Sorry, That Smart Dishwasher Won’t Unload Itself

Smart dishwasher
Daniel Krason/

Everyone has their own method for loading the dishwasher. Some people like to angle their dishes toward the center, some keep spoons separate to prevent them from hugging each other out of solidarity, and some (me) purposely do a bad job loading the dishes so they’re never asked again.

What’s different about new smart dishwashers is that they’ll probably chime in with their own unsolicited advice as well. “I wouldn’t put that pan there,” it might say, for instance.

Smart dishwashers do far more than just rewetting the dried pasta stuck to the pot that I keep hoping will break free. They feature sensors that detect how dirty the dishes are and adjust accordingly, give cycle status updates (“The spoons are revolting”), and can even be started remotely via smartphone, for those who have the time to load the dishwasher and close the door, but not to press the start button (Batman, I assume).

No Denying the Dishes are Done

Take the LG Smart Dishwasher with TrueSteam and QuadWash, which sound like the names of carwash add-ons that cost $17 extra and end up denting your hood. It fills the tub with hot steam during the pre-wash to help dislodge crusty bits you were too lazy to scrape off, and will alert you via app when the cycle is complete, in case you like to eat off hot dishes the way some people like to wear clothes fresh from the dryer.

Why would anyone actually need to be notified when the dishes are done via app? Clearly, so they can send a passive-aggressive text to a spouse or kid that merely says, “The dishes are done.”

This Samsung Smart Dishwasher has a water leakage sensor that can shut the machine off if it starts peeing on the floor, and the GE Profile version has a take-no-prisoners feature called the Piranha Hard Food Disposer (now we’re talking). It lets users load up the dishwasher without prewashing, promising to destroy any food particles with impellers rotating at 3,600 RPM. Take that, errant meatballs.

Smarter Maybe, But Definitely Cleaner

There’s no denying that modern smart dishwashers will out-clean any of older models, especially the one in my apartment that washes dishes with the same effectiveness as a leaky sprinkler that only waters the area underneath the sprinkler.

All those ridiculously named features like StormWash and RackMatic that sound like amateur league wrestler names do actually get things cleaner, and will reduce the amount of time you need to prewash dishes in the sink.

All the smart device connectivity and remote use is another matter. Unless I’m some sort of ironic cartoon troll monster who likes to eat warm dishes, monitoring how close the dishes are to being done or stopping a cycle while you’re out because you forgot to put that one coffee mug in is a bit silly.

Once you’ve used a dishwasher a few times, you generally have an idea how long it takes. But if you do find yourself coming home early and the dishes aren’t clean yet, do what any self-respecting person does: eat over the sink.

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