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Your Personal Dishwasher Recommendations (or Anti-Recommendations)

last year
last modified: last year

My 1978 dishwasher died a couple of months ago and I have enough money to replace it. But I am wavering. In my town there is a long-time local appliance store that has a great reputation for standing behind its sales so I plan to buy there. I need the standard 24-inch and strongly prefer white but will, if necessary, take stainless steel.

I looked at Consumer Reports and was surprised to see that the top five or six slots was all Bosch given that I have read on here about posters' unhappiness with that brand's customer service. (And other members of CR also posted on the ratings page that Bosch and Miele, despite the ratings, were not good in their views.) CR did test other brands including the American-made ones that would be, if they are good, my first choice. But more than anything I am looking for quality in workmanship and customer service.

If you have purchased a new dishwasher in the past two years I'd love to hear what your experiences have been. Even within the last five years would be fine. Would you buy the same brand? What problems if any have you had? What was the manufacturer's help like. What do you particularly like about the dishwasher? What do you dislike? Noise levels are not a particular concern but of course I don't want to feel as I am living next to a construction site when it runs. It sounds as though a stainless steel interior might be better than plastic but what say you? Tell me anything and everything about every part of living with your choice. (If you can, please include the brand and the particular one.) Thank you!

Comments (46)

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    I bought a KitchenAid KDTM404KPS last year and I love everything about it. It's quiet, it cleans well. The interior layout is phenomenal. I like the spacing and layout of the tines (I didn't think it was worth going up to the next highest model just to get adjustable tines on the bottom). The third rack on top is a total game changer, and so much more spacious than other brands' top racks (you can fit mugs and bowls!). One thing conspicuously absent is a screen - you don't know how long the cycle is that you're selecting, and you don't know how much longer while it's running. It hasn't been an issue for me as I mostly run it in the middle of the night.

    My mother and brother have Bosches, so I've used them quite a bit. I personally despise the interior layout of the Bosch dishwashers - the tines are spaced very close together, and the plates near the front are perpendicular to the ones in the back. It's not as versatile for various shaped items other than just plates. It's just awkward and I never liked it. Another annoying thing about Bosch, though I'm not sure it's the same on recent models, is that it beeps every time you close the door! So annoying when you're just putting dishes in throughout the day and it's supposed to be off. I also think the racks on my KitchenAid move more smoothly than the Bosch.

    I haven't had to deal with service for the dishwasher, but I bought a KitchenAid gas stove at the same time and one of the burners wouldn't light. KitchenAid sent someone out to fix it within about 2-3 weeks. It was annoying to deal with for a brand new item, and I believe the delivery guys (through Costco) should've noticed and fixed it, but ultimately they referred me to KitchenAid and they took care of it.

    Aphaea thanked Liz
  • PRO
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Nothing you buy is going to last 45 years, or twenty years.

    Get what you like, and despite someone , anyone, somewhere, will be unhappy with any given thing? Simply ask your salesman what HE thinks best.

    He may say Bosch : )

    Compared to the oldies of yesteryear? I like none of them. Nothing. Ridiculous energy saving, and cycles that go on forever. No matter the brand.

    Aphaea thanked JAN MOYER
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  • last year

    I disagree with Liz on the value of a third rack. I almost never use the third rack on my dishwasher. Also, because it made the clearance between the floor and bottom of the dishwasher shorter, it made installing the dishwasher more difficult because our available height wasn’t quite as high as usual. I would not go out of my way to buy a third rack.

    Aphaea thanked mainenell
  • last year

    I don't use the third rack either. it gets in the way of the glasses.

    I love my Bosch so much, I bought a second one (for the butlers pantry.)

    Aphaea thanked auntthelma
  • PRO
    last year

    I have owned Seimens which became Bosch for years I now have a Bosch it is 16 yrs old not one service call and mine is USED Irun a catering biz from my home so often 6-8 loads a day I have the quick wash cycle and I use that probably 90% of the time it does a load in 23 mins. The pot scrubber cycle does an amazing job and the DW is so quiet sometimes I need to check to make sure I turned it on I have no need ever for 3rd rack so to me not an issue .We are selling this house and the first hing I want is another Bosch .

