dishwashers
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Expert Score
9.4

KitchenAid Architect Series II KDTM354DSS Dishwasher Review

Smooth as silk

July 16, 2014
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

By the Numbers

After running our tests, we found that the KitchenAid Architect Series II KDTM354DSS did not redeposit any stains. This made for nearly perfect scores on many of the soils that other dishwashers have problems with. KitchenAid’s new ProFilter filtration system deserves the credit for this, and we were pleased to find that the name is more than just hype.

Performance

ProFilter really works

KitchenAid KDTM354DSS—Lasagna After Tough Cycle
Still some tomato sauce left after the wash. View Larger
KitchenAid KDTM354DSS—Cheese After Tough Cycle
Tough Cycle: Not so tough on burnt cheese View Larger

The KDTM354DSS’s greatest achievement is its lack of redeposit. We loaded baked-on spinach stains into the tub to see if the dishwasher would spray the green particles onto other items. The KDTM354DSS did not, which isn’t always the case with other machines.

The Normal cycle removed 99.88% of the meat stains and 99.99% of the oatmeal stains. Without redeposit dragging the scores down, this cycle gave an amazing performance. We did find one problem, though: Items loaded on the rear of the top rack weren’t as clean as ones that were placed elsewhere.

This sort of pattern usually indicates poor water coverage, and isn't unique to this KitchenAid. Innovative wash arms—like Electrolux's Satellite Spray and Samsung's WaterWall—can alleviate the issue.

The Tough cycle lives up to its name but for one test. It removed 100% of dried milk, oatmeal, burnt sugar, egg, but only 93.53% of burnt cheese. Interestingly, the water coverage issue from the Normal cycle is absent in this cycle, which is always a plus.

Express Wash clocked in at 52 minutes. Despite being the weakest performer of the three cycles, it did an excellent job compared to the quick cycles on other machines. The lack of redeposit certainly helped, and even though it’s designed for light stains, this cycle scored 100% on the dried oatmeal test—one of toughest stains to remove.

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Efficiency

All that power comes at a (slight) cost

KitchenAid KDTM354DSS—ProScrub
High-intensity ProScrub spray jets can be engaged for tough messes. View Larger

Even though the KDTM354DSS cleans very well, its water and power usage are only a little above average. The Normal cycle took 0.80 kWh of energy and 2.63 gallons of water, adding up to a cost of 12 cents per run. Other dishwashers’ Normal cycles are around 10 or 11 cents, but since this is the most frequently-used cycle, those extra pennies add up.

This is balanced by the KDTM354DSS’s Tough cycle, which used 1.12 kWh of power and 4.13 gallons of water. The estimated cost is 17 cents each run, where other dishwashers have that figure closer to 19 or 20 cents.

Express Wash used 0.79 kWh of power, but guzzled 5.08 gallons of hot water, driving its cost up to 15 cents per run. In total, we expect the KDTM354DSS to only hit you for $29.33 a year in utility costs.

Capacity

The upper rack glides out smoothly

We were able to fit 11 place settings and a serving setting inside the KDTM354DSS. The SatinGlide upper rack rolls out smoothly on ball bearings, and it also has two height settings to accommodate tall items. The lower rack has some traditional collapsing tines, but also includes a set of tines with a neat trick. You can adjust how wide apart they are, allowing you to fit bowls no matter how deep or shallow.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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