Newest Review: ... works a gander at the user guide is necessary since it is definitely not intuitive. 1. Super Wash - intended for intensely dirty and gr... more
Dish the dirt on this cleaning machine
Member Name: Mildew82
Advantages: Very efficient and effective, lots of functions, quiet, easy to clean
Disadvantages: Drying process not 100% reliable, salt tricky to fill up
Choosing a dishwasher isn't easy with the vast number available on the market, so picking a reputable company is a good place to start with the likes of Bosch, Whirlpool, Zanussi, Hotpoint, AEG-Electrolux all in the mix. Really it's a bit of a lottery which one you go for, and in my case Hotpoint won and not just because it is an anagram of nit photo. With the pitfalls of having a small kitchen, my previous dishwasher was slim-lined (or not large for the laypeople) and this meant it had to be run a lot in a day as it was impossible to fit a day's worth of washing up into it. Not good for the environment. So deciding to upgrade to a full-sized dishwasher 6 months ago, the dimensions (Width: 60cm x Height: 85cm x Depth: 60cm) and price of the Hotpoint FDL 570G appealed (at around £275) and so far, there have been no regrets.
This dishwasher does come with a fully comprehensive user guide that is very clear, easy to read and thankfully only comes in English so is not 15 times larger than it needs to be as it takes you on a tour around the world. The guide gives you a diagrammatical overview of the dishwasher as well as advice on the correct method of installation, how to load the racks properly, all the different programmes available alongside the amount of detergent etc you should be using for maximum efficiency, maintenance and safety, troubleshooting and after sales services. I'll be honest, quite a lot of the technical stuff went way over my head, but the instructions for general usage have not steered me wrong yet.
For a person such as myself that has no clue what they're doing and who has successfully electrocuted themselves on several occasions it is best to find somebody more qualified to install the dishwasher, but if you are confident in the realms of DIY then you can follow the instructions in the manual. First are instructions on the positioning and levelling of the dishwasher, then the electrical connection and general electrical safety and finally the water supply all with ominous warnings aplenty of potential dangers. Looking at the instructions there is definitely not enough in the manual that could ever assist me in a successful installation by myself, but the instructions are very in-depth and detailed and for someone with knowledge I suspect they'd be very helpful. So, you need to bear in mind your own skill levels for DIY when it comes to the installation procedure and make plans accordingly.
So, assuming successful installation, let's find out just how sophisticated this dishwasher really is. Compared to my last dishwasher that had 3 settings, this model has an astounding 7 settings to cover seemingly every eventuality. There seem to be quite a lot of combinations available for each setting when it comes to delayed starts, half loads and multifunctional tablets so I think to know exactly how this dishwasher works a gander at the user guide is necessary since it is definitely not intuitive.
1. Super Wash - intended for intensely dirty and grimy dishes and pans, so I'm thinking this cycle is a force to be reckoned with therefore best not to put anything overly delicate in unless it was something hideous from an aunt. This cycle takes approx 2hrs 25mins to complete. Includes drying and the options of delayed starts, half loads and/or multifunctional tablets.
2. Normal -intended just for your typically dirty dishes and pans on a daily basis. Takes around 1hr 50mins. Includes drying and the options of delayed starts, half loads and/or multifunctional tablets.
3. Daily A 60 - intended for a limited quantity only, with an example of 4 place settings, 1 saucepan and 1 frying pan. Takes around 1 hr to complete. Includes the options of delayed starts, half loads and/or multifunctional tablets but no drying.
4. Prewash - intended to prewash dishes that are otherwise going to wait around and stagnate until the next load...you could of course save on energy and just leave them soaking...Takes around 8 minutes to complete. Includes the options of delayed starts and half loads but not multifunctional tablets or drying.
5. Eco - intended for basic pans and dishes operating on environmentally friendly low energy so perhaps may not be as effective as higher energy settings. This setting is also the longest running at 2hrs and 35mins approximately and includes drying and the options of delayed starts, half loads and/or multifunctional tablets.
6. Speed - Intended for only lightly soiled dishes and should be run immediately after use - this runs for approx 25mins and includes the options of delayed starts and the use of multifunctional tablets but not drying or half loads.
7. Delicate - intended for use on delicate items which are sensitive to temperature - economic and reasonably fast at an approximate runtime of 1hr and 30 mins. Includes drying and the options of delayed starts, half loads and/or multifunctional tablets.
There are also sections within the dishwasher to add your own rinse aid and salt to aid in the cleaning process if that is the methodology you use and two warning lights on the dishwasher door that flash an irritating red if these compartments fall low/empty so you get a nice reminder to fill these up.
Also, if you wish to add in some forgotten crockery you can press the pause button and safely open the door assuming the cycle has barely started and then restart from where you left off. Later on in a cycle if you are possessed by a strange spirit and decide to just randomly open the door the system has a safety cut off which automatically stops the cycle and I'm reliably informed that as long as you don't open the door too much you shouldn't have an onrush of water flooding your kitchen floor (though I haven't put that one to the test).
I had many issues with my last slim-lined dishwasher from its general size, an ineffective filter, poor cleaning results to the pipes at the back constantly getting blocked causing the dishwasher to shut down. With this new dishwasher I've somehow found myself in cleaning convenience heaven. Now I'm not saying this model is perfect, but the positives of this machine more than make up for the mild sprinkling of negatives.