    Aphaea thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • last year

    When looking at reviews keep in mind that people are much more likely to post a bad review than a good one. There is very little quality control anymore in manufacturing so you may get a lemon from any brand, but once you swap it out for another one hopefully you will be OK. The newer ones do have longer cycles than older ones (that's how they accomplish the energy savings) so you will see that in any brand. To Jan's point, you are unlikely to have any brand you buy this year last 45 years. It is true that they don't build them the way they used to. Mine is old and I don't know how old since it was here when I moved in three years ago, so I'm not going to comment on a particular brand. But I have found Consumer Reports to be very accurate in their reviews.

    Aphaea thanked kandrewspa
  • last year

    “Get what you like, and despite someone , anyone, somewhere, will be unhappy with any given thing?”

    Good advice. Shop for the features you like, not any certain brand. As already stated here, the quality you get today isn’t what it used to be. We just replaced a 10-year-old fridge. Based on what I’ve been told by a couple repair technicians, I consider that a pretty good run.

    Aphaea thanked chloebud
  • last year

    I've been told by many repair techs I've asked over the years which brand appliance is the most reliable. (I've had to replace too many appliances to even mention)

    The standard answer I've always received is to buy the one with the features that appeal to you, has the knobs, dials, buttons you like and is in the price range you feel comfortable with. Reason being, they've all said is that they get as many repairs calls for top of the line luxury models as they do for mid-to low range appliances. They all have issues, regardless of brand or placement in level of features. They've all said that 5-7 years is about as long as one can expect out of an appliance today.

    Using the above the advise, I chose a bottom of the line Bosch dishwasher almost three years ago. If I pretend that the racks do not drive me to maddness, it's a wonderful dishwasher and has been trouble-free to date. It gets everything I put in it sparkling clean. Some people do not have problems with the Bosch racks and that's great. We have near tantrums with the racks on the regular--it depends on the size and shape of what you are putting in the dishwasher, apparently.

    Wishing you good luck! The best dishwasher I had was the 1976 GE dw that was in this house when we bought. I repaired that thing a couple of times at $60 a visit. Finally had to say goodbye to it in 2004 when the front door developed a hole due to rust. I've had three dishwashers since 2004, for comparison. The good ole days are no more, so get what appeals to you and cross your fingers. I only buy bottom to mid-line anymore....

    Aphaea thanked SEA SEA
  • PRO
    last year

    Bosch/Thermador or Miele would be great options. I'd also look at Fisher-Paykel. I put their double drawer dishwasher in a client's home fairly recently and they love the flexibility of being able to run two separate loads, particularly because they use a lot of glassware.

    Aphaea thanked Sabrina Alfin Interiors
  • last year

    In CR's reader surveys, Bosch dishwashers are the most reliable. The Bosch SHEM3AY52N missed a "recommended" rating by a few points but still performed well. There are lots of reviews on Home Depot and Best Buy and at $550 it's a bargain. I'd take a few dishes to a store that had the dishwasher on display and check that I was satisfied with the racks. If I didn't care about a third rack, I'd just get that. I use Cascade powder detergent which works great (in my old Whirlpool dishwasher).


    @kandrewspa: "There is very little quality control anymore in manufacturing so you may get a lemon from any brand..."

    Please provide data to support for this statement.

    Aphaea thanked wdccruise
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    Love the cutlery third rack and use it all the time. Installed Miele DW in our previous house and in the new house we built in 2021. I have the second model from the top that was offered at that time. The model that cracks the door open just before the end of the cycle to release steam and allow everything to dry out completely.

    Aphaea thanked chispa
  • last year

    “They've all said that 5-7 years is about as long as one can expect out of an appliance today.”

    @SEA SEA, that’s interestiing. I’ve been told something similar…5-10 years and cross your fingers and toes at 5 years.

    Aphaea thanked chloebud
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    I got a Fisher Paykel dishwasher with two drawers 6 years ago and it's probably my favorite functional thing in my house. The drawers run separately. There are different settings depending upon how dirty your dishes are, including an Eco setting. Honestly, I usually use the FAST setting, which takes about 45 minutes.

    Now I hate bending over at a place that has a typical dishwasher and dealing with the little wheels that never let you pull out the rack smoothly and eventually fall off.

