Good cleaning performance for its price
Had some difficulties cleaning tough stains
Not many features
Now, the ultra-affordable Whirlpool WDF330PAHW (available at AppliancesConnection for $474.00) can join the clean plate club. After putting it through a battery of tests in our labs, we can report that you can trust this inexpensive, American-made dishwasher to get your dinnerware clean.
Although the model we tested was white, you can also purchase this dishwasher in stainless steel (WDF330PAHS, at about $100 more) and black (WDF330PAHB). If you're matching older appliances, you can even buy it in the shade of off-white known as bisque or biscuit as the WDF330PAHT.
Because the tines are equidistant and don't fold down, you'll have to fit your dishes to the rack—instead of vice-versa. The upper rack does offer a small fold-down shelf on one side for espresso cups or ramekins.
To wash large, awkwardly-shaped roasting pans or tall cookie sheets on the lower rack, you can remove the entire top rack easily, by opening up the end caps. You may never try this trick, but having it available makes the dishwasher a little more versatile.
The cutlery basket is moveable—it can fit into the inside front of the lower rack, as well as the side—if it's easier for you to reach it there. We prefer this design to other Whirlpool models that put the basket on the inside of the door.
There are only three cycles on this dishwasher: Normal, Heavy, and 1-Hr. There's also a delay feature that allows a 4-hour delay.
Heat Dry is the default option on most of the cycles, helping the dishes to come out completely dry, as long as you also use rinse aid.
Although this dishwasher has a plastic tub, it is reasonably quiet, coming in at 55 dbA. Dishwashers with stainless steel tubs run more quietly, but they cost more.
In our test labs, the dishwasher's Normal cycle got dirty dishes almost 100% clean, except for the ones we smeared with hard-to-rinse spinach, which it got 90% clean.
The Heavy cycle did very well removing eggs, sugar, and minced meat from our dishes, and nearly as well with oats and milk. It had trouble taking burned cheese and lasagna off our baking dishes, but we don't soak them before running the load, and you probably would.
The unit's 1-Hour wash cycle took just 61 minutes, but it didn't do as well as the other cycles at cleaning. It met its match trying to remove spinach stains. If you want to use the 1-Hour wash, scrape those dishes first.
Unlike many dishwashers at this price point, this Whirlpool has Heat Dry, which is the default setting on most of its cycles. It dries the dishes using an exposed heating coil, so don't put delicate plastics in the bottom rack. Whirlpool says that rinse aid is still essential for optimal drying performance.
We project that it will cost an average of $31 to run this dishwasher over the course of a year, and that's fairly efficient.
What the owners say
Almost every review we saw online was enthusiastic, with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5. This easy-to-use dishwasher appeals to people who don't need special features. Many current owners bought this dishwasher to replace a model more than 10 years old, and they were amazed at how quietly this machine runs compared to their old one.
That shows just how far dishwashers have come—this model is rated at 55 dBA, while the quietest models on the market are below 40 dBA.
The bottom line
This basic American-made dishwasher is a good value. In our test labs, it got dirty dishes very clean on the Normal cycle, and it was economical to run. With a limited number of features, it doesn't require complex settings to wash and dry the dishes.
If a few extras might appeal to you as long as they didn't cost more, take a look at the GE GDF610PGJWW. It's another top rated affordable American-made dishwasher, and it provides some higher end features, including steam, bottle wash jets, and a variety of delay settings, for about the same price.
Meet the testers
Cindy Bailen loves writing about major appliances and home design and has spent over 15 years immersed in that. In her spare time, Cindy hosts pledge programs for WGBH-TV in Boston and other public television stations.
Julia is the Senior Scientist at Reviewed, which means that she oversees (and continually updates) the testing of products in Reviewed's core categories such as televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, and more. She also determines the testing methods and standards for Reviewed's "The Best Right Now" articles.
Checking our work.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.Shoot us an email