PROS / An adjustable top rack makes it easy to accommodate oversized items on the bottom rack.
CONS / This one isn't quite as energy efficient as some dishwashers.
VERDICT / This dishwasher has a competitive combination of features, including targeted sprayers and in-cycle water filtration, even if it is not the most energy efficient.
The KitchenAid KDTM354ESS is slightly less efficient and more costly to run when compared with most others in our dishwasher reviews, and it lacks a specific eco-friendly cycle, but this unit offers some great features, too. For instance, it is designed to filter its own water continuously during each cycle so food particles do not recirculate. And, at $32 a year in estimated yearly operating costs, it will almost certainly beat out the old dishwasher you are replacing, even if it doesn't top the most energy-efficient dishwashers on the market.
This dishwasher is designed to eliminate the need for pre-rinsing by incorporating 40 high-powered jets throughout the tub. The six different types of wash cycles – Pro-Wash, Tough, Normal, Light, Express Wash and Rinse Only – should offer enough variety to get you the level of clean you need every time, especially since you can customize those cycles with specialized drying and rinse-only options, as needed. There are a few dishwashers that offer more cycle types but not many. One thing this dishwasher lacks is a steam cycle, which can sometimes help dislodge stubborn messes.
This unit can clean a large quantity of dishes at once – up to 15 place settings if you load it correctly – so it would work well if you have a larger household. There is a third rack, too, which is less common but a very welcome addition. It will work great on large utensils.
You can delay the start of this dishwasher a full 24 hours if you like, which is nice if you like to run your loads during off-peak hours. There are fold-down tines in both the upper and lower racks that you can use to secure glasses and other items, or fold them out of the way. You can also adjust the upper rack to accommodate different-sized objects on the bottom rack.
This machine has good warranties on all parts, but the racks and electronics warranty is especially good – the coverage lasts for 6 years. The tub and door liner are covered for a lifetime of use, which is also impressive.
There are a few units that are slightly more energy efficient and have a few more cycle types, but the KitchenAid KDTM354ESS is still competitive when you compare dishwashers. It will easily outperform units from earlier generations for energy efficiency, even if it is not the very best in its own generation. The targeted spray jets and the adjustable top rack will allow you arrange your load for maximized cleaning results.