    To Consider:

    • Do be aware that the bottom drawer is not as deep as the top drawer and some large plates are too tall for it (they fit fine in the top drawer, which is what I use most). I use the bottom for overflow, like after a party.
    • Also, at least with my model, you have to use dishwasher pods.
    • You'll have to get used to finding the most efficient ways to load it — it has some options that are a little different than typical dishwashers (I like this about it though).
    • As explained to me by a very knowledgeable repairman, if it starts bugging out, you have to switch the dishwasher fuse in your fuse box off and on. It's like restarting a computer. This has only happened to me about 3 times in 6 years. It was because I pressed all the wrong buttons and set it to start later, then I couldn't figure out how to turn that off.
    • Tends to be more expensive than other models. The guy who installed it called it "The Cadillac of Dishwashers." But to me, it's been worth the splurge so far.
    Aphaea thanked Becky Harris
  • last year

    I have a Bosch. Love it. Had 2 Boschs in my previous house. Love the third rack and use it all the time. I pack the dishwasher willy nilly and it still gets everything clean. I like that it has a quick wash cycle for times when we run it in the day. Love the delayed start which I use every evening so the dishwasher runs at night.

    Aphaea thanked vinmarks
  • last year

    I have GE Cafe and hate it. The cycles are too long. It does not clean like my old Maytag. All the glasses are foggy now. I never had that problem with the Maytag. I do like the 3rd rack for knives and smaller items. The bottom rack is too shallow and that is the deepest of the racks. The touch screen plastic cracked the first month we had it.

    It is just over 2 years old.


    Aphaea thanked moosemac
  • last year

    If I were shopping now, I’d prioritize the 3rd rack and quiet operation. I’ve got a Bosch and a Miele. The Miele’s loading is counterintuitive— but once I read the instructions I was fine. The Miele is great for place settings. The Bosch better for variable shapes. Both are working well for me.

    Aphaea thanked rainyseason
  • last year

    I have a bosch and love it, but agree with the shop for features advice - I love my 3rd rack for cutlery, I gave away the basket after not using it once in the 4-5 years we have had the DW. I would prioritize 3rd rack, stainless tub, and quiet operation.

    Aphaea thanked snappity
  • last year

    @moosemac: " It does not clean like my old Maytag. All the glasses are foggy now."

    If your Cafe dishwasher's dispenser has two compartments like shown here on page 11, you might try powder detergent (e.g., Cascade): a small amount in the pre-wash dispenser and a modest amount main dispenser, adjusting quantities until the dishes are clean but glasses are not fogged from too much detergent. Also don't pre-rinse and don't overheat water supply.

    How to Prevent Cloudy Glassware After Dishwashing

    Aphaea thanked wdccruise
  • last year

    We’re on our second Bosch, really like them. They are super quiet and the additional third row for silverware is awesome. No complaints! Just be sure to get an installer who knows Bosch: if they install with hoses not elevated you’ll get a smell since water will sit. Speaking from experience, but not a problem at all when installed properly.

    Aphaea thanked echviola
  • last year

    Becky Harris, all DishDrawers can take powdered detergent, which goes into the dispenser cups. Pods cannot go into the dispenser, must be placed in the silverware basket or wedged at a corner of the rack away from arm rotation. Liquid/gels also can't go into the dispenser and are advised to not be used.

    My DishDrawer will be 20 years in August 2023. I use powder. I've tried Cascade Platinum pacs but they cause so much sudsing that the spray arm is bogged-down in it and spray force is reduced.

    There are now DishDrawers under the GE/Café brand ... Haier bought F&P in 2012, and GE in 2016. DishDrawers have been on the market since 1997.

    Aphaea thanked dadoes
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    Bosch. I got mine 2 years ago. Before that I hadd 2 KitchenAid-produced Kenmore Elites that lasted about 5 years each. Love the Bosch despite being a bit frustrated with the racks.

    Aphaea thanked boba1
  • PRO
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I took half the junk in my clients Bosch.... and tossed it. Nobody needs all the "organization" and the more you organize? The less likely anyone actually LOADS the darn thing.

    If you don't need/use? Toss: ) Especially the flatware gizmos, the basket is plenty.! Trust me, It's going to all get clean......eventually. Run it at night.

