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Washing up is one of those dreadful tasks that everyone dislikes. After a big meal, nobody likes to slave over the kitchen sink, cleaning off bits of burnt food and scrubbing dishes. We decided to buy a integral dishwasher to fit in with the scheme of the kitchen. I bought this one because I liked the specification and it seemed to tick all the boxes.
This is a review of the integrated version of the machine and is compatible with different door types. The dimensions of the machine are: Height: 820 mm, Width: 595 mm, Depth: 540 mm. It is a full sized dishwasher with space for 12 place settings. There are four adjustable feet at the base of the machine. On the front is an LED display that displays the setting and temperature of the wash. There is a dial and buttons to select programs and Rinse aid and salt indicator neon lights.
At the back of the machine is the drain connector port and the inlet pipe connector which requires cold water alone. The machine runs on a regular UK mains cable.
Inside the machine, working our way up; at the bottom is a self cleaning stainless steel micro filter. Food and soil particles are trapped by this filter and pulverised by a special jet on the lower spray arm. This debris is then washed down the drain.
Above this are the spray arms that clean the dishes and above this are the main racks to hold your crockery. The shelves inside are adjustable and contain a cup holder, an upper basket, cutlery basket and a lower basket. The upper basket is most suited to washing delicate and light dishware, such as glasses, coffee & tea cups, saucers, plates, bowls and shallow pans. The lower basket is most suited to washing larger and more heavily soiled items, such as saucepans, saucepan lids and serving dishes.
Once the machine is plugged in and installed following the instruction booklet, you need to fill the water softener with 1 litre of tap water and then fill with specialist dishwasher salt. You should add approximately 1.2 kg of salt into the water softener container. This is a little basket located inside the machine at the base under the spray arm. It is only necessary to do this on the first time you use the machine. I thought my machine was broken at the frist because even after this procedure the low salt light on the indication panel was still lit. This is because it can take 2-6 hours for it to go out. As soon as it lights up again you need to follow this process again. After this you should set the water softener level, when you pull out the cap to pour the salt in there is a little ring and dial on the salt container. When you first receive your appliance, the arrow will be pointing to the minus symbol. Using the water hardness chart (located in the instruction book), you should turn the arrow to the setting that is appropriate for your water hardness. This sounds more complicated than it actually is!
Next you need to fill the machine with rinse aid. The rinse aid is released during the final rinse and it helps to prevent water from forming droplets on your dishes. These droplets will lead to spots and streaks being left on items after the wash program has completed.
The rinse aid dispenser is located inside the drop down door, next to the detergent dispenser. The rinse aid dispenser will hold approximately 140 ml of rinse aid, I keep filling until the rinse aid indicator light glows black.
Even if you are using three in one tablets, you should still fill the machine with rinse aid.
Next you need to fill with your choice of detergent and you are ready to go!
For best results you need to make sure you remove leftovers and soften the remnants of burnt food in pans, prior to loading dishes in the appliance.
Once the dishwasher has been loaded, check that the spray arms can move freely. If the spray arm comes into contact with any item, then you should rearrange the wash load.
Cups, glasses, pans etc should all be loaded with their bases upwards, so that water does not collect inside of them.
There are five functions: Normal, Intensive, Economy, Rinse and Rapid. There are three temperatures you can select; 40, 50, 65 degrees C.
Normal is used for normally soiled loads, such as pots, plates, glasses and lightly soiled pans. It is the standard everyday cycle and one that I use the most frequently. The rapid wash is pointless and does not get anything clean. I would imagine that its only function would be to wash glassware, even then though it does not remove lipstick marks or discolouration. Intensive is used for the heaviest soiled loads, such as pots, pans, casserole dishes and dishes that have been sitting with dried food on them for awhile. This has fairly good results, but I would rather soak dishes overnight and then put them in on a normal wash.
I have had the best results with the normal everyday wash. At the end of the cycle the machine gives a little beep to let you know the machine has finished. A real drawback is that a normal wash takes around 1.5 hours and it is really noisy while it is running. It does not have a time delay function either so you cannot set it to run while you are not in!
After a regular normal wash though, the results are okay. Plates come out clean and dry and without streaks. Occasionally glassware comes out foggy with lipstick on, I also struggle with my red wine glasses as the water does not seem to penetrate the base of the vessel and I have had glasses come out with red wine stains in the bottom.
The wash on the whole is hit and miss, I stack the plates and bowls and things as requested, making sure the water cannot knock them over and that they are in position to be able to be hit by the water jets and still the machine manages to miss spots. Just the other day, a cereal bowl came back out with weetabix stuck on the side! Cutlery is by far the worst and I usually have to wash it myself by hand before throwing it in the dishwasher. After i have done this, they do come out sparkling though and there is no need to polish it or dry it, I can just throw it in the draw.
The intensive wash is good for getting off really ground in dirt and food, such as burnt cheese and sauces. This wash can take up to 3 hours though!
I regularly clean the spray arms and check the machine for debris. Every week I give the machine a good clean out and dry it as pink bacteria can form in certain spots at the back. This wipes off easily and on the whole the machine is easy to clean and maintain.
The machine is triple A rated efficient which is great and uses less water than alot of other 12 place machines, however it just does not seem to have the power I need to clean all my items. There is only two people in my household and i never overfill the machine but I still get disappointing results. When it comes to replacing the machine, I will not be buying another Baumatic.
I paid £270.00 for this machine from Comet and I think for the money I spent, I could have got a better machine.
I purchased this integrated dishwasher about a year ago for my new kitchen when I had run out of budget and had to economise. It was right at the lower end of the price spectrum and I don't use a dishwasher all the time, so I went for cheap and cheerful.
The instructions are adequate, and the salt compartment is easy to fill thought it is a bit complicated how to figure out how much salt is coming out - I've just fiddled with it and use the setting that seems to work best. The height of the top basket can be adjusted which is useful, and on the bottom tray you can either have a set of racks for plates at the back or you can collapse the racks and have a flat surface for pans etc, again, useful.
The machine looks fine in situ as it is integrated and the controls are concealed on the top edge. The controls are basic: salt and rinse aid indicator, various wash programs from pots and pans to glassware. There is a fast wash option for lightly soiled items.
The wash performance is fine on plates glasses and cutlery. For saucepans and baking dishes etc, not so good. Even on the intense wash, it doesn't seem to get the pans clean. It performs best with items that are pre rinsed, well spaced and stacked and do not have dried on food on them.
Sometimes when the dispenser opens, the tablet of detergent falls onto the cutlery container and doesn't dissolve properly, I usually now just put the table into the base of the machine at the start of the wash.
It isn't super quiet (Baumatic doesn't seem to have quietness as a strong point) but it isn't intrusively noisy either, and it does beep to tell you when its finished.
I am relatively happy with its performance for my needs, which are light use, and the machine is mainly used now for times like dinner parties or christmas when there are a lot of fresh plates to be washed repeatedly. Its absolutely fine for this. Anything more and I would recommend going for a more expensive model which can tackle pans and more gunk.
In summary: This machine is one of the cheapest on the market and while it can't cope with a demanding load, it would suit a light use situation where budget is important and where the user is prepared to fill it properly. It isn't suitable for a busy family where pans need to be washed regularly.
Short name: Baumatic BDI631