Newest Review: ... dishwasher is that it has a massive capacity. It generally only goes on once every week and a half or 2 weeks as we can just pile up the p... more
Overpriced But Underrated
Member Name: xx_nic_xx
Date: 11/02/10, updated on 11/08/10 (311 review reads)
Advantages: A variety of washes, excellent results everytime, doesn't scratch your dishes
Disadvantages: Very pricey, difficult to refill salt.
Therefore when we had our kitchen refurbished we decided to purchase a new dishwasher as our old one was broken, hadn't been used for around 5 years and was simply collecting dust and looking like something out of a Doctor Who episode. We didn't do a lot of searching and comparing prices for our dishwasher, infact the people that refurbished our kitchen recommended this Siemens model to us. Although brand new, it did have a slight dent on the inside of the door which we were made fully aware of and given a good discount as a result. It was to that end that we had this dishwasher, known as a Siemens SN26M290GB installed into our newly refurbished kitchen. Even with our discount it was still extremely expensive, costing us nearly £600 at the time. It can now be picked up for around £485 from Boots Kitchen Appliances (see above link) which is the cheapest price I managed to find it online.
*** Features ***
What first struck me about the appliance was the lack of dials it incorporated, instead it goes for the understated button which I personally feel gives it a much more modern finish, plus being a lot easier to clean with just a simple wipe down needed, instead of having to carefully wipe around all the different dials. Another thing that attracted us to this dishwasher was the energy efficient aspects. This specific appliance has nicknamed itself the Ecosense and for very good reason. It is rated A on the energy efficient scale (A being most efficient, G being least efficient), not only that but it has specifically designed washes to help the owner save water whilst still coming up trumps with shiny dishes everytime. There are 6 different washes that can be used: Intensive, Auto Sensor, Daily, Delicate, Rapid and Pre-Rinse. Intensive is the most thorough wash on the scale and should only be used when the dishwasher is full and is crammed with pots and pans that are almost impossible to clean by hand (after a Sunday roast for example) this cycle takes approximately 90 minutes and washes your dishes at a scorching 70c. Therefore when it's finished make sure you give it around 30 minutes before putting your hands in. Auto Sensor is a mode we probably use least out of all 6 washes, it washes your dishes at temperatures ranging from 45c-65c as it cleverly works out how dirty your dishes are and how high a temperature is required for sufficient cleaning. Daily is what you'd think would be used most in our house but infact it's not, Daily is something we use when the dishwasher is full to the brim with a lot of pots and pans/dirty plates etc as it washes them at 50c and takes approximately 70 minutes. Delicate is just as you'd expect, it washes your dishes gently if you're using expensive china/crystal wine glasses etc. Pre-Rinse is something we generally ignore as to me it seems like a way of using more water before actually washing the dishes properly. The cycle we use most in our house (almost daily) is the Rapid cycle. This washes your dishes at 45c and takes 29 minutes, it copes with a relatively large load of dishes and cleans them as well as you'd expect.
In addition to the 6 different wash modes incorporated in this machine, there are then, what I like to call sub-washes. These are tweaks that you can make to the 6 main washes in order to make them go on for longer, use less water, wash at a higher temperature and even sterilise your dishes which is great if you're using your dishwater to wash baby bottles and the like. The most useful that we find out of these options (there are 5 in total) is the half load option. We find that occasionally one layer of the dishwasher will be full, however others wont be therefore when setting off a Rapid cycle we press the half load option. This option takes the same amount of time (29 minutes) however it uses a lot less water as it senses that there isn't so much needed. Therefore keeping your water bills down to a minimum and doing your bit to stay green! Possibly the cleverest aspect though is the fact that you can set the time that you'd like the dishwasher to start at, therefore if you're leaving the house and you know that other people will be filling it at a certain time but wont set it off, you can simply set the time yourself, add a tablet and leave it to work its magic.
*** Capacity ***
I feel the capacity is more than suitable for a family of 3, 4, or even 5 people. There is room in the bottom tray for up to 18 dinner plates. Of course it's unlikely that you're going to be adding 18 dinner plates in to be washed in one cycle which leaves room for all your pots and pans, we sometimes have 6 plates in there and 3 to 4 pots and pans and there is sufficient room for everything to be put in at once without fear of having your dishes scratched due to over cluttering.
When it comes to cutlery I've never been a fan of the baskets that sit in the dishwasher for you to put your cutlery in, we had one on our old model and found that it never cleaned our knives, forks, spoons as well as we'd like. Fortunately in this appliance the cutlery is placed into a sliding drawer which is cleverly hidden away at the top of the dishwasher. There are two rows which can hold probably around 50 pieces of cutlery including big knives. Long knives are easily placed in the washer too without jamming between the top of the dishwasher, they are placed long ways and will simply take up the width of the two rows instead of the one row that everything else will take up.
