Efficient Dishwashers

FRESNO, Calif.

Repairman Christopher Johnson has gotten some frantic calls about broken dishwashers.

"If it's a household with a family and kids, yeah it's a panic situation. We need the dishwasher fixed fast," Johnson said.

So that doesn't happen to you, consumer reports tests dishwashers to find which clean the best. And it checks for reliability.

"We surveyed more than 100,000 of our readers who bought a dishwasher in the last five years and found a problem with a big-name brand – LG," Celia Lehrman said.

The survey found that 23 percent of LG dishwashers had repairs.

In its cleaning tests, consumer reports found a problem with another dishwasher. To measure cleaning performance, technicians dirty hundreds of dishes, cups, and cutlery.

They use peanut butter, tomato sauce, and baked-on brownie mix. Every machine gets the same tough load.

This Asko dishwasher couldn't always handle it. Raspberry seeds often clogged the spray arm and the filter so the dishes didn't come clean.

"That's not what you'd expect from a dishwasher that costs 1,500 dollars," Lehrman said.

And that Asko's cleaning cycle runs three hours.

But consumer reports did find some dishwashers to recommend, including this $800 Bosch. It is excellent at cleaning, and consumer reports has found Bosch dishwashers have a good record of reliability.

If you're looking to save a little money, a $650 Kenmore is a consumer reports best buy.

Although it's a little less energy-efficient than the Bosch, it does an excellent job of cleaning. It's Kenmore model number 1374-2 sold at Sears. Consumer reports has also found that Kenmore has been a reliable brand.

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