July 22, 2009

Dishwasher

Well. It looks like we are going to get a dishwasher. We had one in our first apartment together, but not since then---so, not for nearly 10 years. It's going to be odd changing our whole dish system, which took us...well, nearly 10 years to work out.

What I was wondering is if you'd be willing to offer wise counsel. What have you liked about your dishwasher? What do you wish you could change?

58 comments:

Mel said...

Get one with a garbarator (or whatever they call it). HANDS DOWN NO QUESTIONS!! At our last house I bought one and love love loved it, then we moved to our current house and the one already installed does not have it. I might as well just wash the dishes by hand because I have to rinse them much before loading it so I do not end up with wee hard chunks of various food stuck to everything!

OH and look for one with a delayed start timer so you can set it to go in the middle of the night. Good for the hydro use!

SarahO said...

I agree with Mel! You absolutely need one with a built in garbage disposal! It's so nice to just put the dishes in as is and start it up!

I spent more money than I wanted to on a Bosch two years ago and I can honestly say I wish I hadn't. It's a great dishwasher. It has a feature I thought I would LOVE and that is "top rack only". I thought it would be great to only wash the top rack if I have only a few dishes to wash. When does that happen? I think it's a waste of energy and water to run only a top rack wash! UGH.

What I find most annoying about my dishwasher is that it beeps when done. It does three beeps in a row...every 15 minutes until you open the bugger up and reset it. UGH. I can understand why they needed some sort of alert to let you know it's done because you CANNOT hear it run at all, but I think one set of beeps would have been plenty.

As far as figuring out a new dish washing system, can you just do the same thing as you do now except instead of washing the dishes, the person responsible for the dishes just loads them into the dishwasher?

Nowheymama said...

Ours has been making unsettling noises. I should probably make note of what everyone recommends....

Anonymous said...

We have a very efficient dishwasher with a filter, and it's not that big a deal to clean it. I like the efficiency because then I feel actually virtuous for using the DW instead of washing things by hand.

Key thing for us: after the last run of the day, open the dishwasher and dump off any mug puddles. In the morning, one person gets the first shower while the other person puts away all.the.dishes, including the stuff that was left out to dry earlier the day before, and makes the coffee. Then first shower-er takes over on getting kids up and dressed and breakfasted while dish putter-awayer showers in peace.

Teach kids how to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Their future partners will thank you.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I wish my dishwasher would actually wash the dishes. I know, I expect too much.

Morrigan said...

Seeing as I was just swearing at my own dishwasher last night, I have opinions on this topic! My best advice is to get a dishwasher that holds the glasses on an angle so that water spills off them and you're not relying on the drying cycle to evaporate deep pools of water. Also, make sure you like the cutlery basket. Logic would suggest that a cutlery basket that attaches to the door or hangs off the front of the lower drawer would take up less real estate and therefore be better than one that sits in the drawer, but I find the placement of those baskets mean the cutlery doesn't get as clean. I am also supportive of anything that means you don't need to rinse the dishes or leave the room when the machine is running. Have fun shopping!

Leah said...

Are you getting a built in or a portable? I have a portable Maytag. It is HUGE and works so well. My favorite feature is that it the top rack is higher on one side than the other so I can put tall things on the bottom on that side like cookie trays & jelly roll pans. I also like having sprayers on the top & bottom so I can really cram big stuff on the bottom and not have to worry whether water will get to the top.
You also need to think about detergent. All detergent is NOT created equal. I really like the electrasol powerball tabs. They always get my dishes clean even though I never pre-rinse (just scrape off the big stuff). Sometimes I wonder what kind of toxic chemicals could possibly desolve all that food. But then I think about having to wash all my dishes before I put them in the dishwasher and the chemicals don't seem quite so bad ;)

Jen said...

Our dishwasher is ok. It does a decent job. The only thing I don't like about it is how loud it is. I started it one night before bed and it woke me up when it switched cycles (we live in a ranch but still). If I were replacing it, I would get something very quiet, delay start, garbage disposal built in.

The other trick I learned from I don't know where...I put a splash of vinegar in the place where you would put soap if you were pre-treating. Dishes are sparkly and it keeps the water from building up. Seriously, we don't even use Jet Dry...though we do use the Electrosol tabs with the ball in the middle...really like those (we get a big tub of them from Costco).

