The fact that you searched for this article says a lot about the state of modern dishwashers! So many of them are just downright bad. Whether they fall to pieces in days or leave your plates dirty and caked with grease, a bad dishwasher is a huge source of stress.
Getting a dishwasher fixed or replacing it is costly, not to mention how much time you’ll waste washing the dishes by hand in the meantime.
So, the best thing you can do is avoid it altogether. Before you buy a dishwasher, double check this list, and make sure to avoid these 10 terrible dishwasher models and brands.
What Makes a Dishwasher Brand Bad?
There are two types of bad dishwashers:
- Unbranded dishwashers that were incredibly cheap and poorly made,
- Branded dishwashers that are “lite” models, or the “affordable” model in a range… which is just code for “we cut all the corners we possibly could when manufacturing it.”
So, there are some brands that you should avoid altogether. But equally, there are some brands that are a mixed bag. Sometimes it’s just a single model in a brand’s line up that’s terrible or doesn’t deliver as promised.
Our list focuses on the specific brands that we’ve uncovered as the worst. Some of them are from unknown brands, but others may surprise you!
This is one of the biggest problems with a dishwasher. Usually, you buy a dishwasher that suits the size of your household. Whether you have a small dishwasher for a 2-bed flat or a large dishwasher for a family of 6, the chances are you’ll be using it all the time. Every. Single. Day.
If a dishwasher is unreliable – whether it breaks often or just doesn’t clean well enough – then it’s unusable.
Like any product, sometimes dishwashers break. That’s not immediately a sign of a bad dishwasher, but there are some things to look out for:
- It breaks repeatedly,
- It breaks with minor/light use,
- The same component breaks over and over,
- No one can figure out why it breaks!
Bad Customer Support
When something does go wrong with your dishwasher, a good dishwasher brand will be ready to help. The manual should give you some troubleshooting tips and hopefully they have a help section on their website. The best brands even have videos to help you.
And if not, a good dishwasher brand will send a repair man quickly or help you order replacement parts.
Unfortunately, few dishwasher brands are that helpful. The worst will refuse to help you fix it; others will keep you on hold for hours with the false hope that something can be done to salvage your dishwashing machine.
How We Researched This List
As much as we would have loved to test every single dishwasher available in the US (because we’re dishwasher nerds like that) it just wasn’t possible. Instead, we put on our research hats and chatted with customers online to find out which dishwasher brands had the worst (and best) reputations.
From there, we selected some of the most notoriously bad dishwasher brands to test them for ourselves. Below are the results from the 10 absolute worst dishwasher brands, including what went wrong with them and our experiences with customer service to fix them.
10 Dishwasher Brands to Avoid
Here they are! We are starting with the worst of the worst and finishing with the best of the bunch (although it’s still too bad to be a worthy dishwasher for your home).
- Reason: Cheap parts, expensive price tag, leaking problem
- Warranty: 2 years
- Customer Service: Good but pointless
You might have a Viking fridge or freezer that works a dream, but the Viking dishwashers are another story. In continuing with their brand appearance, they charge a lot for their dishwashers… except they just aren’t worth the money.
There are some serious flaws with the manufacturing and design of the Viking dishwasher range. They are made with cheap parts, to start with, and they often leak! The worst part is, Viking don’t seem to be making any changes to prevent this fault.
If you notified Viking of the fault and ordered a replacement dishwasher, the chances are that it will leak as well. Viking just aren’t fixing the problem.
To be completely fair, we found the Viking customer service and repair service to be pretty good compared to others in the industry… but that doesn’t change the fact that their dishwashers are primarily flawed in the first place.
- Reason: Noisy and inefficient cleaning
- Warranty: 1-year
- Customer Service: Unresponsive!
Frigidaire are a little cheaper than Viking, but still expensive enough that you’d expect a decent dishwasher from them. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case. The biggest complaints we have with Frigidaire are about their customer service. The people you reach through their Appliance Repair Service aren’t very knowledgeable. Sometimes the customer service can be completely unresponsive too.
