Bosch 500 Series dishwasher review
This quiet dishwasher can really clean, too
Homeowners love the Bosch 500 series dishwasher because it's quiet. In fact, it's so quiet that Bosch added a little red light that shines on the floor when a cycle is in progress. That way, nobody accidentally opens the door mid-cycle—an error I've made myself.
But can the 500 Series clean? Well, we evaluated a SHPM65W55N (available at AppliancesConnection for $804.10), and found there's a lot more than just quiet to love. It gets dishes spotless, adds a contemporary look to any kitchen, and comes with many extras that make it a stellar value.
The 500 Series has been around for many years, but got an update for 2017. Now, all 500 Series dishwashers include:
• A sound rating of about 44 dBa
• An upgraded third rack with more room for stemware below
• ExtraDry kicks up the temperature and increases drying time to evaporate more moisture from the dishes.
• Smoother-rolling EasyGlide ball bearing racks
• A 60-minute Speed60 wash
AquaStop leak protection comes standard, too.
What else does Bosch offer?
The 800 Series is slightly pricier, but offers a more flexible interior and even quieter performance. We highly recommend it. Depending on which 300 Series you choose, it may cost a little less or a little more. We don't think the entry-level Ascenta and flagship Benchmark dishwashers are as good values as the 500 and 800 Series.
What it looks like
All 500 Series dishwashers have top-mounted controls which are hidden when closed. That maintains the sleek look on the dishwasher’s exterior. You have a choice of two handle styles: A bar handle (available on the SHXM65W55N) is more traditional, and a recessed "pocket" handle is a fresher look (available on the SHPM65W55N we tested). All 500 Series dishwashers can be flush-mounted with cabinetry, as well.
Stainless looks the most current, and black and white are available only with pocket handle models. No matter which finish or handle you choose, when you open that door, it feels substantial. And although Bosch is a German brand, the 500 Series is built in North Carolina.
Inside, the tub is stainless steel, so it minimizes the sound of spraying water.
The dispenser on the door is uniquely designed to accommodate detergent pods. When you close the door, the pod cleverly dissolves into a little cup on the end of the second rack, so no cycle time is wasted waiting for it to liquefy.
All three solid racks glide so smoothly as they’re extended, and the third rack (which Bosch calls 3D) is a treat—you can tuck in deeper items as well as some silverware. Flip down the tines on the middle rack for a more versatile layout, and use the plastic slots to hold tall stemware securely. You can adjust the height of that rack to make room for taller pans and dishes on the lower rack.
The tines on the bottom rack fit thinner plates nicely, but you might have to skip a couple if you want to put large bowls there. That cuts down on the number of dishes you'll be able to fit overall.
There’s a basket for the cutlery that you don't put in the third rack. It sits comfortably on the right side of the bottom rack. Some models have a basket that you can split apart.
How it cleans
Bosch 500 series dishwashers offer five wash cycles, and a desirable Rinse cycle. We test dishwashers using the Normal, Heavy, and Quick cycles. In the case of this Bosch, we used the sensor-based Auto cycle, Heavy, and Speed60.
The Normal cycle did well, taking a couple of hours to wash the dishes. It had a bit of trouble removing the fiercest spinach stains, but that’s typical for the dishwashers we test. This one actually does better than most on that. The Heavy cycle takes about the same amount of time as Normal, and it gives you truly spotless dishes—but it uses more water.
As is the case with most quick cycles, Speed60 should be reserved for lightly soiled dishes—like dessert plates at a birthday party, or wine glasses when multiple guests are visiting.
What the users say
User reviews of the 500 Series are almost unequivocally positive. Owners love this dishwasher, and they really appreciate how quiet it is. The third rack also gets a ton of praise for its novelty and versatility.
The bottom line
These dishwashers give a great clean, offer outstanding features, and they're made in the USA. If you’re looking for a dishwasher that offers good value and high reliability, you don’t need to look any further.
Whether you’re renovating or just replacing your old dishwasher, we recommend that you consider purchasing a dishwasher from the Bosch 500 series. They all offer the same performance, and you can pick whichever door style or color looks best in your kitchen. Once the door is closed, you won’t see any logo, but as soon as you press start, you’ll know by the silence that it’s a Bosch.
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