Oh and I am seriously impressed with the fact that you didn't have one before! Best of luck on finding a great one.

Buster said...

I concur on the built in garbage disposal, mostly because my dishwasher doesn't have one and once a week I end up on my hands and knees digging scrambled eggs out of the bottom of the machine because my husband REFUSES TO RINSE HIS DISHES. (Pet peeve.)

Also, do not get a dishwasher with the silverware basket in the door - it's a pain to load and the silverware never seems to get clean.

Marie Green said...

When we were buying our current house 4 years ago, our inspector discovered the dishwasher didn't work. So previous owner installed a brand new, but bottom of the line, one before we closed.

Meaning: he bought the cheapest one he could fine.

But I'm happy with it. I do rinse everything, but that's because we don't run it until it's crammed full (about every 1 1/2 days), so I don't want stuff getting dried on.

Also, I can load my own dishwasher, but I loathe loading anyone else's. And, frankly, besides my husband I don't really like anyone loading ours.

I think that's a common dishwasher quandry: that you get used to how YOURS loads best, but since each one is so different you have NO IDEA how to load any one else's.

kakaty said...

Oh! Oh! I know this one!
After about 7 years of not having a dishwasher (oh, the agony) I finally made my hubs remove a cupboard from our new house this spring so we could have one.
My 1st advice: go to the locally-owned appliance store. You will get WAY MORE HELP in selecting the right one. Also: better sales. We wasted an entire day dragging the toddler to Home Depot, Sears & Lowe's ending up more confused and ready to forget it all. Then one day we passed a mom-and-pop appliance store and stopped on a whim...we left with better dishwasher for less $ and freakin' fantastic service.

2nd: get one with a garbage disposal and then you can put the dishes in without rinsing. I know! I didn't believe it either but its true! Dried on ketchup, waffle bits stuck to the plate with syrup – it all comes clean.

3rd: Get a "tall tub" because there is NOTHING that can't fit in it. Half sheet pans? Big huge stock pot? Big tall plastic cups that I drink my “mommy juice” (diet coke) from? It all fits.

4th: Use the recommended detergent. We got some other stuff on sale after we used the freebies that came with the dishwasher and the dishes were spotty. We've bought the recommended stuff since. Oh, and read the manual for recommended loading techniques. Our utensils weren’t getting totally clean and right there in the manual it said to load them handles down and next time ta-da! Clean spoons!

We have a Maytag - I don't know the model off hand, just that it's from a year or two ago (it was on super sale because it was an older model and they only had 2 left to sell). It’s got a function where you can delay the start 2, 4 or 6 hours so we can load it up after dinner and it starts sometime in the middle of the night. I love it to pieces.

nicole said...

Get a quiet one, if you can afford it. That is our biggest complaint with the one that came with our house. It was brand new when put in, it is just really loud. We try to wait to run it when we are all in bed, so we aren't trying to hear the TV or each other over it.

Also, the ones that have an option that uses less water for a partial or small load are nice.

Now you'll have to navigate the ins and outs of what goes where and which way the utensils go (handles up or down) and how everyone will do it differently. Good luck!

Kim said...

I'm so happy for you! We've had one for the past two years, but it was about ten years or so we didn't have one. And I used to sometimes go crazy with just two people, so I can only imagine how happy you'll now be.
The only problem we have is something weird happened to the side brackets or rails or whatever on the upper rack so that if I don't pull it out carefully, the whole thing comes flying off. I'm not sure how or even if that's able to fixed, but it's no big deal as long as I remember. Dealing with dishes in 5 minutes vs. 20 (yes, I counted) more than makes up for it.

each of the two said...

I'm in love with my dishwasher, in more than one way, seeing as how I have two, the one that I plop everything (except the nice knives) in and the other, my fiance, who does all the non-dishwasher dishes.

ahhh, the good life.

Jen said...

We had to buy all new appliances last summer when we moved in (foreclosure). We did tons of research on consumer reports, which I found to be so helpful. We ended up with an LG LDF6920ST and I love it.

1. it's quiet so I can run it while I'm in the next room and I can't hear that it's even on.

2. it doesn't have a bottom heating element to melt things, so plastic can go on either shelf.

3. it has a top-rack only cycle, which is the only thing I don't love - don't spend extra for it! I only have 3 kids and I have never used that feature.

