We used to always buy GE dishwashers, but they all stopped cleaning after a few years. We would have to wash everything on the pots an pans cycle to get it clean, and when it got to the point in which we also had to add into the mix hand-washing the dishes before we put them into the dishwasher, that was the last straw.
This time around we decided to go with a whole different animal and try our luck with an LG Inverter Direct Drive dishwasher with a stainless steel interior. I was one of the most expensive dishwashers for that brand with some new-fangled technology. The downside was that we would have to keep dispensing Rinse Aid into it, because without that, the dishes wouldn't dry properly. However, this new dishwasher was going to save on energy in the long run and it had more interior room than the others, so it was worth it. As consumers, we basically just wanted a dishwasher that would allow us to load lightly rinsed dishes into it, let us turn it on, and have everything clean and dry when the cycles are done. Isn't that what dishwashers are supposed to do?
Within one week of us getting this new LG dishwasher, the buttons stopped responding. My husband did all this research on the Internet and finally found a comment from someone who said the same thing happened to him, and he had to remove the control panel and rearrange the wires, because a wire was getting pinched. My husband did the same thing, and found that it was difficult to re-install the control panel and not pinch the wires. He managed, though, and the control panel worked a short while until he had to do this repair all over again. We took off points for LG, because they should have quality control to catch these kinds of manufacturing flaws.
Especially when you buy one of the most expensive dishwashers in the store, you expect it to be of the highest quality. You don't expect it to be inoperable the first week you use it. We were in dishwasher hell. I'm telling you, folks, it just doesn't pay to buy anything now-a-days, because it'll just break and you'll have to navigate the maze of exchanges, returns, repairs and warranties. Since we were exhausted from having our time sucked up by such problems with other products, we chose to try to fix each of the problems ourselves.
People should be spending their weekends outdoors doing what they enjoy and not filling out paperwork, making phone calls, and standing in long lines to deal with faulty products. That's part of why I started this blog. I want to blow the whistle on those products that fall short before anyone else makes the same mistake, and at the same time praise those products that just work and don't require a second thought.
Anyway, the next problem we had with the LG Inverter Direct Drive dishwasher was somewhat my fault, but part of quality control is running tests that I'll call STTPD or Stupid Things That People Do tests. I had forgotten that the dishwasher was running and I dumped a bucket full of dirty mop water down the sink. This caused the water to back up, but not in the sink. The dirty mop water started pouring out from the bottom of the dishwasher.
After that, our new dishwasher just would not clean the dishes. Mind you, this happened just a few weeks after we bought it. I was beginning to think we may as well have taken nearly one thousand dollars and set it on fire, because we were getting the same result. No, we would have gotten a better result burning the money, because the old GE dishwasher did at least clean the dishes. It just took a lot of prep work.
My husband cleaned out the dishwasher filter repeatedly, but it seemed the dishwasher was damaged beyond repair. He tried turning the heat on the water heater up and down, but the only difference it made was melting some of our plastic cups. Still, nothing was clean. This led to arguments and finger-pointing... "You never rinse your dishes well enough first!" and "You aren't stacking the dishes right!" and "You have to stop eating Cocoa Puffs because chocolate dust ends up all over everything!"
Who knew our family would become divided over a crappy dishwasher? Eventually, my husband just started taking the dishwasher apart and putting it back together again. Sigh. This was taking up way too much of his time, but neither of us wanted to box the dang thing up and haul it to the post office to be returned to LG, and they know it.
Just when we had resigned ourselves to eating off sanitized, but stained dishes with food chunks still stuck to them, my husband announced that he seems to have solved the dishwasher problem. For years we had just been grabbing the biggest, cheapest dishwasher soap on the market shelves, which in our case was Sun Light OxiAction dishwasher soap granules. My husband picked up some Cascade Action Pacs to see if they would help, and suddenly the dishes are getting clean.
Hmmmm. Here we were kicking LG in the pants for its failings, and who knew the quality of dishwasher detergent could make such a huge difference? LG gave us the dishwasher with the recommendation that we use the Rinse Aid product, but now I'm thinking they might want to also recommend a handful of better quality detergent products as well. I'm also wondering if our old GE dishwasher might have got its second wind with some better detergent. Lesson learned. Sometimes old habits make us blind and come back to bite us.