When we moved into our current house in April 2010, this dishwasher was included with the purchase. The documentation left behind by the previous owners showed that it had been bought for the house (at that point a rental property) in 2007 for £269.99. It is still available for sale e.g. at MG Domestics for around £341.
This dishwasher died this morning in a dramatic shorting of all the electricity in the house, further investigations discovered a short with the wiring/insulation inside the machine - something we didn't want to investigate further at our expense. However this machine has lasted around 4 years which is pretty impressive for a brand that I hadn't heard of before, that had been used twice daily by us and abused by a variety of tenants (given the state of the house when we moved in I don't think they were the cleanest or nicest of people).
So first the technical stuff. This is a B-rated freestanding, full-sized machine that holds 14 place settings. It has a rotary dial on the right hand side of the machine which you turn to select one of the 6 available programmes. This range from an intensive wash for saucepans to a simple rinse setting and a soak. The pictures are both around the dial and above the door handle, the ones above the handle have the little explanations underneath. There are three buttons - one to turn the machine on and off, one to start/reset the machine and one to set it to do a half load to save water. The progress of the wash cycle can be tracked by following the lights on the left hand side and an average intensive wash will take about 90 minutes from start to finish. Once the cycle has come to an end then the machine beeps firmly at you before falling quiet (unlike my washing machine that is more insistent!).
Inside the dishwasher the racks are well made and sturdy and I have found them to be well-designed. The top rack has plenty of spaces for many permutations of cups, glasses and bowls as well as extra space for flat things on small flaps at the top. Spikes on the right hand side are perfect for keeping glasses upright, even the big IKEA wine glasses which fit in with no problems. The bottom rack has one fixed plate rack and one that folds down to make space for saucepans and dishes. At the front is another smaller plate rack and a removable cutlery basket. The basket has three rows divided up into four little boxes each. Two of the boxes come with little lids so you can wash small or light things without losing anything in the dishwasher.
Everything comes out of the dishwasher generally very clean, even if you use the fixed plate racks for other dishes and pans. Dirty water does collect in some things e.g. cup tops, but I think that happens with every dishwasher. The drying function is less efficient and a lot of the things coming out need a good wipe with a dishcloth, no matter how long or short a time I leave them in the dishwasher before emptying. My dishwasher in a previous house (Bauknecht) was very efficient at drying things and I rarely if ever needed a dishcloth so this came as a nasty surprise.
Salt is added through a hole at the bottom of the machine with a screw cap, its relatively easy to unscrew but the positioning is awkward. It is very tricky to direct the salt into the correct place, especially if you are using one of those large 2.5 kilogram bags and I usually waste quite a lot when refilling. Rinse aid is located in the door, you untwist a little disc and pour it into the hole. This is a bit fiddly as the disc has two raised edges to grasp and even slightly damp hands can make it hard to turn. There is no way of indicating when the salt needs refilling which is a shame; the rinse aid section does have a little window so you can check the levels but over time the window has become obscured and cannot be accessed to clean.
It is recommended to use powder rather than tablets in this machine and the detergent dispenser in the door is the wrong shape for tablets. To fit a tablet in you have to force down the lid to get the latch to click and stay in place (yes, I ignore the instructions and do this). We rarely have any problems by forcing it like this, but occasionally we find a half-dissolved tablet floating forlornly at the bottom of the machine, or wedged in between dishes - the common culprit is a baking tray or rack placed at the front of the bottom dish rack and preventing the dispenser from opening properly.
There is a removable drain mesh thing at the bottom of the dishwasher which is extremely hard to get properly clean. I have small hands and I can't get access in the cylinder to pull things out from the bottom and the thickness of the mesh means that often running it under a tap isn't successful either. It comes attached to another largish piece of mesh that is equally difficult to clean, especially when it comes to things like tangled hair.
The dishwasher in general does get quite dirty quite quickly, especially the edges of the door and the ledge under the door by the door hinge. It is easy to clean but time consuming as the ledge is tiered so you have to run over the same place a couple of times with the cloth in order to make sure it is completely clean. The outside of the machine is easy to clean too, but does look grubby even when its clean now due the plastic having become scratched and worn. Around the On/Off button is hard to clean, there is enough of a gap around the button to let dirt in but I can't find anything that makes it easy to get it out again. Over time the inside of the machine has become quite scratched and dented and it definitely doesn't look as good as it could.
So would I replace this dishwasher with the same model? No. It is sturdy and reliable but it only came with a one year guarantee, its very expensive for an unknown brand, parts are rare and expensive, as are engineers who can fix the machine. For the same price you can get a Bosch (recommended by Which as the best mid-range brand for dishwashers) with a two year guarantee, the same reliability and spare parts and engineers who are much cheaper. Bosch machines also tend to look better over time than this machine does.
Short name: New World FDW600W