4. I recently had a repairman out to fix something, and he said not to use those tabs. I don't know why - so y'all don't shoot the messenger! He did say powder works best. Once the cycle is running, it's just like one big sandblaster in there, so powder makes sense.

5. I love that my utensil box comes out of the washer for ease of putting things away. I bet most do, though.

Hop you love the one you get!

Sarah said...

We have a Bosch. We love it. It is absolutely soundless when it is running. It had that annoying beep initially, but that actually broke a few years ago so--tah-dah!--problem solved. I think the new ones don't have that and have an indicator light that shows up when it is done.

It has a filter at the bottom that is no big deal to clean, too, and it uses very little water to run.

One note: I have had two plumbers tell me that this type of high-end dishwasher NEEDS that rinse-aid. They didn't say WHY, but they said the washers develop problems without it. Word to the wise. . .

Elizabeth said...

My number one piece of advice is to take your glasses and your dishes to the store and make sure they fit in the dishwasher correctly.
My dishes tip over and so do my drinking glasses and it drives me INSANE. Luckily I think all my glasses will be broken shortly and I'm going to make sure to get a new kind that actually fit in that top rack.

Also, we spent two something years without a dishwasher and now I really do have to stop myself from making out with my dishwasher on a daily basis. God I love that crazy machine.

Carmen said...

We have a Bosh and LOVE it. It's really quiet so that you hardly know if it's running. It's doesn't have a macerator, but that only means that you need to empty the filter every two week or so (it takes 10 sec to do). The best thing about it is that it doesn't have a heating element in it so that you can put plastic on the top or bottom shelf. The drawback to that is that the dishes often aren't completely dry, so we usually run it after dinner and then open it overnight so that that TINY bit of water evaporates and then we put the dishes away in the morning.

TO sum up: Bosch, quiet, GREAT for plastics.

Mimi said...

I cannot recommend my Frigidaire dishwasher. It has fallen apart so many times in its short 4 year life. The repair guy and I are becoming friends.

Sara said...

All I have to say is, OMG. You have 5 kids and no dishwasher? You truly are a saint. Unless you are like Kate Gosselin and just use paper...lol.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I can't believe you don't have one with 5 kids. Wow. I love that fact our dishwasher is quiet when it runs. The last one you couldn't run when we were sleeping because it was too noisy.

Alias Mother said...

Whatever dishwasher you use (I have a middle-of-the-line Whirlpool and...whatever. It's fine. It works), I quadruple the recommendation for Electrosol tablets. I'm a blatant treehugger and am forever trying to switch us to some non-toxic detergent. They don't work. Any of 'em. Nor do any of the other non-earth-friendly ones. Electrosol is the only kind that results in me unloading the dishwasher without swearing.

And, yes, I will sacrifice the earth for that. We all have our breaking point.

d e v a n said...

I can barely get past the thought that you haven't had a dishwasher in 10 years!
OK - my favorite thing about my dishwasher is a little light on the front that lights up when the dishes are clean (it says clean. haha) and that way my husband knows when to empty it. (He empties, I fill and wash)
it sounds simple, but we had MANY fights over those damn dishes till we moved into our new house with the magic light on the dishwasher.

d e v a n said...

Oh, and we use 7th Generation detergent and it's always worked great BUT we rinse our dishes first.

artemisia said...

We have an ancient, loud dishwasher, so I have no advice there.

But, I do have advice on detergent! We live out of town and have a well with REALLY hard water. The Electrosol/Finish powerball tabs (the white and blue ones, with the red ball in the center) are the only things that work to clean the dishes. I only have to scrape off the food, usually no rinsing. And the glasses are even clean and aren't cloudy!

If I think something might be difficult to clean, I rinse it just to get it wet, then spinkle baking soda on it. It can sit in the diswasher for a day or two like that and still get clean. Although, with your household, I doubt your dishwasher will ever take that long to fill up!

Good luck!

Angie said...

First of all, you have been HANDWASHING for a family of SEVEN?! You deserve a medal.

I like having the silverware tray attach to the door. And, stainless inside rather than plastic.

1hottiredmama said...

We have had multiple dishwashers over the last 10 years due to a few moves. My hands down favorite was one made by Fischer & Paykel. It was actually 2 dish drawers.

