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Dishwashers to avoid buying

We dish the dirt on the poorest performers in our latest lab test.

three dishwashers to avoid buying
Last updated: 18 January 2024

Need to know

  • Our lab experts have tested 50 currently available dishwashers, ranging in price from around $480 to over $3000
  • Price isn't always an indicator of performance – our tests show some budget models outshine more expensive ones 
  • Become a CHOICE member to read our full reviews and test results

No one really loves doing the dishes. The great news is that a modern dishwasher uses far less water and energy than washing dishes by hand, particularly if you run full loads. 

"Buying the right washer can make a huge difference to your daily dishes," says CHOICE whitegoods expert Ashley Iredale. "On the other hand, a mediocre model can cause more hassles and have you picking food scraps off the forks after every wash, and no one wants that."

dishwasher testing ash

Ashley takes doing the dishes very seriously.

In our latest dishwasher reviews, our lab experts tested popular models from brands including Smeg, Fisher & Paykel, Bosch, Miele, Haier, LG, Westinghouse, Electrolux, AEG and more. 

After days of 'doing the dishes', they uncovered some impressive cleaners and some serious under-performers.

How do we test them? Well, it's a dirty job that involves crusty crockery identically stained with foods such as oats, egg yolk, rice starch, spinach, baby cereal and more – left out overnight, then washed and analysed (learn more about how we test dishwashers).

To help you buy right and avoid costly mistakes, here are the models that scored lowest in our latest lab tests. 

Lowest-rated dishwashers

Omega ODW101W


Omega ODW101W: poor performer.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 58%
  • Washing score: 63%
  • Drying score: 35%
  • Price: $699

The worst performer in our test overall, this half-size benchtop model does about half the job we'd hoped for. It earned the lowest washing score of all models and performed very poorly for drying too, meaning you'll be reaching for that tea towel once its long cycle has finally finished. 

On the upside, the Omega is cheap to run (which is good because you might need to run it twice to get the wash you want). Just don't let this model put you off benchtop units altogether – Ashley says other smaller models do perform well. 

"Due to their size, some people assume these pint-sized plate-cleaners deliver poor wash performance at best," says Ashley"But we've seen some benchtop models that punch well above their weight and even outperform many full-sized dishwashers. Not this one however!" 

Read the full Omega dishwasher review 

Haier HDW15F2S1


This Haier dishwasher showed lacklustre performance.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 64% 
  • Washing score: 55% 
  • Drying score: 84% 
  • Price: $849

Not only is this dodgy dishwasher relatively expensive to operate (with a running cost of $147.60 per year) it bombs out in its washing performance with a poor score of 55%, which means it's going to be a dreary sight when you open that dishwasher door.

It also has no option for a 'light' or 'fast' wash meaning you can't expect fast turnaround if you need to reuse your plates and cups quickly, and there's no 'rinse only' program either, which can be annoying if your dirty plates are starting to smell but your dishwasher's not full enough to run yet.

It did perform well at drying those poorly washed dishes though, and includes a feature where the dishwasher door opens automatically at the end of the cycle to aid drying performance. The dishwasher is Wi-FI connected, which means you can control it remotely, but whether that's more useful than actually getting clean dishes is debatable.

Read the full Haier dishwasher review.

Inalto IDW604S

inalto idw604s

Inalto IDW604S: a cycle time of more than three hours.

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 68%
  • Washing score: 73%
  • Drying score: 46%
  • Price: $499

It's dirt cheap to buy and to run, but this model's low price comes with similarly low performance scores. 

It delivers very good energy efficiency but you'll have to use all your energy drying the dishes after this Inalto is done with them. It's also pretty basic, lacking many features that come as standard with other dishwashers, such as anti-flood hose, rinse-only program, half-load option and time-remaining display. 

Not only is it relatively noisy, it has a very long cycle time, so you'll have to put up with the noise for a full 183 minutes. 

Read the full Inalto dishwasher review

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.