    Aphaea thanked JAN MOYER
  • last year

    I have had GE dishwashers because that is all that will fit into our cabinets that are 1/4 inch too narrow for KitchenAid and other brands. The GE dishwashers clean very well and I love the top rack. The cycle can be long so I run it while watching TV or overnight. There is a short cycle that cleans but doesn't dry the dishes--you can just leave the door open overnight and the dishes will be dry in the morning. I use the short cycle after entertaining when I will have several loads--a few swipes with the dishtowel is all that is needed.


    We had to replace a 5 year old dishwasher because hubby tripped and fell on the door and broke it. Because that is where all the controls are, replacing the door was more expensive than buying a new one.

    Aphaea thanked Yvonne Martin
  • last year

    Agree that you should think about features that are important to you. That being said, here are my experiences: I have a Jenn Air in my current house (husband picked out appliances because I was dealing with a family emergency and the appliance salesman talked him into all JA). I HATE IT. It doesn’t clean well - that should be the most important thing. The racks have all fallen apart, and started falling apart soon after we got it. The repairman told us it’s a Jenn Air flaw. It is quiet, but that’s it’s only plus. Before this house we lived in a house temporarily that we remodeled and now rent out. We put a Samsung in there (got it on sale) and we really liked it. Never any issues even with tenants for the last six years. I know they have a terrible reputation, but we actually liked it. Before that (going back beyond your timeframe here) we had Bosch in our home and our vacation home and we loved them. If I had to replace the Jenn Air I would buy a Bosch. My mom has a kitchen Aid she bought two years ago and she loves it (same company as Jenn Air so go figure).

    Aphaea thanked Susie .
  • last year

    In three of last four homes I have installed Fisher Paykel dish drawers with a tall top drawer to accommodate platters. In one home I installed a Thermador because it was free with a package deal. The Thermador resulted in countless calls to customer service to walk me thru unlocking it when I accidentally touched the wrong pad. Maybe too much wine?

    I always use cascade powder and jet-dri.

    Since it’s just my husband and myself, I run it every night on a time delay. As long as I occasionally clean the filter, everything is sparkling clean. When we have company I use the bottom drawer too.

    It is located next to my laundry room door and I never have to worry about tripping over an open door because the open drawers are clearly visible. I can also keep a dish towel on it without it brushing on the floor when open.

    The best thing though-my husband will put his dirty dishes in because he doesn’t have to bend down. Well worth the cost. And the dog can’t lick dirty dishes with his cousin anymore!


    Aphaea thanked cindylouhoog
  • last year

    My last three dishwashers, Bosch, Thermador (which is Bosch) and now Bosch. Different homes, that why three dishwashers. No issues, super quiet, performs well. Love Bosch.

    Aphaea thanked Dawn Martinez
  • last year

    KitchenAid, bought two years ago. Love it and do use the top shelf to clean my silicone oven pads. It is easy to slide out when you don't need to use it.

    Quiet, sleek looking.



    Aphaea thanked jane__ny
  • last year

    Please do keep posting if you have more information to add. I am finding this extremely valuable. As was suggested by several of you, when I visit the store I plan to look at features of each machine rather than brands. But I will also revisit the CR website to write down the models of their top six machines.


    I really dread replacing the dishwasher because it has been so reliable. It's the same age as the washer & dryer and double wall oven and those are going strong. (The only repair to the washer has been a small part that lasted more than 40 years; the guy said I could expect the replacement to last another forty years. Our local appliance repair store specializes in fixxing vintage appliances. They sell them too but--alas!--they do not include dishwashers. I'd buy from them if they did.


    Thanks so much to everyone for their generosity in sharing their experiences and knowledge. I feel much more secure when I start looking.

  • last year

    Yale Appliance posts their service percentages for brands they carry. That means, of the appliances they've sold, what % needed service. If you are after true reliability statistics, you are much better off with this than relying on subjective reviews.


    They also have a bunch of reviews on their blog, so consider that as an alternative to CR.

    Aphaea thanked Brett
  • last year

    I suggest taking a cereal bowl and a salad plate when narrowing the models in person. Some washers seem to have a space that's ony really useful if you use a lot of saucers or tiny plates, and otherwise things get in the way (e.g., the silverware basket). We have the third rack but use it for small glass pyrex dishes andn capuccino cups rather than silverware. Used to wash lunchbox dishes too, back in the day. Our Bosch is 7 years old, still near-silent and we barely need to even rinse stuff before it goes in!

