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I'd never owned a dishwasher before we purchased this one, but was made up when my other half told me we finally had space in the kitchen leading to a cold water feed (the words every girl wants to hear!) so we would be able to fit in a slimline dishwasher.
Our kitchen isn't massive and we already had lots of appliances, so we were only looking for a slimline dishwasher as we couldn't fit in a full sized one. Also, there's only two of us in the house, so our logic was that the bigger the dishwasher space, the lazier we would become and so we opted for this one as it was a perfect size for us - big enough to get rid of the day's dishes without them hanging around the kitchen, but not so big that we would use every item of crockery in the kitchen to fill it.
I have to say this is a very nice looking dishwasher, we weren't specifically looking for a silver one but it was on offer (Currys or Comet I can't remember which) so we only paid just over £200 for it. I think it was around £225 and my fiancé and his dad struggled to get it in the back of the car to avoid delivery charges (those of you who are getting to know me will know just how tight I am!). At the time the full price was about £275. I loved the front panel as it's free from dials and buttons, and just has a small LED panel which displays length of dishwashing cycle etc. It looks really clean, and the buttons you use to choose which function are all hidden at the top of the door (the door opens from the top) so it's very neat and tidy. I even went so far as to give him a name (not sure I should have revealed this but he does work hard and make life easier for us so he's almost like a pet now!)
It seemed fairly simple to install but then my man is a bit of whizz at this kind of thing so it took him seconds, whereas if I'd been left alone with the instructions I might have struggled. In no time we were up and running, and since then we haven't looked back. The appliance is very efficient (it's A-rated) and has an economy wash on it for items that aren't too dirty. The full wash takes a couple of hours but you don't always need to use this, if there's nothing too dirty or you've rinsed beforehand, you can put it on a quicker wash which is just over an hour and a half.
The dishwasher has several functions, but in all honesty we only use 3 - the full wash which we use when we've got pans with baked on pasta sauce or messy items, the economy wash which is if we've just got mugs and a few plates we've had dry food such as sandwiches on, and the glass cycle which we use once in a blue moon to clean all our glassware. The only problem I find with glassware is that it does need to be washed on its own or with other stuff that isn't too dirty, otherwise it just won't clean properly and you'll end up with bits of food caked onto your glasses.
I've read through some of the other reviews for this item, and the issue with the top not being tall enough to hold glasses. In all honesty I haven't found this a problem, but I do mainly use small-ish tumblers, and I handwash wine glasses because I'm paranoid about them breaking. I tend to place glasses lying down and there are rails to hold them in place so they don't break, so it hasn't really been a problem.
The top shelf is adjustable, and you'll probably need to adjust it if you have standard sized plates otherwise the blade that goes round when it's in cleaning action will hit your plates repeatedly. I've not had any breakages so far but if you're in the same room you'll end up wanting to stick your head in the oven because it's really annoying. I've got some slightly smaller dinner plates that fit in fine, but the bigger ones need a bit more height.
The dishwasher has a drying function but the dishes never come out completely dry (not sure I'd expect this of any dishwasher though really). We just tend to open the door at the end of the cycle and let the air get to the dishes to dry them off. The dishwasher is reasonably quiet, apart from when it hits items if you've not stacked it well, and it does have a bit of a mad spell at the beginning when it's getting into its flow. After this you don't really notice it's on.
Some people might find this dishwasher too small, but I think you just get very creative in how you stack it. We tend to find that the top shelf can fit mugs, glasses, long knives & utensils (lying flat), baking trays and the Wok, and the bigger pans and bowls go on the bottom tray alongside the plates. It doesn't fit that many plates in despite the number of places for them, because if they're too close together they don't clean as well, so I tend to just leave a gap between each one.
This dishwasher is really easy to use, you simply open the door and press the power button to turn it on, then you keep pressing until you reach the cycle you want to use. Once you get to know the cycles you just do it automatically without checking the screen. The little screen on the front displays the length of the cycle in hours and minutes, and then counts down which is useful as you can see how long is left when you've put your only cheese grater in there and you need it to make Saturday night nachos! (you can actually interrupt the dishwasher at any time but for some reason I don't like doing this)
The panel on the front also flashes warnings such as the dishwasher needing salt or rinse aid. We just keep a stock in the cupboard and then top it up when we see the lights flashing. If you look after this dishwasher it will perform very well for you. I would say it's ideal for couples or small families, but larger families might struggle with the size and need something larger.
We bought this dishwasher as a replacement for our last one when it stopped working. It looks fantastic for a dishwasher, so much so that friends have asked what it actually is when they have seen it in the kitchen. It is very sturdy and seems to be well built, and although time will tell, we have had it for nearly a year now and it still looks and works as good as new! One of the good features is that it can be adapted inside, so we have sometime raised and lowered the upper tray, depending on what we have been washing. Likewise the layout in the bottom tray can also be altered to suit. We are a family of 5 and it still takes a couple of days before we fill it up, if it is packed properly. All in all while it is a stylish looking dishwasher, it certainly isn't a case of style over substance. We would recommend it to anyone.
This is the first dishwasher we have had so I will say first of all I do not have any other dishwashers to compare it to, but I am happy with it.
