The wait is over! As promised, here is the final post in our appliance series. I am now working in the so-far, kinder/gentler world of kitchen designing. I have a lot to learn, but working in appliances has helped me have a bit of a jump start. Please look in the Index in the upper right corner for the other posts on this and other topics!
Enough about me---
I have sold 100s of dishwashers. It tends to be the first appliance that wears out. There are just a few things to keep in mind. If noise is an issue, be sure to read the db rating on the sign. A rating of 50db or less is pretty quiet, under 46 is nearly silent. Every 3 db higher is twice as loud. So a 53db is twice as loud as a 50db. When you get up to 60db you will be nearing freight train loud.
Many issues are solved simply by getting a stainless interior. At that level you will automatically get nylon racks (rubber-coated metal ones rust and break off and it's not worth replacing the racks.) Also, stainless is quieter, more leak proof, easier to keep clean (detergent/food particles etch plastic tubs, but I can take a Magic Eraser and wipe my stainless one down.) Stainless also helps draw moisture away in the drying process.
If you are going to the trouble and expense of putting in a new dishwasher, why get the "el cheapo?" Wait until there is a sale and then you can get a good one for around $500. You don't need a lot of extra cycles and such, so spending more isn't necessary. I see no reason why anyone would need a grinder in their dishwasher. To me, that is lipstick on a pig:) They aren't garbage disposals and nobody should be putting large chunks of food in there anyway!
You can choose between front and top controls, which is mostly for looks unless you have small kids who push buttons. Top controls are a little more money (get metal or glass buttons) and no, you don't push them with the door closed... you can't believe how many people ask that. They are afraid their fingers won't fit! It's hard for me to keep a straight face.
Clothes washers are one of the most time consuming things to sell because most folks don't understand what they aren't used to having. HE washers save 40-60% in water and electric. Top loaders operate sorta like a front loader flipped up. It weighs the clothes and then you set your preferences. The clothes tumble through the water and are never all immersed. The absolute stupidest thing manufacturers have done is adding a glass top. This freaks people out and they are just sure their clothes aren't getting clean because the agitator isn't there to beat them up (twist bras up) and they aren't drowning in water. Granted, sometimes one needs to lie to the machine to add more water for say, pillows, etc. Just tell it the load is really dirty.
People say "I don't need anything big because it's just the two of us"...yadda yadda. Folks, it's not how many people, but what is the biggest thing you wash??? A king size comforter?? BTW, agitator washers are leaving in 2015.
Dryers are probably the longest lasting appliance if not abused. Problem is, if you get just a new washer, it may not be compatible with your washer's load size. If you have to run the dryer twice, it doesn't save time or energy. So you might as well get the set and give the dryer away. If you like fluffing up or de-wrinkling, steam is a nice option. I just use a damp towel though...
No matter what your budget, get a washer and dryer. I can't believe how much laundromats charge! They are time consuming and expensive. You could pay off your own set in no time with what you pay at the laundromat!
I have some more funny stories about customer's conversations, but I will save for another time.
The girls and I are going to a art/craft convention in Cincinnati next week, so guess what I will be writing about? All the latest supplies and techniques!