    Aphaea thanked acm
  • last year

    My mother and brother have Bosches, so I've used them quite a bit. I personally despise the interior layout of the Bosch dishwashers - the tines are spaced very close together, and the plates near the front are perpendicular to the ones in the back. It's not as versatile for various shaped items other than just plates.

    I was going to say this very thing! I just bought a Bosch in February, and I despise it. I'm not hard to please; I've never been unhappy with an appliance before, but I am heartbroken thinking that I'm going to have to live with this thing a long time. Details:

    - The upper rack is fine.

    - The lower rack is as described above: weirdly positioned and oddly spaced ... I've been wondering if lower racks are "standard" and if I could replace this one with a different rack. I wish-wish-wish I'd saved my old rack from my old dishwasher. If you have thick dishes like Pfaltzgraph or Fiesta Ware, you're 'specially going to hate it. The rack holds so little in each load. Forget about casserole dishes and pie plates; the tines aren't tall enough to hold them upright, so they just lay down flat, which won't do.

    - I really do like the silverware basket ... or, baskets. This machine has two small silverware baskets, which means I can pull one out most of the time /have that extra bit of space for additional dishes. And the baskets have a "lid" that can be used or "flipped over" and ignored ... this allows you to space out your silverware to avoid "spooning".

    - The irony doesn't clean particularly well. Oh, it does fine on plates and bowls, but pots USUALLY need a bit of scrub after going through the dishwasher; for example, you can see a line where the food was ... to the point that I've quit putting pots into the machine, and I can't tell you how angry that makes me. And I usually find one piece of obviously dirty silverware per load.

    - Nothing is all bad: it's the most quiet dishwasher I've ever had, and I do like that.

    - Running a load requires two buttons (ON and RUN). When the load ends, the machine doesn't turn off, so the ON button stays on all night. Maybe this will make it wear out faster? One can hope.


    I despise this Bosch dishwasher with all my heart. I hate it like I hate the devil, the Washington Redskins, and strep throat.




    Aphaea thanked Mrs Pete
  • last year

    We have a Miele; we bought a discontinued model deeply discounted since we wanted one that could be installed in our area without an air gap (which our state requires for almost all other brands). I honestly don't know if I'd pay full price for it today, but we have been generally happy with it for the past 11 years. It has had a few issues (clogged pumps, etc.), but we've been able to DIY fixes for them and appreciate that everything is very accessible and the user manuals make it possible to troubleshoot and repair without calling their crazy-expensive service reps. I am a HUGE fan of the third rack and would not buy a dishwasher without one at this point.

    We did test our dishes out before buying the dishwasher and they fit nicely within its organizational structure. I can see being irritated if you had a dish/DW combo where that wasn't the case--so try it out for sure. I love ours because it perfectly fits our plates on the first tier, our tallest glasses on the second, and then cutlery on the third. We only have to adjust the tiers for our fancy large wine glasses, which get used a few times a year--then the plates won't fit, but those are only used for special occasions where there are enough dishes generated that we're running the machine at least twice anyway, so we put all the dinner plates in the first run and move the second rack down to accommodate the glasses with the dessert plates in the second run.

    Aphaea thanked artemis78
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    Brett, thank you so much for referring me to Yale Appliances! That is an amazing site. I have downloaded the buying guide and Checklist as well as watching a couple of their videos. I plan to spend more time there; it is an incredible source of information. I really appreciate your kindness in sharing that. (If only I lived in their state. Alas, I am on the other coast.)

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    HU-16168550092: Wow, what a wonderful post you made. I thank you for taking the time to do that because it was an extremely informative and careful exploration of your thought process. Thank you!

    Also, many thanks to ACM, Mrs Pete, Artemis78, and everyone who previously contributed and who I probably did not name (not intentionally, I assure you).

    I have bookmarked this discussion to keep and also the Yale Appliance store and blog. With these two resources, I have no doubt I will be confident in talking with my local store and in my selection. I am sad to let this old dishwasher go but the A-1 Appliance repairman suggested it was finally for the best. I am, however, hanging onto my Whirlpool washer and dryer and will, if possible, keep them for many more years to come--even if they are beige rather than preferred white. (LOL)


    One thing that is particularly good news is that whatever dishwasher I end up with will cost me less than I had feared it might. I am probably looking at between $550 and less than $1,000.

