Kenmore 13093 Dishwasher Review
Sometimes a budget dishwasher is just that.
We’ve been impressed by low-cost Kenmore dishwashers before, and some of them have done surprisingly well on our tests. The Kenmore 13202 and 15113, for example, showed low price doesn’t always mean low quality.
So today's review model, the Kenmore 13093 (MSRP $599.99, on sale for $399.99) has some pretty big shoes to fill. Unfortunately, while this particular dishwasher is fine for its price range, it lacked the interior flexibility of the 13202 and the raw cleaning power of the 15113. If you like its external countdown timer, the 13093 is worth a look. But make sure you check out the similarly priced Kenmore alternatives before you buy.
Design & Usability
None of the right moving parts
Like the 15113, the 13093 has a stainless steel door with a plastic, front-facing control panel. Both Kenmores also have a dull, plastic interior, but at least they’re both pretty on the outside.
We were able to fit 11 place settings and a serving setting inside the 13093, which includes only basic dishes like dinner plates and glasses. Unfortunately, you can’t adjust any of the racks, so you’ll have a tougher time loading atypical items like stemware or tiny shot glasses. This lack of moving parts can be a deal breaker for some buyers.
The front-facing control panel is responsive and has a convenient timer display, but there’s only one button to toggle between six cycles. If you’re hoping to hit one button and move on, then you’re out of luck. Also, the glossy plastic finish on the controls picks up smudges easily. After a few uses, that cycle button may be covered in fingerprints.
Is it getting hot in here?
The 13093’s additional wash options are pretty ordinary, but still more than what’s normally offered on models in this price range. Coincidentally, they all have to do with bringing the heat: whether it’s increasing the overall wash temperature with High Temp, adding a Sani Rinse to the end of a cycle to kill off disease-causing germs, or using Heated Dry to ready your dishes for the cabinet.
This low-cost dishwasher is programmed with six different cycles. Normal, Pots & Pans, and 1 Hr Wash take care of most regular dishwashing needs, but there’s also China Gentle for lightly stained items, and Quick Rinse for when you’re breaking out the fancy plates that've been gathering dust. Can’t figure out what cycle fits your load? Use Smart Wash and the 13093’s soil sensors will sort that mess out.
If you don’t want to start a wash immediately, you can use the Delay command to program when you want a cycle to commence. Lastly, the 13093 has a Control Lock to block out inputs. Since this dishwasher has a forward-facing control panel, this is an especially handy feature for preventing accidental cycle interruptions.
Long cycles may keep you up at night
If you look carefully at the bottom of the 13093’s tub, you’ll notice a plastic mesh screen and a detachable cylindrical filter. These are meant to catch washed-off food particles (or glass, if something were to break mid-wash) and prevent them from getting sprayed back onto the dishes. It's called redeposit and, unfortunately, this Kenmore doesn’t handle it very well.
In addition to some filtration failings, the Normal cycle ran for nearly three hours. While this won’t bother people who do their dishes overnight, three hours is too long for most users to squeeze in a second load in the same night, leading to that unsightly pile of dishes in the sink. Plus, a not-too-quiet 53 dBa sound rating means you might be able to hear those dishes washing as you fall asleep.
Pots & Pans is the strongest cycle on the 13093, and it demonstrated fewer instances of redeposit. This one also lasts a little over three hours, but that’s much more reasonable for a heavy duty cycle. Even Pots & Pans was still no match for our burnt cheese stain, so expect to do a bit of scraping beforehand.
Finally, the 1 Hr Wash takes as long as advertised, but scored extremely poorly on our stain removal tests. Some of the plates looked almost as dirty as when we first loaded them, and the dried milk stains came out a gooey, sticky mess. This cycle is still useful for very light and very fresh stains, like sauces or beverages mid-dinner-party. However, anything baked on or left to sit overnight is beyond this cycle’s capabilities.
Expect around $33.38 per year in utility costs. The average consumer dishwasher costs around $29-30 per year to run, so this Kenmore is not quite as efficient. Still, the low upfront cost means you’re going to save more money on this than a greener dishwasher over the life of the machine.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
This dishwasher has a one-year limited warranty, which is basically the industry standard. Sears will pay for the parts and labor involved with repairing defects for the first year of ownership, and there’s a list of specific items and services the warranty will not cover that are made clear in the dishwasher’s manual, so don’t throw that out!
Before You Buy
A different Kenmore may better suit your needs
While the 13093 is decent for a low-cost dishwasher, it's irrelevant next to Kenmore's own 13202 and 15113. The 13093 may have an attractive $399 sale price and digital controls, but it also lacks adjustable interior parts to make loading easier, and its toughest cycle has trouble removing burnt cheese stains. Since all three dishwashers cost roughly the same, you’re certainly better off getting one of the other Kenmores.
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