It was easy to install and set up, and I had it doing its first wash within about 15 minutes. Most things I put in there comes out sparkling but sometimes casserole dishes etc do need to be hand washed afterwards to get the last few dried on bits off.
As somebody else said, the annoying thing about it is the glass part at the top does not fit your average hiball glass. It fits our smaller glasses and mugs, but other glasses have to be handwashed or be lied down longways which can result in them breaking during the cycle - wineglasses are an absolutel no-no, ive broken two trying and have now given up and handwash them.
Setting wise it is easy to programme. The booklet tells you which number cycle you need, you press the button that many times, and off you go. It takes on average about an hour and a half for a normal cycle with it full.
The bottom tray has plenty of space for plates, bowls and crockery.
I would recommend it but would say watch out for the size of your glasses as it simply wont close with tall glasses in. I did move the top drawer down (it has the function for this) but then my larger plates would not fit in the bottom.
We have had this dishwasher for about 18 months now - my first experience at owning onw!
We bought this model thinking of Kenwood as a well known and high quality brand, however for me personally i am not sure it quite lives up to my previous expectations!
Thinking firstly about the practical side of how it fills up, i think Kenwood have not thought this through as well as they should. The shape and angle of the wire racks are actually quite impractical in my view - we have 3 sets of dinner plates, one of which fit nicely as they should, the other 2 sets need you to leave a large gap between every plate, wasting considerable amounts of space. Also on the top level only glasses of a certain height will fit on the edge shelves, that certain height being less than most of our normal glasses!
The washing quality itself isnt too bad on the whole, but i have to say i have seen better with other peoples machines so maybe it should be better being a Kenwood. It does get clogged quite easily so you have to keep your eye on that - we have had repair people out twice in the first 12 months!
Overall its ok but i would probably receommend looking at other brands that may be better and save you money!
I have one of these dishwashers and I must admit the last review scared the death out of me. It was bought from our local Currys store when the door hinge went on our aging Candy machine. The things that it attracted me to this dishwasher was; It was "A" rated for Energy, We liked the silver finish, it has enough space to do our dishes, pots, pans, etc and one of the plate racks can be folded down to make space for some big items.
I needed this dishwasher right away, so it got loaded into the car and off I went home to do the installation. The instructions say it must be connected to the cold water supply. I did a bit of research on this and decided to connect it to my hot water supply. Why? I did this because it is more efficient and my hot water is not at a temperature when it would break the machine. Do that at your own risk, I was prepared to take the risk and my machine is operating fine.
Anyway I connected the drain hose and the hot water supply hose and slid the machine into the standard sized gap in my kitchen and switched it on. Nothing happened, after a quick look at the manual I opened the door and found the power button on the top. I had not spotted it before but it is fairly obvious so my fault. I then had to adjust the setting for salt before use but this is very well explained in the manual and is not difficult.
It is pretty easy to load and the top tray can be quickly adjusted lower or higher, anyway I loaded it up and then had to decide on a program! There are 7 programmes; 3 in 1, strong, normal, economy, rinse, glass and soak. I had bought some 3 in 1 tablets so I gave that a whirl. It takes ages, almost 3 hours....I don't buy 3 in tablets any more.
Well it has not leaked or malfunctioned in any way, cleans the dishes well and I still have it connected to the hot water supply. The only bad thing I can say is it takes ages to do the 3 in 1 wash but it not that big a deal.
One useful feature is during operation it counts down the time until it is finished. It copes with heavily soiled dishes with ease and the folding plate rack is really useful as it allows frying pans, woks, baking trays to be loaded with ease.
We fell for its fantastic steely looks, its adaptability inside, and the apparent sophistication of its programmes. We were also looking for a dishwasher that was a precious few millimetres narrower than 600 mm, as the house we rent has a kitchen built by someone who either doesn't know about 600 mm or got the measurements wrong. The Kenwood is 592 mm wide.
It looks really smart. You can adjust the height of the upper tray to take extra large plates underneath. The programmes allow you to choose between normal simple tablets (or cream) and three-in-one. Typical running time is around two hours.
Energy ratings are all good A for Energy, A for Wash and A for Dry. It's got six programmes and four wash temperatures, and, in theory does the standard 12 place settings, but that never allows for pots and pans.
There is the normal 12 month guarantee.
We got it from Currys. It cost £275 in September 2007. Their blurb says: "Simply washes your dishes with no hassles."
Currys were good at supplying the dishwasher for me, even telephoning around local stores to reserve one. They helped me load it into the car, and it was a doddle to install.
After about a month, it started to leak. An engineer came round, and after various tests, diagnosed that the salt unit was broken and needed replacing. He didn't have one with him, and it took another eight weeks before one arrived and went in. After another month, it started leaking again. At this point, I telephoned Currys, who offered a replacement Kenwood.
At this point, you need to know or be reminded that Kenwood are no longer just the firm in England who make excellent small machines for the kitchen. This dishwasher was made in China, and I don't get the feeling that it was built to last.
I told Currys that I longer had any confidence in the Kenwood dishwasher and wanted a refund rather than a replacement. They agreed to do this after I insisted, and I am much happier with my Zanussi (q.v. Zanussi ZDF511S).
Short name: Kenwood KDW12SS