid with holes in which means you can place individual items of cutlery in separate from each other, and so they clean better.
~~~ Design ~~~
Simple, sleek design, unobtrusive controls - all good, I don't want my dishwasher to be the focal point of the kitchen! It also seems to run quietly enough - but then I do tend to shut the kitchen door so I'm not sure I'd hear it much anyway.
It does feel slightly less sturdy than some other dishwashers I've seen, but then, as I said, I do tend to choose 'solid' models for preference, and I wouldn't say it's flimsy at all, just doesn't give that satisfying clunk as you close the door!
~~~ Settings ~~~
There are a good array of different programmes, including economy, glasses only etc., but I must admit I tend to stick to one main programme - as I suspect most people do. One feature I hadn't seen before (but maybe that's just me, our old dishwasher was OLD!) is a programme specifically for 5-in-1 tablets - and a little 'cage' to put the tablet in which you then hook on the top rack. As many people use tablets I think this is a great idea - this programme bypasses the 'salt' and 'rinse aid', which you don't need with one of these tablets.
On the subject of salt and rinse aid - these are easy to put in, and a light comes on to tell you when they need topping up.
One nice feature is that once you have selected your programme, there is a short time delay to allow you to discover that mug you missed, open the door, and add it to your load. I thought it was only me, but if they've put in a special feature, maybe there are more of us ...!!!
The dishwasher beeps when it's finished - not a function I really use.
~~~ Wash Quality ~~~
Well, I guess this is the biggie! Overall I've been pretty pleased. The ability to separate items of cutlery means I rarely get not-quite-clean spoons or knives these days - used to be more common when I was going for the 'cram them all in' approach. For some reason there appears to be a bit of a 'blind spot' on the lower rack where if I put a tall glass, or the plastic jar I make yogurt in, it doesn't seem to get clean. Other items put there are fine, so I'm not sure what the problem is, but I now make sure I put those tall things elsewhere.
~~~ Overall ~~~
I think this is a good dishwasher for the price. Even better for the price I paid! I've tried to list all those little niggles in this review, as they are often the things you wish you'd known about before buying, but also to focus on those neat little features which can make a product a joy to use. I would recommend it, but maybe not as wholeheartedly as I could recommend other products. It's certainly worth a look though.
Short name: Baumatic BFD66W