First a disclaimer: We got the delivery of this item just 2-3 days back. It might be too early for a comprehensive review on the product.
Nonetheless, here is our experience so far:
When you look at a dishwasher in the store and read about it on the internet it sounds like a very complicated product. There are 3 raw materials which go into making a single wash successful. Then there are scores of buttons to press and settings to be set. It really is a daunting product. I am very hands-on with gadgets and, usually, I do not require a demo to know how a product runs. But for a dishwasher I couldn’t get myself to try the product before the demo technician came and explained about things. I don’t know why these people had to make a dishwasher such a complicated piece of equipment.
We purchased this item from Reliance Digital(RD) and it got delivered in two days. RD had scheduled a demo by an IFB technician the very next day. This guy was not directly from IFB but from an authorised service center of IFB. And he was more interested in selling accessories(which runs into thousands of rupees) for the machine than demoing of the product. Was very disappointed with the demo. I have one major complaint from IFB: When a customer purchases your machine for close to Rs.34,000 would it kill you if you included a few grams of detergent, salt and rinse-aid to get a customer started? The demo guy before coming to demo the product tells me that I will have to purchase detergent, salt and rinse-aid worth Rs.3200 (which was the minimum pack they had) before we could start washing any dishes! I hear that other companies are no better. There are other companies too selling dishwasher like Siemens, Bosch, LG and Samsung. None of them package a starter kit with their machines. The most craziest thing about these three ingredients is that they are not available with any major hyper/super market near you. You either have to order them online from some place like http://www.buyfinishonline.com or ask this IFB technician for refills later.
The technician wanted to sell us water softener for a few thousands and was insisting that the 2nd ingredient in the dishwasher i.e. the salt if not for water softening! This is the level of insecurities of the customer that these technicians prey upon. Thanks for the reading I did online before our purchase of the dishwasher. I was pretty sure that the salt was for water softening so that a good wash is performed. This guy was trying to sell me a voltage regulator plug so that the device is protected from power surges. He doesn’t know that I know that all the latest devices sold in India come with a capability to handle power power surges upto 270V. Our fridge doesn’t run via a stabilizer but as never given us any problems(touche :)). If anything I would purchase a stabilizer after the warranty period expires. Until then I can see if it really requires it.
Now, coming to the working of the machine. It requires three ingredients for a good wash:
1. Detergent. Costs around Rs.300 per kilo. Every wash cycle requires around 50grams of this
2. Salt for softening water. This costs Rs.100 per kilo. Every time you refill this in the machine you dunk 2 kilos at one go. I am told it lasts for 15 washes. This is to be seen.
3. Rinse-aid for giving the vessels a sparkle after the wash. I think it assists in drying too and preventing dried water stains on the vessels. Costs around 100 for 200ml. There is an inlet in the machine which takes in 200ml of it in one go, I think. It is to be seen how many washes this one lasts.
The manual of the machine will scare you enough not to use ingredients from any other company other than what they suggest. Again, this is something which is utterly unnecessary. The most popular brand on internet is Finish. Though I bought the starter pack of Rs.3200 from the IFB technician I am sure I am going to order Finish after the initial pack finishes. So, one full load wash cycle costs you around 15+10+10(35) rupees. It is a little steep but well, this machine is for those times when the maid doesn’t turn up. So it’s okay.
Now, coming to the space and amount of vessel it will wash in a single load. We are a family of four and, by god, we use a lot of vessels per day 🙂 There is a lot of space for the following items (which we never felt need for extra space):
2. Plates. There is space for 12 big plates and 12 small plates.
3. Cups, tumblers and coffee mugs.
The real problem is with the cooking utensils like kadhais, big/small vessels, etc. Since the vessels must be pplaced upside down so that the water jet cleans inside the vessel you cannot stack vessels on top of each other and think that if the vessels fit in the space then it will get washed. Sorry, no. You can only have one layer of utensils and there is space of one big kadhai and two small pans or 3-4 small pans. But the dishwasher tray comes with nifty foldable racks which can be folded if you have lesser number of plates to make space for more utensils. But we will never be able to fit all the utensils our family uses no matter what we do 🙂
Our machine comes with another nifty feature of being able to run it on half load. So, mostly we will have to run two loads. One full and one half(where only the bottom tray contents are cleaned). So, look for this feature when you buy yours.
Now, coming to the results, they are stunning! The ceramic plates/tumblers glitter when the wash is done. The stainless steel things achieve a never before seen shine. Very very impressed with the washes. But alas, it is only for those time when the maid doesn’t show up. Because arranging the vessels in the dishwasher is a ceremony in itself. It can easily take ten to fifteen minutes just to arrange the vessels in the machine.
Hope this review helped you in getting a better understanding of a dishwasher and what to look for in it and other subtle things. Do come back for an update on this review after much use of our dishwasher by us 🙂