The middle row is suited to bowls, mugs, glasses and everything in between. Glasses wise we have a lot of pint glasses and Coca Cola glasses (the long ones) and they stand up (facing down of course) with ease. It must be said though to be sure you place tall glasses on the outside of the middle tray as if in the middle you may not be able to close the tray as they sometimes knock the cutlery tray. Wine glasses are a problem though, they are unable to be stood up therefore you end up lying them down, when the cycle has finished you'll be left with murky coloured water still swimming in the side of your wine glasses so they'll have to be washed by hand. One of our wine glasses has actually been smashed in the dishwasher while lying down so take care of where to place them. To be fair though that was our fault as it became jammed between two bowls, therefore was due to no fault of the appliance.
I personally feel that the inside of the machine is designed very well, in the second and third tray (cutlery draw excluded) there are spikes which of course hold your dishes in place whilst they're being subjected to what can be quite a powerful wash, depending on which setting you have it on. All the spikes can be pushed down to become parallel to the floor which although we don't find necessary it's a great inclusion to create some extra space, especially if you've got a couple of oven trays to be washed. In the middle tray there are little trays can be pushed down if you need extra room for knives or other (smallish) objects which is another great inclusion. All in all I think the layout of the dishwasher is superb and much better than any other appliance I have seen.
*** Ease Of Use ***
This is of course one of the most important things to consider when purchasing a new dishwasher. If you've never used a dishwasher before you may think that all you need are the tablets which wash the dishes. That is, however not the case, to make proper use of the dishwasher you will need a rinse aid (most modern dishwashers require these) and you'll need salt. Obviously not normal table salt but dishwasher salt. The salt is required as an added cleaning agency, also it helps break down limescale, which, if given chance to build up in your dishwasher could actually cause it to stop working so it's a necessity for any dishwasher user. In areas with hard water, salt is also a must as it helps to soften the water which in turn will leave you with cleaner dishes. Rinse aid is pretty much in the name, it aids the rinsing process and leaves your dishes shiny. These two may sound like another unnecessary cost when compared with washing up liquid but they can both be picked up pretty cheaply if you go for the supermarket brands.
The soap tablets themselves are very easy to put in the dishwasher, they are placed on the inside of the door with a little flap which slides down and clicks into place. Make sure it's clicked into place properly otherwise your dishwasher won't start. Refilling the rinse aid isn't necessary everytime you set your dishwasher off, we find it needs refilling around once a month. This is as easy as putting a tablet it, next to the tablet compartment you'll notice a flap which inside of sliding just flips open. There is a small hole and that's where you put the rinse aid, just be careful where you aim otherwise you could end up wasting it. Refilling the salt is a bit more difficult as it is situated in the middle, on the floor of the machine. If you're going to refill it make sure the bottom tray is empty and hasn't just been on as you'll get drips on your arm. It takes about 3 minutes to fill the salt level up to the top so it is a relatively long time to be sat on the floor with your arm in there. Therefore for the elderly or people with mobility problems I'd recommend buying all in one dishwasher tablets, this eliminates the need for rinse aid and salt however they are a lot more expensive. We find that it's cheaper to buy all three but it's a personal choice. Sound wise it's very quiet indeed, even when the kitchen door is open we can't hear the dishwasher when in the living room which isn't too far away. There are no problems with leaks, the door isn't too heavy but unless it's clicked into place correctly then the dishwasher wont start.
When the dishwasher is on the go you are still able to open the door without the fear of being splashed because as soon as the door opens the water spray stops. This is useful for if you've just set it off and have forgotten to put something in there. Unfortunately there aren't any child locks, this isn't a major problem, however if you're doing an Intensive cycle and they open the door immediately they're likely to burn themselves, so just be aware if you have young children.
The door has an LCD screen which enables you to keep track of everything necessary. The screen tells you how long the wash has remaining, however the really clever thing is that it tells you what step it's on. It has three steps (wash, rinse and dry) and by looking at the screen you'll be made aware of how far along the cycle is. The screen also informs you of when you need to top up your rinse aid and salt, there are two icons with the names above and when these light up it means they need refilling.
*** Is It Worth Buying? ***
Overall this is a machine that I highly recommend purchasing if you can find a bargain. It's superb in terms of energy efficiency which these days is a subject on everybody's lips. The Rapid cycle is very quick and effective, enabling you to save water and come away with pristine dishes. The overall look is very modern and stylish and most importantly this cleans your dishes extremely well... what more could you want?
Summary: A superb buy.
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