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    https://us.asko.com/kitchen/dishwashers

    Asko has been phenomenal for me. At the time of purchase, it was similar in cost to Bosch (at least 7ish years ago). Mine has 3 levels and a heating element. I am happy with its racks, quietness, and performance. I have had no service calls and its filter is easy to clean. They are not available at big box stores, you’ll have to go to a dealer/appliance shop.

    Aphaea thanked andthatshowwegetants
  • last year

    I have a Whirlpool and find it gets dishes very clean. Never use the dry cycle. Hot temp wash is what I use and the dishes are clean and dry from the water temperature heat. No complaints at all. I had a GE before and had a few problems with it, like leaking, so went with a Whirlpool.

    Aphaea thanked erinsean
  • last year

    Last March when shortages were ridiculously long, my local family owned store recommended a Kitchen Aid that met all my requirements based on the Bosch I was replacing. It is fantastic, cleans and dries beautifully, loads easily with lots of flexibility, the SS is print resistant, and is every bit as quiet as any Bosch. I can recommend a Kitchen Aid without hesitation.

    Aphaea thanked Anne Duke
  • last year

    I adore having a third rack for cutlery, and I never want a dishwasher without one - BUT, I hate the new 3.0 version in the Bosch dishwasher, and specifically bought one with one of the older model third racks (I think a 2.0 model). The tines in the Bosch aren't quite set to be as efficient as I'd like, but I've learned to work with them because everything else about my Bosch is wonderful. I'd buy another in a heartbeat (but with the 2.0 third rack, not the newer version). I also like that there isn't a heated dry.

    Aphaea thanked Toronto Veterinarian
  • last year

    Another vote for Asko. Previously had a Miele which I loved but when we needed to replace an old dishwasher in our new home, purchasing a Miele was a year plus out so decided on the Asko. Quiet, does a great job, filter is easy to clean. Only change I would make is to raise the third rack (silverware) to the top rather than the middle. Otherwise it performs very well. Happy with this decision.

    Aphaea thanked Longbranchstitch
  • last year

    To ensure that the dishwasher you choose works for you, bring some of your dishes, bowls, and pots to the dealer. Try loading the dishwasher as you usually would.


    I did this and found that my dishes fit very nicely into the Bosch dishwasher so I never had all those loading problems of which many people write. I love the Bosch dishwasher.


    The 60 minute cycle cleans all the dishes, glasses and silverware and uses less water than the regular cycle. I use the third rack for my silverware and odd utensils (spatulas, measuring spoons, etc.)


    It's quiet, loads well, and cleans wonderfully.

    Aphaea thanked Louise Smith
  • last year

    I have no problems fitting my fiestaware into my Bosch.

    Aphaea thanked snappity
  • last year

    Sadly and mostly due to over zellous goverment regulations under the guise of 'energy efficienecy' manufactures are being forced into meeting ever stricter mandates on energy usage...This means smaller motors, less robust parts, shorter run cycles (so you often have to run twice or hand wash afterwards) all which add up to less efficienecy and disposable products...and the current clowns in DC want to push even futher!


    Rant over, I will likely go with Bosch in my new home for dishwashers. I think they are probably the best currently made and are also very quite.

    Aphaea thanked mjw7
  • last year

    " so you often have to run twice or hand wash afterwards "

    I've not had to do that in over 15 years - maybe longer but I can't remember back that far. That time covers using a Bosch (several, in several homes) KitchenAid and Kenmore dishwashers. I never pre-rinse, and occasionally I leave items 2 or 3 days before washing them. Am I eating magical foods, or unknowingly casting a spell over my machine?


    Aphaea thanked Toronto Veterinarian
  • last year

    I second Liz on the Kitchenaid. I LOVE the third rack on the top.

    Aphaea thanked tfitz1006
  • last year

    I’ve really liked my Maytag until I couldn’t punch the button to start it. Up until then it got my dishes cleaner than any other., was quiet and well constructed interior and the door was heavier than the ones I’m looking at now.

    Aphaea thanked Debbie Klausing