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Bosch Avantixx SMS40A06GB

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      08.05.2012 19:50
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      Worth the money

      My Bosch dishwasher is a full sized, 12 place settings. A+ energy rated dishwasher in Granite Black. I bought it online from John Lewis for £376, and I paid an extra £9 for John Lewis to dispose of my old dishwasher. It was unavailable to view in store before I ordered it, and there was therefore some degree of nervousness before it arrived. I could only hope that it looked as good in real life as it did on the web page.

      ~~Why I Bought It~~

      When my old Indesit dishwasher gave up the will to live after less than 5 years, I sat down and reviewed my dishwasher buying decisions over the previous years. I had always had the opinion that a dishwasher is a basic and functional part of the kitchen, and that one brand is pretty much like another.

      Looking back over my long line of cheap dishwashers, I realised that they had been noisy, they died very quickly, and that small things like a poorly designed filters and racks were a constant irritation. After looking at many reviews, it seemed that the Bosch dishwasher was universally praised as being well designed, quiet and durable. I decided to splash out the extra £150 to see if it lived up to the hype.

      ~~What It Looks Like~~

      After a lifetime of white dishwashers and washing machines, I felt it was time to branch out and get a new look. I had the choice of black, silver and white when I made my purchase and, very much against my other half's wishes, I decided to go for the black. I was a bit worried that it would look cheap and nasty compared to the silver version - so when it arrived I was relieved to see that the design of the silver operation buttons against the shiny black surface of the door is clever enough to give it the look of a classy and high quality machine.

      I think this look is partially achieved by the symmetrical silver operation buttons. Not only are they very intuitive; their arrangement on the top panel somehow adds to the attractive overall appearance.

      On the outside of the door there are 6 silver buttons, 3 on each side; on the left, the ON/OFF button is flanked by the Half Load and Speed Perfect buttons; on the Right the Start button and the 2 smaller plus and minus buttons mirror the arrangement on the right of the door.

      More detailed instructions are cleverly hidden away on the top edge of the door and can only be seen when the door is pulled open. These instructions give information about the various programmes; Intensive, Eco, Quick and Rinse. Next to each programme easy to read information about the heat of the water and advice on the type of dishes that you should use each programme for. Inside, the finish is grey, with grey plastic plate racks and interior walls, a grey cutlery basket, filters and spray arms.

      The plate racks can be adjusted in a couple of ways; the height of the top rack can easily be adjusted using the levers on either side. This 3-stage Rackmatic system gives you the option of three different heights to accommodate large glasses, etc. The spikes on the bottom basket can be folded down if required, and this makes washing pots and pans a lot easier as they can be stacked in a more flexible way without the spikes in the upright position.

      I particularly like the folding knife shelf on the top basket. This can be detached if necessary and has a folding grooved holder for the blades so that the knives can be lined up side by side and held in place during washing. I like this system immensely as I always feel that putting knives in the cutlery basket has a risk of cutting the person unloading the dishwasher. I have also found that putting knives into the cutlery basket downwards eventually cuts through the bottom of the basket. All in all, this is a very useful feature.

      On the opposite side to the knife holder is a smaller folding rack for long spoons or small items. Both of these folding upper shelves can be removed and clicked back on again if necessary.

      One of the nicer design features, although one that I have no use for now, is the childproof lock. Holding down the Intensive button for 3 seconds will lock the machine during use so that a child cannot accidently open it during use. I have never seen this feature on a dishwasher before and I can see that it would have reassured me when my children were small.

      The dishwasher also has a salt and rinse aid refill indicator on the front. Again, I do not use these as I use tablets that are 3 in 1.

      The dimensions of the dishwasher are H84.5 x W60 x D60cm. All pretty standard, but I do find that this dishwasher sticks out further into the room than previous machines, and this is my only small criticism. Perhaps the depth is slightly greater than other machines that have fitted neatly under the work surface.

      ~~How it Works~~

      Using the Bosch dishwasher is very simple - one of the easiest systems I have come across. Firstly, you push the ON button. Then you select one of 4 programmes by pushing a button next to the name of that programme. You can then select half load if you like - and then simply press Start.

      The timing of various programmes has always been important to me, but also a bit of a mystery with my previous machines. What I love about the Bosch is that the time that the programme takes shows up on the digital display as soon as you select the programme - but before you actually press start. So, if I press the Intensive button and see that the programme will take 2 hours 55 minutes to finish - and I know that I have guests arriving before then - I can simply select the Quick programme to get my dishes washed before my friends arrive. In addition, the digital display counts down the time until finishing, so that I can see if the programme has an hour or only a few minutes until it finishes.

      There is also a Speed Perfect button, which reduces the running time of any programme by 20% to 50% when pressed. You can see the new, reduced time on the digital display to judge if it is worth using the Speed Perfect or not.

      The dishwasher tablet holder is a really sensible size. This may sound like a strange thing to mention, but previous holders were never really big enough to hold the larger powerball type tablets. This holder is nice a deep, and closes with a sliding cover - which I find more secure than one that clicks shut.

      A large spray head arrived with my machine. This can be attached to the back of the machine, replacing one set of spray arms so that a more horizontal spray can be emitted which is better for cleaning large baking trays. I have never had the need to use this spray head as my machine cleans my baking trays adequately without it.

      The dishwasher also has a timer delay feature so that you can delay the start of your wash to a time when electricity is cheaper. I have never used this function as I prefer to start my dishwasher during waking hours but can see how easy it is to use; there is a + and - button next to the start which can easily programme in a delay.

      The operation of the dishwasher itself is ridiculously quiet compared to my previous Indesit. When I switch it on there is only a small hum, and this noise hardly ever becomes loud enough to notice. The manual tells me that the dishwasher runs at 48 decibels.

      ~~Cleaning and Durability~~

      I have only owned my Bosch dishwasher for a couple of months, but already I can see that the quality of the build is much better. It only took a couple of months for the corner of the door to break off my Indesit, and this was not due to misuse. By comparison, my Bosch still looks as pristine as the day I bought it.

      Cleaning the filter is very easy and a real improvement on previous machines. The filter is easily removed for cleaning and then clicks back into place in a very satisfying way with a twisting motion. Once there, it stays firmly put and it is this solidity which I find a big improvement on my previous models.

      ~~Why I Like My New Dishwasher~~

      There are many reasons that I am glad that I decided to spend a bit more on my Bosch. The main one is the quality of the cleaning. I never believed before that one dishwasher could clean dishes better than another - they all spray hot water around in the same way, don't they? Obviously not. Whatever the technology is that Bosch use, it certainly works. Even now, a couple of months later, I still feel the need to point at my racks of clean dishes and sparkling glasses and force various family members to admire. I have had Indesit and Zanussi dishwashers in the past, but they have never achieved this level of dryness and sparkly cleanliness before. Frying pans, baking trays and baking dishes all come out spotless on the intensive programme.

      In conclusion, I can say that I am glad to have invested a bit more money in a Bosch and I feel confident that the better quality will result in a longer life for my machine.

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