dishwashers

Maytag Jetclean MDB8959SAS Review

The Maytag Jetclean MDB8959SAS obliterates dirt on dishes.

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.

Introduction

The best dishwashers usually excel in one of two ways: They either use some fancy spray patterns and new technology, or they blast a ton of water over a long period of time.

The Maytag is the second kind of dishwasher, a tireless performer that's a veritable James Brown of plate cleaning. The Normal cycle takes about three hours. The MDB8959SAS also costs nearly twice as much per year to run as some more efficient machines we've tested, which may eat up a lot of the upfront savings its $720 sale price promised.

Remember, though, that it's all about the dishes. If you're willing to wait, and if you don't mind how much water it uses, the Maytag MDB8959SAS does an exceptionally good job getting plates clean. It may be the hardest working appliance in your kitchen.

Design & Usability

A traditional exterior that will fit in any kind of kitchen.

The Maytag Jetclean MDB8959SAS is a solid looking machine with a stainless steel finish and tasteful hidden control display. A tiny Maytag logo at the bottom is the only blemish on the monolithic surface, and it'll fit in any modern kitchen.

Open the door, and you'll see a stainless steel wash tub that serves both design and function, as it looks nice, makes for a quieter wash and helps retain heat to expedite the drying process. Instead of a removable filter, this dishwasher features a "chopper"—a miniature disposal that grinds up food waste. It's louder than a filter-only dishwasher, but some customers prefer not having to clean a filter.

Up in the top rack, we were a bit frustrated by the layout, as its lack of flexibility made larger dishes something of a challenge to load. But the adjustable height levers certainly helped alleviate this concern. The bottom rack had no such concerns, and we fit ten whole place settings inside.

Features

Choose your own adventure with the multiple options on offer.

The range of features makes the Maytag MDB8959SAS a highly customizable dishwasher. Tweet It

Some wash options can only be added to certain cycles, but the range of features makes the Maytag MDB8959SAS a highly customizable dishwasher. In addition to the standard delay and sanitize options, there is a wash intensity feature (“tough scrub”), a heated dry, an extra dry, and a high-temperature wash.

There's also a delay feature that allows you to postpone the start of a wash by two, four, or eight hours, and a control lock for keeping curious children at bay.

Performance

Superb—albeit slow—cleaning, and one of the least efficient dishwashers we've tested.

Good cleaning power usually takes time, and Maytag seemed to understand that in building this dishwasher. While the Quick Wash was indeed quick (very quick) at just 35 minutes, the Normal cycle took nearly three hours and the Heavy Duty "Jet Clean" cycle took three and a half hours.

The Normal and Jet Clean cycles were among the most impressive wash performances we’ve ever tested. Tweet It

All that hard work and wait was worth it. While the Quick Wash was just decent, the Normal and Jet Clean cycles were among the most impressive wash performances we’ve ever tested, leaving behind almost no trace of food.

When it comes to efficiency, however, the good feelings quickly fade away. We calculated that it would cost the average user $44.88 per year to run this dishwasher. That's $20 more per year than other machines we've tested. Over the course of five years, that's a difference of $100—enough to upgrade to a slightly more efficient machine.

Conclusion

Clean dishes, but one heck of a big payback

The Maytag Jetclean MDB8959SAS cleans like a boss—the kind of boss who leaves all the lights on in the office, drives a big SUV and doesn't recycle. But beyond its environmental shortcomings, the dishwasher offers a pristine clean, a host of extra wash features, and a pleasing design to boot. Just don't expect it to be done quickly.

We're especially fans of this washer because it offers top-notch cleaning while falling straight in the middle of the Whirlpool lineup, just below some KitchenAids that cost a few hundred dollars more. It's not hard to find this machine for under $720, which makes it a great value—at least, as far as upfront costs are concerned.

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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