In the early 1950s, Martians landed on Earth and bestowed mankind with a curious little machine; it was called “dishwasher.” Some say it was the perfect home appliance, capable of cleaning the most soiled kitchenware and fine china. However, the celestial technology was found to be too great for our puny human minds to comprehend; many a scientist went mad trying to unlock the mysteries of its washing prowess.
Recently, a team of Spanish manufacturers attempted to recreate “dishwasher,” but their efforts were met with abject failure. Not only did their machine fail to even approach the glory that was the Martian dishwasher, it also failed to live up to consumer standards. This is that machine.
An industrial exterior with a control panel that may literally be from out of this world.
The front is one of the LFA-65 IT X’s few attractive design elements. The stainless steel, angular handle and lack of frontal controls offer a tasteful display for most kitchens—traditional or modern. The Fagor logo on the bottom of the door looks a bit tacky, though, and some consumers may be wary of the conspicuously thin door.
We spent several days trying to decipher the control panel, which appears to be written in Mayan glyphs.
We spent several days trying to decipher the control panel, which appears to be written in Mayan glyphs. Ultimately, we came up with some sort of message involving the Kennedy assassination and a Nevada moon landing simulation. But we didn’t pay that any attention because we’re in the business of reviewing dishwashers.
Seriously, though, the symbols are counter-intuitive to the point of being silly, and they’re not even labeled, meaning you’ll need to consult the equally vague, grammatically offensive instruction manual to figure out what they mean.
Inside, things get a little easier. There's a stainless tub and two racks that aren't tremendously easy to load, plus cutlery baskets that like to slide around, unanchored. You can fit ten place settings in there.
Nothing to see here really.
The LFA-65 IT X offers a few extra features, including a rinse option, a single rack wash (top or bottom), and a delay (three, six, or nine hours). While the single rack wash is an interesting idea, the LFA-65 IT X’s selection of features is somewhat bare.
Stick to the Normal cycle, or you'll be sorry.
The Quick cycle was all quick and no wash and the Heavy Duty cycle sprayed tiny bits of spinach and oatmeal and tomato sauce throughout the entire wash load. Then, when the dry cycles engaged, all these tiny new stains baked onto the dishes and created a massive headache for everyone involved.
The one redeemable aspect of the Fagor LFA-65 IT X’s wash performance was an exceptional Normal cycle. There was no particle spattering, and even the dishes that were not completely clean weren't filthy.
The one redeemable aspect of the Fagor LFA-65 IT X’s wash performance was an exceptional Normal cycle.
In fact, the Normal wash was a bit… too good, drawing our suspicions that this machine really was designed by Spanish scientists trying to replicate alien technology. That would explain the inconsistency, and the odd little icons on the control panel. It all makes so much sense now!
Overall, cycles were generally quick and scorching hot. At least all those leftover food particles will be sanitized. Still, the dishwasher remained efficient: based on an average of using the Normal cycle 50 percent of the time, the LFA-65 IT X will cost roughly $24.40 a year to operate. This is very impressive considering how hot this machine gets.
An odd choice
After a week of stringent testing our initial hunch remains: The Fagor LFA-65 IT X was built by Spanish engineers attempting to replicate alien dishwasher technology. The only problem is that the device they created isn't so much a dish washer as dish recirculates-filth-rather-than-cleaning-it-off -er.
Unless you're obsessed with little-known European appliance manufacturers, there's little compelling reason to choose the Fagor LFA-65 IT X over any other dishwasher out there.
For all our dishwasher tests, we use the same standard recipes to get our dishes dirty, then see how well a machine does at getting those stains off. This Fagor failed almost all of those tests miserably.
It didn’t do a very good job of actually removing stains, which makes it kind of useless...
The Quick Wash barely counts as a wash. If you’re okay with manually scrubbing your dishes after each wash then full speed ahead! But if you’re a human being who likes to buy appliances that actually work then you’ll probably loathe this wash cycle. To be fair, we haven’t come across many dishwashers with a high-performing Quick Cycle, but given our list of grievances with this machine it’s difficult to find forgiveness.
The "Super Intensive" Heavy Duty cycle was even worse. Each dish, including the clean dishes that get loaded alongside the dirty ones, needed to be washed by hand afterward.
Only the Normal cycle performed well. Really, it did. No joke. It even did well on our strenuous lipstick test, in which we dab a coffee mug with glossy lipstick.
Extremely efficient, with no water waste
Power usage was pretty average, with the main cycles consuming between 0.6 and 1.3 kWh—not great, but not bad. This made for an electricity cost that ranged from 6 to 14 cents per wash. Much of this energy is used to heat water to considerably high wash temperatures.
The Fagor also barely used any water. More importantly, the volume of water was fairly consistent across all wash cycles. From the Quick Wash to the Super Intensive Cycle, the machine consumed 2.21 to 3.1 gallons of cold water. This averages out to a water cost of just 1 cent per wash, which is very good.
We should mention, however, that Fagor doesn’t seem to get the difference between a hot and cold water connection. Or maybe they do and just didn’t think to, you know, tell… anyone. Because the installation manual was mum on this, we had to call the Fagor customer service hotline, which was met with this reassuring answer: “Uh, cold water? I think it was cold… Yeah, cold water…” Gee, thanks!
Meet the tester
Tyler Wells Lynch
Tyler Wells Lynch is a freelance writer and journalist whose work has appeared in Vice, Wirecutter, Gizmodo, The Rumpus, Yes!, and the Huffington Post, among others. He lives in Maine.
See all of Tyler Wells Lynch's reviews
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