While there isn’t an overall massive fault with the dishwashers, like Viking’s frequent leaks, they are overall quite noisy machines and some of the inner parts like the racks, are poorly made. As a result, sometimes your dishes aren’t as clean as they should be.
To find out the warranty, check the PDF specifications brochure. We checked multiple and found that 1 year for parts and 1 year for labor was standard for Frigidaire. Considering that most dishwashers should last for approximately 10 years, this feels like Frigidaire have no confidence in their products.
- Reason: Energy inefficiency and noisy
- Warranty: 1 or 2 years
- Customer Service: Middling
Electrolux are owned by Frigidaire, so it’s no surprise that they have some of the same faults. To start with, these are noisy dishwashers. Considering that Electrolux laundry washers are known to be very quiet, it’s surprising!
Furthermore, we have found many customers complaining that over the long-term, Electrolux appliances are very power hungry. Expect your monthly bills to start creeping up when you install one of their models.
As for the warranty and customer service, they aren’t amazing. You have 1 year as standard, but some products can be registered to get a 2-year warranty instead. Either way, it’s not looking great. Judging by how many people have purchased replacement parts of Electrolux dishwashers on Amazon, we’d say that the manufacturer’s repair service just isn’t worth it.
- Reason: Design flaws and poor-quality components
- Warranty: 1-year (upgrades available)
- Customer Service: Poor
Samsung make some of the best electronic devices in the world. Their smartphones and TVs are incredibly popular and trusted by millions. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for their range of dishwashers.
You’ll find both affordable and very expensive dishwashers available from Samsung, but none of them are worth trying. Poor parts and design flaws cause a lot of hassle for their homes. Drainage issues and parts breaking easily with daily wear and tear are the biggest complaints.
Furthermore, the customer service from Samsung when it comes to repairing or replacing your dishwasher is troublesome too. Responses are slow and you may be better off going to an independent repair workshop… even if it breaks the very short 1-year warranty. The warranty can be extended for an additional cost and varies from model to model.
- Reason: Overpriced and only basic features
- Warranty: 1-year
- Customer Service: Not the best
With this dishwasher brand, it’s a mixed bag. Some models and some customers find that their dishwashers work perfectly, for others… it’s a nightmare. With so many fake reviews online, it’s hard to tell if these positive reviews are even real. So, that’s why we don’t recommend buying from this dishwasher brand. It’s a bit of a gamble.
JennAir have some catches on their warranty too. Besides the usual “don’t try to fix it yourself” clause, it also needs to have been installed by a JennAir Certified Installer. It’s all quite a lot of hassle for a dishwasher that may break down!
At the end of the day, JennAir dishwashers are very expensive and don’t always have the range of amazing (and efficient) features that you’d expect at this price range.
- Reason: Doesn’t clean effectively
- Warranty: 1-year
- Customer Service: Awful!
If a dishwasher doesn’t clean food and stains off your dishes and cutlery, then it’s useless. You’ll just end up doing the dishes by hand or going through a lot of effort to half clean them before using the dishwasher to finish the job.
This is the primary problem with Insignia dishwashers. While you might be considering one due to their very low and reasonable prices, we urge you to reconsider. You are much better off finding a dishwasher that can clean your dishes effectively, even if it means spreading your budget a little thinner.
We’ve also heard that the customer support from Insignia is awful, so you’d better pray that the dishwasher doesn’t break if you buy one! You only have a standard 1-year warranty if you bought the Insignia dishwasher from an authorized retailer.
Fisher & Paykel
- Reason: Extremely expensive and breaks within a year
- Warranty: 2-year
- Customer Service: Not bad
Fisher & Paykel are a luxury brand, so their dishwashers are eye-wateringly expensive. You need to be loaded to comfortably afford one of these. And the costs don’t stop there! Some customers had to replumb their kitchens to install it, and a vast number encountered costly faults and breakdowns within the first year.
This really annoys us about luxury brands. When it’s a cheap dishwasher, you almost expect there to be a few errors. But when you’ve paid thousands of dollars, you expect more.
