Whirlpool WDF530PAYM Dishwasher Review
There's nothing special about this dishwasher except its price.
When you shop for a mid-range dishwasher, you're going to find a mixed bag of extra cycles, finishes, and interior features thrown in. These perks are manufacturers’ attempts to entice buyers into spending an extra couple hundred bucks on an appliance, and sometimes they're worth it.
The Whirlpool WDF530PAYM (MSRP $599) features a handful of these neat extras, but middle-of-the-road cleaning performance makes it hard to recommend. We’ve spotted sale prices as low as $350, though, which could justify a purchase for some buyers.
Design & Usability
Clever cutlery basket
Although the WDF530PAYM’s door has a stainless steel finish, its interior is entirely plastic. This means longer drying times and poor sound insulation, and doesn’t look as classy, either.
This dishwasher’s cutlery basket can hang on the inside of the door or sit on the lower rack. The former arrangement leaves more room on the lower rack for your other items, but it does mean that some taller items can tumble out of the basket. Still, given that there are no adjustable tines anywhere on either of the WDF530PAYM’s racks, any extra space is welcome.
A few fold-down shelves on the top rack help provide extra loading space for small items, like espresso cups and ramekins. We were able to comfortably fit ten place settings and a serving setting inside the WDF530PAYM.
We found this dishwasher’s controls simple and responsive, but the glossy plastic control panel is prone to smudging. This could become a real problem if your fingers are wet after loading the machine. And although you can hear this dishwasher when it’s running due to poor sound insulation, you won’t get the luxury of a chime when a cycle is done.
An interesting assortment
Aside from the usual Normal, Heavy, and 1 Hour Wash cycles, the WDF530PAYM also comes programmed with an Eco cycle and an Over Night cycle. Eco, despite its name, is not specifically geared towards efficiency: It’s simply a gentler cycle that uses lower temperatures to clean delicate items. Over Night—a long cycle that uses less water and electricity, and lets detergent sit—is actually the more efficient cycle.
The array of customization options allows users some control over how they wash. Hi-Temp Wash and Sani Rinse are two ways to boost water temperatures, either for a better clean or to kill off any bacteria. Heated Dry turns on the exposed metal heating element to help with drying, a Delay option lets you postpone the start of a wash for 2, 4, or 8 hours, and a Child Lock blocks out the controls so that cycles don’t get started or interrupted inadvertently.
The Normal cycle gave a weak showing.
We generally focus on a dishwasher’s Normal cycle when gauging its performance, since that's the workhorse cycle most consumers use for their everyday loads. Across multiple trials, the WDF530PAYM’s Normal cycle left us disappointed, as visible traces of every food stain were left behind. Even tea, which is one of our easiest, lightest stains, had a few remnants left over.
The Heavy cycle did a much better job removing common stains, and you might be tempted to use this cycle all the time. However, this cycle used more than twice the hot water as Normal, so frequent use will impact your water bill. This cycle also tested poorly against burnt cheese, which is the sort of stain you might commonly find on pots and pans after cooking.
All cycles had a minor redeposit problem, which is when food particles get spread to otherwise clean items during the wash. However, this dishwasher’s cycles are all rather speedy: Heavy takes 2 hours and 40 minutes, Normal takes around 2 hours, and 1 Hour Wash finished in its promised 1 hour.
The WDF530PAYM’s annual cost is $29.64 a year, which is average. In fact, most dishwashers on the market today come in between $29 and $30.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Before You Buy
Never pay full price
Even though the WDF530PAYM’s retail price and array of features suggest it’s a step above the bottom rung, this dishwasher doesn’t have the performance to match. For the same amount of money, you’re better off with something like the similar Kenmore 15113, which offers superior cleaning ability.
However, we’ve found the WDF530PAYM on sale for as low as $350, which would make it quite the bargain. You’re basically paying the same price you would for a budget dishwasher, but you get the added perks of Sanitize and a few more specialty cycles to choose from.
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