This review was updated on November 9, 2015 to reflect updated pricing, a new award, and to better clarify how its drying system works.
Let's get one thing out of the way: As far as our tests are concerned, the Electrolux EI24ID50QS (MSRP $1,099) is the closest any machine has come to dishwasher perfection.
We've seen many great dishwasher innovations over the past year, but only one dishwasher dared to put them all in the same stainless steel box. The EI24ID50QS has bottle washer jets, a circular spray arm, flexible vinyl stemware clips, interior lights, and an indicator light that beams directly to the kitchen floor in lieu of a forward-facing display.
And when we put this Electrolux through our rigorous battery of standard tests, it cleaned dishes better than any other machine we've ever evaluated to date. The best part? It sells for under $1,000 on sale.
A powerhouse of performance
Due to the large amount of stains we use on our tests, even some of the best high-end dishwashers usually leave some dirt behind. The EI24ID50QS's Heavy cycle offered no quarter. After running the test multiple times just to make sure, the results came out the same: 100% soil removal on milk, tea, egg, margarine, sugar, cheese, and lasagna, with 99.99% on meat and oatmeal.
The Normal cycle was also very impressive. Only trace amounts of milk, meat, egg, and spinach were left behind. In both cycles, redeposit was non-existent.
The EI24ID50QS's Fast cycle sacrifices all of its cleaning power to get a wash done in 30 minutes. It certainly delivered on the speed, but with over 20% of the dried milk stains and 4% of the meat stains left over, this is definitely a cycle reserved for light stains only.
From the outside, the EI24ID50QS is indistinguishable from other high-end dishwashers. There are no logos or branding on the stainless steel door, and the controls are all hidden at the top. The thick, protruding handle just adds to the industrial, no-nonsense feel. To make up for not having a forward display, the EI24ID50QS beams a blue light on the floor when a cycle is finished, letting you know at a glance when it's time to unload. It's similar to Bosch's InfoLight—although it doesn't show whether the washer is running or how much time is left.
Of course, there's even more fun stuff when you open the door. You'll probably notice the interior light first, illuminating all the other neat features lying in wait. The unusual-looking wash arm at the bottom of the tub, called SatelliteSpray, adds a circular sprayer to one end for better corner coverage. It's similar to Frigidaire's OrbitClean, which we reviewed favorably when it debuted last year, and it helped push this Electrolux ahead of other great dishwashers that had difficulty cleaning corners.
The upper rack doesn't slide as smoothly as those found on higher-end machines. But truly innovative features make up for the lack of luxurious touches: Silicone supports keep your glasses and mugs from moving during the wash, and flexible stemware clips keep delicate glassware from rattling around. Four upward-pointing nozzles are located towards the front of the upper rack, designed for washing the inside of water and baby bottles. It's a similar idea to GE's Bottle Wash, but there are fewer plastic nozzles that fold out of the way when not in use.
Last but not least is a third rack for holding silverware. Unlike some other high-end dishwashers with a third rack, the EI24ID50QS's entire cutlery tray can easily be lifted off its track, making loading and unloading a breeze. Between that and the large array of adjustable tines on the other racks, we were able to fit 11 place settings and one serving setting inside this dishwasher.
The difference three dollars makes
We estimate that the average user will spend about $31.34 to run the EI24ID50QS. That's $3 more than the average machine we've tested. Its electricity usage is relatively similar to other dishwashers, but the EI24ID50QS uses a bit more water.
The Normal cycle used 5.48 gallons of hot water during our tests, and also consumed 0.71 kWh of electricity, adding up to a cost of 15 cents per cycle. The Heavy cycle used 7.51 gallons of water and 1 KWh of power, while the Fast cycle used only 0.32 kWh of power and 4.44 gallons of water.
The EI24ID50QS has Auto, Heavy, Normal, Fast, and Rinse cycles, which all do just what their names suggest. The Eco cycle uses less water and power but takes more time, the Upper cycle washes only the upper rack, and the Stemware cycle is fit for washing delicate or fragile items. If these still don't fit your needs, you can also program a combination of cycle-plus-wash-options and save it with the Favorite button.
Have you been keeping count? That's a grand total of nine cycles to choose from.
As far as extra wash options, you can choose either Hi Temp or Sanitize to raise the wash temperature. Like most higher-end dishwashers, this Electrolux uses condensation drying to save energy and keep from melting plastics. By default, most cycles activate a heating element inside the condensation drying system to speed the process—although this isn't the sort of exposed heating element that most users will be familiar with.
Air Dry will skip the drying entirely if you want to save power, and Max Dry extends the drying period. Finally, a control lock and a 1-24 Hour Delay complete the list.
There's no arguing with results.
The Normal cycle is the go-to cycle on every dishwasher—it's the one you use most frequently and handles the regular messes from the dishes, glasses, and mugs you use every day. The EI24ID50QS's Normal cycle gave us nearly perfect results, outperforming any dishwasher we've tested in the past. Only trace amounts of dried milk, meat, egg, and baked-on spinach remained after the wash. The spinach score is especially important because that's what we use to look for a phenomenon known as redeposit—when tough stains get sprayed onto other items during a wash.
The Normal cycle left very little room for improvement, but the Heavy cycle found a way. This cycle left nearly nothing behind: Tiny amounts of spinach and lipstick were all that was left. Additionally, the burnt sugar, burnt cheese and baked-on lasagna stains were completely obliterated, a feat that few other dishwashers have accomplished.
The Fast cycle lived up to its name, finishing in just 30 minutes. However, it also left a large amount of every stain behind, including meat. While some dishwasher's quick cycles can be used for light to medium stains, the EI24ID50QS's Fast cycle can really only handle the lightest of stains. Anything that's been baked on or left overnight is outside this cycle's ability.
We calculated average annual water and energy costs at $31.34. That's about $3 more than the average machine. With those performance results, though, those extra dollars seem entirely worth it.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
An overwhelming amount of tines
The EI24ID50QS's bottom rack has a ludicrous number of supports. We were able to fit 11 place settings and a serving setting in there, but if you tend not to use every item of a place setting, you'll have a lot more room to work with. With stemware clips, bottle washer jets, and rubber-coated supports on the upper rack, the EI24ID50QS has plenty of ways for you to fit just about any item.
The perfect fit for your kitchen
The GE GDT720SSFSS gave us bottle wash jets. The Frigidaire Gallery FGHD2465NF gave us a circular sprayer. Both won our Best of Year rewards in 2013 for innovation. Electrolux reinterpreted those features and added them to a superb new dishwasher platform, and decided to sell the resulting product for a relatively affordable price.
Compared to dishwashers that sell for hundreds more, such as the Bosch SHE8PT55UC, the EI24ID50QS offers more options, more features, and better cleaning power. It came as a bit of a surprise to us—Electrolux's previous dishwashers haven't exactly been outstanding performers in our tests—but the all-new EI24ID50QS is truly impressive.
If you're worried about how it will fit in with the rest of your kitchen, one of the best features about the EI24ID50QS is its lack of external logos. With a blank, stainless steel front that's devoid of markings, you can hide your brand loyalty (or lack thereof) without any trouble. If there's any dishwasher out there that can cause brand devotees to jump ship, this is it.
Meet the tester
Johnny Yu writes news, features, and reviews for Reviewed.com. He graduated from U-Mass Boston with a Bachelor's in Social Psychology and spends much of his free time expanding his gaming horizons. Sometimes, he does his laundry at work.
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