The warranty is a little better from this brand. You get 2 years as standard, but they often run promos that may allow you to extend it for free. At least this hints at a little more responsibility from the brand. Their customer service is okay, but that doesn’t impact the quality of the product.
- Reason: Hit and miss models
- Warranty: 1 to 5 years
- Customer Service: Decent
Bosch have some great aspects and some terrible aspects. The great include a 1-year standard warranty, 2-year limited warranty, and 5-year electronics warranty to cover the different parts of your washing machine. Some of their models, particularly those in the 800 series, are very reliable. And no matter which model you choose, the customer service is decent.
But this doesn’t change the fact that several of their models are awful. The 500 series and Benchmark dishwasher are known to be faulty and breakdown very easily. Some sources have even stated that over a third of these models sold are returned for a service within a year (although we cannot confirm this).
Because of this mix of good and bad models, we always feel a bit anxious when reviewing a new Bosch dishwasher. You never know which category it will fall into!
- Reason: Average performance, no repair parts
- Warranty: 2 years
- Customer Service: Unhelpful
MOOSOO are a Chinese appliance company that have desperately been trying to crack the US market over the past 12 months. Unfortunately, the customers that they’ve managed to snag have been unimpressed with what this dishwasher offers.
It’s not just that the performance is average, and the parts are cheap. It hasn’t been designed well in the first place. We found stacking in all our plates and cups to be very awkward when filling it up. We also needed to rinse the dishes thoroughly to ensure we got a clean finish afterwards.
If your MOOSOO dishwasher breaks, then finding spare parts in the USA is almost impossible. You’ll need to buy a new dishwasher or try to import a part from China. If you are within the first 2 years of the warranty, the brand might be able to help. It’s a long and arduous process.
- Reason: Unreliable and complex electronics
- Warranty: 1-year (extensions available)
- Customer Service: Middling
The last dishwasher brand to avoid on our list is LG. Like Samsung, we think they should stick to making smartphones and TVs. Their dishwashers aren’t all that good!
LG have tried to do too much with their dishwashers. Many of their models have very complicated electrical systems that allow them to offer so many different functions. The problem with going high tech, is that LG have let their reliability and durability down in the process. While their dishwashers may have loads of fancy settings to explore, they will also break down quickly.
Thankfully, LG has one of the better warranty offerings of all dishwasher brands. Most of their models include a standard 1-year warranty, but you can also choose to extend it with 5-years on the control board and rack, plus 10-years on the motor, stainless-steel tub, and door liner. If you want to use the LG repair service outside of the warranty, you’ll need to pay an extra fee.
Overall, LG dishwashers are not suitable for heavy everyday use. For many people, that makes them completely unsuitable.
What to Look for in a GOOD Dishwasher Brand
We’ve explored what the worst dishwashers are like, but what about the best? Here are some key features that are important to look for in a good dishwasher:
- A recognizable brand name, which usually guarantees it will at least be repairable (in most cases).
- Good warranty guarantees and repair options.
- Decent reviews across the internet. Don’t just rely on Amazon reviews, look at Reddit, AO and other websites to get a fuller picture.
- Practical size for your dishes and household size.
- Finally, look at the energy efficiency and water efficiency too. An inefficient dishwasher will see your bills go up each month too!
What is the least reliable dishwasher?
Viking, Frigidaire, and Electrolux topped our list as the three least reliable dishwashers, with Viking just winning out as the worst overall.
Which dishwasher is hardest to fix?
The more complex the dishwasher is, the harder it is to fix. So, larger models and models with hundreds of different features will be tricky to fix. The dishwasher brand’s integrity also matters – some will arrange to get it fixed pronto, while others won’t even provide you with spare parts.
Which brand of dishwasher is most reliable?
From our own experience and just general notoriety, Thermador comes to mind as the most reliable brand. However, make sure you research and compare specific models before buying.
What are the top 5 best dishwasher brands?
Thermador and Whirlpool are considered the more reliable across the board, so check those out first. Kenmore are also pretty good, especially with their customer service – they’re just not so great if you’re on a budget. Lastly, Maytag and KitchenAid make some decent dishwashers so don’t let their bad models put you off them completely.