First, let me tell you -- it was expensive (but SO worth the price). Second, I have FOUR kids and so I do dishes ALL. DAY. LONG. The thing I loved about it was that the 2 drawers run independently from each other. So, after breakfast I would load the top drawer full and go ahead and run it. Then after lunch I would load the bottom drawer and go ahead and run it. Then after dinner . . . well you get my point. I ran those dish drawers CONSTANTLY and we've never had more clean dishes in the house!

It also had the food grinder/garbage disposal in it and that, as everyone has already said, is great. Also, both drawers are considered "top rack safe."

We didn't go hunting for drawers on purpose. We bought the Fischer & Paykel because it was a little bit shorter than most standard dishwashers. Our kitchen was circa 1950 and the cabinets were not the same height as what is considered standard these days. I don't know if that will be an issue for you or not, but it may be handy info to know.

Happy shopping! (and happy not washing the dishes anymore!)

Mel said...

I know why repairman have said not to use Power Tabs or Gel Tabs, only because my neighbour had to eventually replace her dishwasher...ANYHOW...he said that the "glue" used to hold together the power tabs and the "gel" around the gel tabs slowly but surely builds up a coating on the inner working and eventually you end up in big trouble with a big repair bill, or replacing it.

If you love those tabs because of the water spots I second the vinager in the cycle recommendation. It really does work. When hubby's been too lazy to get salt for the water softener I can tell as soon as it runs out, so until he gets his act in gear I toss in about 1/4 cup of white vinager at the start of every load.

Anonymous said...

Amen to the Electosol Tabs! I've tried so many different kinds, but always end up back at Costco buying the big tub of tabs. Because they work! There's nothing worse than opening your dishwasher, expecting sparkling dishes, and instead finding last night's dinner spread around minutely onto every single dish, glass, and piece of silverware, requiring hand-washing (with copious swearing) to remove. I have a GE dishwasher, low end, but perfectly fine. Yes, I have to clean out the filter, and yes, I rinse, but no big deal. Anything beats hand washing the amount of dishes a man and a toddler go through in one day. (How do you do it with FIVE kids?) My dishwasher is my favourite appliance, it saves me soooo much time. Now if I could only teach DH to load or unload it!

Jenni said...

what i like most about my dishwasher is when my husband unloads it without being asked.

what I like least is that oscar runs the dishwasher like 40 times a day.

Val said...

I agree with Mel. My dishwasher is a cheapy and I have to rinse everything thoroughly before I put it in the dishwasher, otherwise, I get little bits of food on my dishes. I do it since I hate washing and drying dishes so I use the dishwasher all the time.

Siera said...

How did you go for 10 years without one and 5 kids to boot? OMG! Mine is outta commssion at the moment and I hate hand washing dishes. Do I ever.

Kristin H said...

It's nice to have one with a "lock" function so that small fingers can't turn it on and off when you're not paying attention. Ours has a button that you hold down for 5 seconds to lock it; after that it will only turn on when you unlock it by holding down the same button for a (seemingly) long time.

desperate housewife said...

Definitely go with one that actually SANITIZES things- I can't tell you how many times I've run something through the dishwasher intending to sanitize it only to realize, "Oh yeah- mine doesn't DO that."

Astarte said...

I really loved the one we had that put the silverware on the door. Also, it allowed us to raise and lower the top rack so we could fit tall things in, like platters or tall water bottles. It also had tines that folded flat, so we had space for baking dishes or pots and pans. I remember we got it at Lowes, but I'm not positive what brand it was. They only carry so many, though, so it would be easy to figure it out.

Mary said...

I've heard good things about Bosch from people. If you want to know what I think of our Whirlpool, become my facebook friend- my "review" is one of my notes.

Anonymous said...

Swistle, what on earth was your Dish System? Please dish (haha).

Pickles and Dimes said...

Hey, we have that same piece of orange Tupperware!

No dishwasher advice here. Ours is caked with lime scale and calcium deposits and even two battles with vinegar, baking soda and a freaking razor did not fix it.

Hotch Potchery said...

I wish mine was self-unloading.

But other than that, if it gets the crud off, I don't even care...

nevermelts said...

I didn't pick our dishwasher but I love it. It's a maytag something or other. The things I like about it are the way the top rack is laid out (no idea how or I cant' explain it) I like to load the bowls straight down the center and glasses and cups around the edges, but if you had a lot of bowls you could still do 2 rows of bowls.

