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Steam-cleaning in the kitchen

LDF 9810ST Steam dishwasher by LG Electronics

• Manufactured by LG Electronics
• 800-243-0000; www.lge.com
• Cost: $1600

This LG has all the hallmarks you’d expect in a flagship dishwasher: an ultraquiet motor, large capacity, low water consumption, and excellent cleaning. In fact, the first thing I noticed was the number of water outlets: In addition to three rotating spray arms, two small steam nozzles set this dishwasher apart from most others. The steam jets offer a delicate steam-only cycle for crystal and fine china, or added steam-cleaning to loosen bakedon food during regular wash cycles.

With the sleek LCD touch-pad controls hidden on top of the door, you can choose different wash intensities for the bottom and top racks (pot-washing power on the bottom and delicate on the top, or vice versa) or a half-load option that cleans the top or bottom rack only. A sanitizing rinse finishes off wash cycles with 160°F water.

I especially like the well-designed, flexible rack system. The upper rack slides up and down to accommodate 14-in. plates on the bottom or 10-in. plates in the top rack. Folding and removable tines make room for pots and serving bowls. All told, the large stainless-steel washer tub holds 14 place settings. A nifty, shallow third rack at the top of the tub holds cutlery and other utensils—all the things that I’ve tried to cram into the single basket in my dishwasher, where they then nest together and are still dirty when they come out.

Although the LG is Energy Star rated, for a third of its price Bosch offers dishwashers that are 84% more efficient. If you run 262 loads a year, that’s nearly a 100kwh difference. However, this dishwasher’s water usage is pretty miserly, with cycles as low as 2.6 gal.

Available for around $1600, the LG dishwasher isn’t going to win any best-buy awards, but with its gleaming stainless-steel countenance, blue LED indicator lights, and gee-whiz steam-cleaning options, it might grab a prize for “best bling.”

Photo: Courtesy of LG Electronics
From Fine Homebuilding199 (Kitchens & Baths) , pp. 24