Amana ADB1400AGS dishwasher review
This $300 dishwasher gets dishes 100% clean—just use the Normal cycle
Can a $300 dishwasher do a good job cleaning your dishes? Yes—if the dishwasher in question is the Amana ADB1400AGS (available at AppliancesConnection for $399.00).
It's not particularly fancy or even that quiet (at 60 dBA), but this modest dishwasher outperformed its price point in our lab tests. And with true heated drying and a stainless steel exterior, the Amana could bring you and your kitchen the clean dishes and sleek looks you're hoping for.
The Amana ADB1400AGS comes in stainless steel—a must for a stylish kitchen. You’ll have to polish some fingerprints off the outside of this dishwasher, but it’s easy to fix with a dab of coconut oil on a rag.
If you prefer a white or black dishwasher in your kitchen, it's available in those colors, too, for $20 less.
Although this dishwasher has a filter, like most modern dishwashers, it also has a more old-school exposed heating element, activated during the Normal and Heavy cycle.
The interior is uninsulated gray plastic, and the two racks offer no options to customize the layout of the tines. Still, if you follow the recommended layout in the user manual (I know, I’m a geek), you may be pleasantly surprised at how much room there is to load dishes. The manufacturer claims that you could fit service for 12 inside, and we found that to be true.
The bottom rack feels very sturdy, the top rack less so. The silverware basket is surprisingly roomy, and it’s easy to remove, so it's a breeze to unload.
You can decide how much liquid detergent to add to any load, since the detergent dispenser offers two levels. Both the detergent and rinse aid dispensers feel a little flimsy, but we didn’t encounter any issues with them during our testing.
Features and Performance
This dishwasher is not rich in features, with only three cycles.
• 1-hour Wash
Our lab tests showed that this "quick" cycle averages just over an hour, and does a decent job cleaning up meat, egg, milk, and oats, though spinach tended to hang onto our dishes. (It does that in expensive dishwashers, too.) Pre-rinsing is useful with this cycle. Don’t expect it to dry the dishes well, so if you use it, you'll have to unload onto dish towels.
The Normal cycle is the way to get dishes an amazing 100% clean. Heated drying turns on automatically with the Normal and Heavy cycles, which is good, because this dishwasher really needs it to dry the dishes.
Melted cheese probably won’t come off your casserole dish on this cycle, unless you scrape it well. But everything else we tested, even the lasagna, washed off, including 98% of the spinach.
We calculate that this dishwasher will cost about $32 a year to run.
What the users say
Most owners are satisfied with this dishwasher, giving it an average of 4 out of 5 stars over three retail sites. They like its sleek looks and ease of use, and many say that they are pleased with how clean it gets their dishes. A number of owners call out the slow cycles, and challenges getting dishes to dry. One interesting point—although this Amana is relatively loud for a modern dishwasher, people who bought to replace an older model praise its quiet operation, which proves that noise is relative.
The bottom line
This American-made dishwasher surpasses its price point in cleaning performance. In our labs, we found that it got dishes 100% clean on the Normal cycle. And the heated drying did a good job in that cycle, too. If you buy this dishwasher, stick to that cycle, or you'll have to rinse your dishes before you load them.
If you can spend another $150, the GE GDF610P series dishwasher won our coveted Editors' Choice badge, and Best of Year for 2017. it's loaded with features, has shorter cycles, and gets dishes clean and dry. Take a look at it before you make a dishwasher decision.
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