So, beginning with negatives few. My biggest gripe is with the slight difficulty with filling up the salt given its awkward location inside the dishwasher requiring a bit of a physical stretch in order for the salt funnelling exercise to be a success. It's also tricky to judge when it is at the top as you can proudly finish, check the indicator light on the control panel only to be still met with a red light. So sorry it wasn't good enough for you, sheesh. Secondly, on a fair few occasions the drying procedure fails to work fully leaving the dishes a little bit damp still, especially cups which means you may have to spend a little time yourself finishing the drying off which sort of defeats the purpose. Thirdly, and this may only apply to my situation in a small kitchen, if the door is resting open, perhaps during the filling up or emptying stage of a daily clean it takes up quite a bit of space and for particularly uncoordinated people such as myself it is surprisingly easy to catch your legs on the edges as they drop out of your eye-line which let me tell you is genuinely and excruciatingly painful as there are some very hard edges indeed.
Fourthly, and I'm sure this is an issue with dishwashers everywhere and not just this one, but poor stacking will lead to poor cleaning results. If you accidentally block either of the sprayer arms in the top or bottom racks this stops the water circulating so the cleaning power of the dishwasher is severely compromised and many items will remain tragically soiled. Likewise if you have things like baking trays laying across items these can also block the water spray having a similar effect, but if you follow their guidelines in the user guide for best stacking practices I'm sure these incidents can be avoided...if you're not lazy like me.
So, now onto what I really like about this dishwasher. Firstly, the excellent range of functionality is extremely useful, albeit that I generally only use the normal setting, but on the odd occasion I have also used a half load, delayed start and the economy setting (though I've never had a need to try any of the other setting what with all the dinner parties I don't have requiring delicate bone china crockery I don't own being just one example of my lack of need). Unlike with my old dishwasher, I find the results from this dishwasher highly satisfying. Ignoring the few occasions when my terrible stacking has been at fault, plates, cutlery and cups come out fresh smelling and clean, and saucepans and baking trays (especially those with stuck on food) more often than not also come out food free. Sometimes a few items will fail my vigorous quality control (and quite often these items probably would have been better suited to the Super Wash setting), but that is to be expected by an automated machine which doesn't have a human eye casting judgement over its work. The delayed start is also particularly useful if you perhaps don't want to run too many electrical items at the same time and risk blowing a fuse if this is an issue, or say if you want to run it at night when electricity is cheaper for you at that time.
I do find the normal cycle does take a lot longer than my old dishwasher by about an hour which does mean a longer wait before emptying can commence, but on the other hand, for my second positive about this dishwasher this means the amount of washing up that can fit is easily twofold more, and so less loads need to be run which is obviously much better for the environment and more importantly gives me more leisure time. There are two racks supplied on roller slides for easy access which I have yet to accidentally dislodge or damage in any way and are very sturdy, not to mention flexible. There are sections that make it easy to lay cups and glasses out, place plates at a helpful angle and to store cutlery either upright or for larger pieces like kitchen knives horizontally. It's not fun to open the door and stick your hand in only to be greeted by the sharp end of a knife so the organisation of this dishwasher is great. Parts of the racks can also be adjusted by folding the sticky up bits down thus allowing really large items to slot in much easier which is also very handy.
Now, this next point probably applies only to hopelessly lazy people like myself, but if you are not careful at removing food from your dishes before shoving it haphazardly into the dishwasher there will obviously be a build up of gunk within the dishwasher. However, the filter (which is a three tiered system) is incredibly effective and catches all of the waste and even though it needs to be changed daily, since I've been using this dishwasher I've not noticed a decline in the quality of the clean, and I attribute this partly to how good this filter is.
One other thing that is appealing about this dishwasher is just how quiet it actually is. At worst the sound levels come up to a low hissing/bubbling sound that can only really be heard from within the room the dishwasher stands in which is so much better than my last dishwasher which could gurgle and rumble for England. However, one slight issue with this quietness is that if you press the start/pause button a little too forcefully for some reason it registers two pushes and thus pauses the cycle. Quite often I've left this dishwasher to its own devices competely unaware that nothing was happening since I can't normally hear it anyway and this situation has been the scupperer of many a plan, so it is always best to wait and make sure the chosen cycle has begun before scampering away.
Finally, on an aesthetic point I also really like the colour of this dishwasher which is a nice, dark grey colour as oppose to a colour (or non-colour) like white which really picks up the dirt and stains more than grey and thus requires a lot more regular cleaning on the outside - a simple cloth will shift the dirt in my experience. As for cleaning the inside this isn't too bad a job either as most of it really doesn't get dirty at all. The hot spots are definitely the seals around the door that seem to pick up a little bit of food and the tablet / rinse aid dispensers which are easy to clean with sponges and cloths. The sprayer arms are also likely to pick up a bit of food residue which may potentially block their holes so these can be easily detached by either pushing against some tabs for the bottom one or unscrewing a locking ring for the top one and then giving them a quick scrub.
So, this Hotpoint FDL 570G model is reliable and has shown no signs of falling into disrepair over 6 months of usage (I don't know if this is really a long enough time to judge the longevity of the product but so far so good), is middle of the range, leaning on the cheap side price wise starting at around the £250 mark and is very efficient producing unerringly good results with a nice range of functions to suit the most frequent cleaning requirements from delicates ranging up to very grimy dishes with the option to run the cycle both economically and in a more environmentally friendly way. It also comes with a 12 months parts and labour guarantee covering free breakdown repairs which can be upgraded to 5 years free if you register with Hotpoint and agree to use only Hotpoint engineers and parts. I can find very few faults with this model other than silly, niggly things, so it comes highly recommended from me.
Summary: A very efficient and effective dishwasher at great value for money
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