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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: 11 September 2020

Need to know

  • Our lab experts tested more than 50 dishwashers, ranging in price from $364 to $2499.
  • Price isn’t always an indicator of performance – our tests show some budget models beat more expensive ones.
  • Become a CHOICE member to read our full reviews and test results.

No-one really loves doing the dishes, right? 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 our dishwasher 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 new models from brands including Smeg, Fisher & Paykel, Bosch, Miele, Dishlex, LG, Westinghouse, Kogan and many 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, spinach, baby cereal and more – left out overnight, then washed and analysed (learn more about how we test).

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_1
  • Price: $599
  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 58%
  • Washing score: 63%
  • Drying score: 35%

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."

Read our full Omega review 

Dishlex DSF6106X

Dishlex-DSF6106X_1
  • Price: $899
  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 62%
  • Washing score: 64%
  • Drying score: 48%

The good news is this Dishlex delivered very good energy efficiency and is cheap to run. The bad news is that it doesn't wash dishes that well. It scraped through our tests with the second lowest washing score, and did even worse for drying. It's also light on features, with no anti-flood hose, no child lock controls, no delayed-start feature and no delicate/glassware program.

Read our full Dishlex review

Bellini BDW96W-F

bellini-bdw96w-f_1
  • Price: $512
  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 65%
  • Washing score: 72%
  • Drying score: 39%

One of the cheapest models in our test, this basic slimline unit washes well. It's also very energy efficient and economical to run. But it scored dismally for drying dishes and lacks some key features such an anti-flood, half-load option and glass/delicates wash.

Read the full Bellini review

Kogan KAGDWS15CTA 

kogan-kagdws15cta_4
  • Price: $900 
  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 67% 
  • Washing score: 76% 
  • Drying score: 32% 

To be fair, this basic Kogan dishwasher does a very decent job of washing dishes. It just leaves them sopping wet afterwards, with the lowest score for drying in our current test. 

Customers should also be mindful of Kogan's dubious customer service record with faulty products and refunds, which saw them awarded a CHOICE Shonky Award.

Read the full Kogan review

Blanco BDW8345X

blanco-bdw8345x_1
  • Price: $999 
  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 67% 
  • Washing score: 69% 
  • Drying score: 63% 

This dishwasher scored just OK in our lab testing, but you should know there's plenty of better performing models out there for the price point. It's also not very energy efficient, scoring one of the lowest ratings for power consumption per place setting, which makes it more expensive to run.

Read the full Blanco review.