I like that one side of the top rack is higher, so I can put big pans on the side of the bottom rack.

I like that the silverware is a CADDY that can be placed almost anywhere or removed entirely. It can also be taken apart and made into one long caddy instead of a short double sided one! And I love how there is a flip down cover slash knife slot holder for 2 of the big baskets. This is great for knives, and also good for small sippy cup parts. And they come off! I took ours off for one side.

I don't really care that the bottom rack has all manner of folding tines. To be honest I'd probably work around it if it didn't. It's a pita because sometimes the tines fall down AFTER I've loaded the @#%@#$# dishes.

My favorite is it has a lock button (but it's just the "hold down for 3 seconds" variety, and the kids all figured it out.) andn it has a timer that you can press from 1-9 times for 1-9 hours. It has a sanitize option (The only time I have ever used that was the time I bought a crapload of Little People sets off ebay hehe) and an "auto" cycle and a "normal" cycle and a "heavy duty" cycle for when you know you haven't rinsed as well as you should.

I have no idea if it has a filter or a garbage disposal but you know i really don't give a crap. I never rinse my dishes off and they all come clean. And you know what? IF they don't? then they stay in the dishwasher until they do, or until my husband gets annoyed enough to wash it by hand. Life is too damn short. I have 3 kids and I run it almost every night (and it's full almost every night.) The nights I don't, I regret it though, because it's overly full the next morning and it just snowballs from there :)

I love the electrasol/finish tabs as well. I do find that the loose powder does a better job but I can either take a tab from the pretty tin box on the counter or I can bend over, unlock the child lock, and rummage around to get at the powder...

HollyLynne said...

I have no advice other than having a dishwasher AT ALL in any form is a good thing!

I totally have that same orange round tupperware btw . . . I thought I was the only one! Never seen them anywhere else :) We're tupperware buddies!

beanski said...

are you INSANE? how can one live without a dishwasher with children?

our current house has an asko dishwasher (stainless steel) and it is AWESOME, quiet and no smell ever. i'm dreading giving it up. they are expensive but worth it, i think.

Hairline Fracture said...

You mean you have not had a dishwasher all along? *faints and then canonizes you as a saint*

I don't have any advice exactly but I do like the sanitizing cycle. I didn't even know you could get them with garbage disposals.

Swistle said...

TWO people are Orange Tupperware Twins with me? Mine used to be my grandmother's cookie container; now it's mine.

Mary- I am too dim to find you on Facebook but do want to be friends! Point me in the right direction!

Anonymous- Our old dish system was that I was in charge of all pre-dinner dishes (breakfast, lunch, snacks), and Paul was in charge of unloading them from the dishrack before doing the dinner dishes. Then in the morning I was in charge of unloading THOSE dishes, and on and on it went.

Laura said...

I'd say these two things: first, that quiet and efficient can = very slow run time. Second, you want a deep top rack, one that will hold your widest plastic or melamine plate that's in frequent use. Good luck with your purchase!

I'm not crazy, just well mixed! said...

We bought a midline Whirlpool in January and I LOVE it. It locks. It has several different setting that acually work. It's quiet. Easy to install (we did it ourselves). But besides all that...HOW DID YOU DO IT WITH 5 CHILDREN! I am horrified just thinking about it.

Missives From Suburbia said...

Our caught fire shortly after we bought this house. Well, technically, it was shortly after our basement flooded, but I won't get into the crappy things this house has foisted upon us. I highly recommend getting one with a cutlery tray:

http://kitchenqestions.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/090607kqaadp8900dishwasher_interior.jpg

AND if you're open to brand suggestions, check out the Mieles. I've had two now (one in a prior home), and they are bullet-proof. I love that mine has the cutlery tray, AND that the top drawer moves up and down to accommodate tall wine glasses in the top drawer (down) or huge baking pans and cutting board in the bottom (up).

Kate W. said...

Not that this helps but my two favorites are-

the anti-bacterial wash- goodbye germs!

and the fact that we bought a nice washer in the "dented" section of the store. It had a slight dent in the back- you know, where it is never seen after installation. That alone saved us tons of money.

Whimsy said...

My advice: RUN, DO NOT WALK, TO THE APPLIANCE STORE (or whatever) AND GET YOURSELF A DISHWASHER. I simply don't know how you've lived without one.


