LG LDS5040ST Review
This powerful dishwasher combines a retro look with some new technology.
The LG LDS5040ST combines a retro look with some new technology. With its big gray buttons and digital display, this dishwasher harkens back to a time when you had to walk up to your TV to change the channel, and when blowing on your game cartridges was a legitimate means of fixing them. The LDS5040ST has an MSRP of $699, and proved to be quite capable of delivering a vintage smackdown on our stain tests. It is almost exactly like the LG LDS5540ST, with the same set of cycles and features, including Smart Diagnosis technology. Although this old-school bruiser comes at a lower upfront cost than its more futuristic cousin, it also completely skipped over the green movement, consuming staggering amounts of water and electricity.
Design & Usability
Where's the rewind button?
Even with a stainless steel door giving away that it’s a dishwasher, the LDS5040ST’s gray, front-facing control panel might have you mistaking it for a VCR. The row of large, rectangular buttons and the digital cycle timer really adds to that retro look. Maybe LG had some spare parts lying around.
The advantage of kicking it old-school is that those large buttons are very responsive. With an audible click, pressing the keys is reminiscent of changing the channel on an old CRT TV, except that it doesn’t make your hair stand on end. You also don’t have to worry about the LDS5040ST making you go blind if you’re standing too close to it.
The LDS5040ST’s interior is stainless steel and spacious. The racks are highly adjustable, with every row of tines on the bottom rack being collapsible. The full-size cutlery basket gives plenty of room for silverware and serving utensils, while the top rack features two rows of tines with adjustable angles.
Something old, something new.
The LDS5040ST shares the exact same list of cycles and features as the LDS5540ST. For cycles, you have Normal, Power Scrub, Quick, Delicate, and Upper Only. For additional wash options, you have Sanitary, Extra Dry, and Extra Rinse. A Delay Start that can be set from one to 19 hours and a Child Lock finish off the list of extras.
And of course, there’s Smart Diagnosis: just because the controls look retro doesn’t mean the technology has to be. Smart Diagnosis is a way for the dishwasher to, in the event of a malfunction, communicate with LG’s customer service the exact nature of the breakdown. You can learn more about it from this article, but the main takeaway is that troubleshooting and repairs are greatly streamlined thanks to this technology.
So much for going green.
The LDS5040ST had impressive scores for most of our tests. On Normal cycle passes, we found that many of the milk, meat, and oatmeal stains were successfully removed. Unfortunately, their perfect scores were marred by minor but noticeable bits of redeposit—when flecks of washed-off stains end up on previously clean dishes. The Power Scrub cycle had this same problem. But for a cycle that you are expected to use for everyday loads, which would never be as dirty as our challenging test loads, this was a strong performer.
The Quick cycle did surprisingly well with the spinach stains, but wasn’t so great with the other stains. Given how much of the other soils got left behind in this cycle, we would recommend limiting its use to loads containing only light soils or very recently used dishes.
The main drawback to the LDS5040ST’s performance is the heavy water and power consumption. With a Normal cycle that takes 7.65 gallons of hot water each run and consumes 1.05 kWh of electricity, the LDS5040ST will put a noticeable mark on your utility bills. Our estimated annual cost for running this machine is $42.62, which is about 30% higher than most of the other machines we've tested. We also found that cycles take a long time to run. For a more detailed analysis of this machine’s efficiency, check out the Science page.
Wonderful dishwasher; terrible conservationist.
The LDS5040ST won’t let you watch VHS tapes while you cook, despite an appearance that suggests otherwise. It can, however, wash your dishes, and it does a pretty good job of it. While the design is going to be hit or miss depending on your taste, the controls are very simple and responsive. A good selection of cycles and wash options are also available, and Smart Diagnosis is always a plus. The major drawback about the LDS5040ST is that it doesn’t even pretend to be going green. If you’re concerned about your utility bills, there are other machines that consume significantly less water and electricity than this blast from the past.
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