And really, you learn something new every day: I had NO IDEA that dishwashers came with a garbage disposal. Ours clearly does not. But it still washes the dishes.

Dr. Maureen said...

What? What? They make dishwashers with GARBAGE DISPOSALS?

Well, now I'm super jealous of all those people with that feature, but what I was GOING to say was that our dishwasher has lots of features. We can fold down the racks and move around the silverware thingy and there are about ten different wash settings. BUT. We use ONE wash setting: energy saver/no heat. And I have never folded down any rack. I have, however, enjoyed that the silverware rack thingy comes in three pieces and each one is detachable, so we can make more room for other stuff by taking out the two small sections. And I put one of the small sections on the top rack and use it to wash binks, breast pump accessories, nipples and the like. So that feature I use.

But the garbage disposal sounds AWESOME.

Oh: Also consider spending extra for a quiet one, because even the quiet ones are loud.

Anonymous said...

"Our old dish system was that I was in charge of all pre-dinner dishes (breakfast, lunch, snacks), and Paul was in charge of unloading them from the dishrack before doing the dinner dishes. Then in the morning I was in charge of unloading THOSE dishes, and on and on it went."

Anonymous (Slim) here -- Our system has been that my otherwise peerless spouse piles stuff onto the counters that I would like to be able to use to, I dunno, prepare food on, and then I'd get snappish, and it wasn't good. We're redoing the kitchen (keeping our dishwasher, which I think is like Dr. Maureen's -- Kenmore Elite! We're Elitists!), so we're working on developing a method that doesn't result in resentment and snappishness because someone is not pulling his weight.

Bring A. Torch said...

My only advice is to be careful with plastic stuff until you get to know how your machine behaves. I have something like 5(!) incomplete sets of supermarket plastic measuring cups because the 1/3-cup cup kept falling onto the heating element and setting off the smoke alarm. Now I have a set of metal cups, and I don't put the plastic ones in the dishwasher, period.

Joanne said...

I don't know if this has been said but my dishwasher takes NINE years to run, which is very annoying. Also, it's loud. It is a Kenmore and cleans the dishes fine, which is the point, but those are things I wish I had checked into further before I bought the cheaper model.

The Gori Wife said...

My grandmother recently bought a high end dishwasher and had to choose between a Kitchenaid and a Bosch. She chose Kitchenaid because a dishwasher repairman she knows told her that a Bosch's innard are in the back, so he would have to pull the whole thing out to work on it, whereas a Kitchaid's are on the front (maybe side?) so it's easier to work on if need be, and less money as a result. I have no useful info on the topic otherwise.

Stacia said...

Ours is an "energy saver" but the "energy saving" settings leave everything dirty, even if I only have a few things in the washer. It has to run on "heavy wash" all the time, so that's pretty irritating.

And I found I have a LOT of plasticware, almost none of which can go on the bottom rack, which can be really irritating.

My favorite features are that I can use the top rack for plates because one side is lowered specifically for taller dishes. Also, the bottom rack doesn't have an area set aside for utensils or the sprayer, so it's a big flat area I can put stock pots and such in. The utensils go in the door, and if you're careful with stacking them evenly they will all get clean.

Good luck! It's an extra expense but I was so glad to get a dishwasher last year.

Jen said...

tall tub highly recommended! And silverware holder in the door.

C C Donna said...

When my dishwasher bites the dust, I'm going looking for a quiet dishwasher. I can hear mine from the living room. That means that we don't put it on until bedtime...and then forget.

swimmermom said...

Huh, I'm surprised that people are about evenly split on silverware holders in the door. With mine, the silverware doesn't seem to get cleaned as well as the rest of the dishes and I've sworn to never get a dw with that feature again. I just assumed everyone else felt the same way, lol.

I have a Whirlpool GU980 that was free to us (via freecycle) a few years ago. The original owners were upgrading to stainless and gave away their perfectly good white appliances. I feel like I lucked out! It works great with any old detergent (read: cheap or enviro friendly stuff) and any amount of gunk on the dishes. It's quiet. I like the time delay feature and the lock feature for the buttons. I never use the fold-down tines or the little half-height fold-down shelf on the top rack.

We've also had great experiences with mom-and-pop appliance stores vs. the big box places so I'd second that recommendation too.