Whirlpool WDF520PADM dishwasher review

The Whirlpool WDF520PADM is a great budget dishwasher for small families and couples.

Whirlpool WDF520PADM Dishwasher Review
(Image: © Whirlpool)

Early Verdict

If you're looking for a basic dishwasher that performs well without costing a fortune, the Whirlpool WDF520PADM does the job. It's efficient, user-friendly, quiet and value for money.


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    Adjusts wash according to soil levels


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    Only 2 racks

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    Not fingerprint-resistant

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The Whirlpool WDF520PADM is a great, affordable dishwasher with good user reviews and a number of cleaning features. Whirlpool has cemented itself as a reputable manufacturer of home appliances, being most well-known for its dishwashers and washers/dryers.

Whirlpool WDF520PADM: Key specs

Dimensions: 24 ½ x 34 ½ x 23 ⅞ inches
Controls location: Front
Noise level: 55 dBA
Place settings: 14
Racks: 2
Cycles: 4
Energy Star Certified: Yes
Warranty: 1 year, limited  

This particular dishwasher features 2 racks and 14 place settings, making it an optimal choice for small families with a good amount of dishes to clean. If you are in the market for the best dishwashers then this review should help you see whether the Whirlpool WDF520PADM is a good choice for you. We will assess the design, features and user reviews to help compare this dishwasher to other models. 

This dishwasher is ENERGY STAR certified and is designed to save energy by reducing the amount of water and energy used every day. This is aided by its AccuSense soil sensor which determines how dirty your dishes are and adjusts the wash cycle as needed. It has 4 wash cycles, including a one-hour cycle and a Soak & Clean option for heavily soiled dishes. 

This dishwasher has been manufactured since 2014 and has built up a reputation as a reliable, affordable machine with a large number of positive reviews on sellers’ websites such as Best Buy. If you are in the market for other home appliances, be sure to check out our guides to the best ovens and the best freezers

Whirlpool WDF520PADM: Design

The design of the Whirlpool WDF520PADM is quite classic with a pocket handle and front control touchpad. It is a built-in dishwasher, so it is designed to slot into your kitchen units alongside cupboards and other appliances - this saves a lot of space when compared to other dishwashers which have to be placed elsewhere in the kitchen. 

This particular dishwasher is front-controlled, which can sometimes be awkward as you have to bend over or crouch to access the control panel. It has a plastic finish tub and a stainless steel door - the door is not fingerprint-proof, so it may need regular cleaning especially if your hands are dirty after loading up the dishwasher.

Whirlpool WDF520PADM Dishwasher:

(Image credit: Best Buy)

The interior has lights so that you can see your dishes clearly to help you unload and check the cleanliness. The dishwasher is also available in 3 colorways: White, Black and Monochromatic Stainless Steel. The freedom of choice when it comes to color means you can easily match it with your kitchen's theme and other appliances. We are particularly fond of the sleek finish on the stainless steel option.

The interior of the washing machine has a plastic-finish tub, and 2 decent-sized racks with 14 place settings. The upper rack features a cup shelf for mugs and glasses, and the interior will not tarnish from detergents or steam.

Whirlpool WDF520PADM: Features

The Whirlpool WDF520PADM has a good amount of cleaning and drying features. The AnyWare Plus silverware basket frees up rack space by sitting at the front of the lower rack or in the door, great for when you want to squeeze that extra plate into the wash cycle. The generous 14-place setting interior space allows you to clean more dishes, saving you time and money when you don’t have to wash multiple loads. 

The wash system adjusts to your cleaning needs, using an AccuSense soil sensor to determine how dirty your dishes are and adjust the wash cycle accordingly - this has the potential to save water and electricity by stopping the cycle when no extra cleaning is needed. The high-temperature sanitizer option will reduce bacteria and enhance drying results, which can be especially useful if you have small children that are still bottle-feeding. 

There are two drying options available, a heated dry and an energy saver (no heat) dry option. It also utilizes a triple filtration system to remove food particles and debris from your dishes, eliminating the need for pre-rinsing and scraping. 

This ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher also features 4 wash cycles for different needs and soil levels, including Heavy, Normal, 1-Hour wash and Soak & Clean. These can all be accessed from the control panel which features a child lock, delayed start options and cycle status lights with an end-of-cycle signal. 

Whirlpool WDF520PADM: Price and availability

The Whirlpool WDF520PADM retails for $611.99/£497.74 and is available at Best Buy and Home Depot making it a great dishwasher if you are on a tight budget. For the price, it boasts an impressive number of cleaning and drying features - paired with the ENERGY STAR certification this affordable dishwasher will save you even more money in the long run when compared to a conventional dishwasher. 

For $300-$400 extra, you could invest in a larger dishwasher with a few more features, but this is only really necessary if you have a larger family or more dishes to clean. The dishwasher comes with a 1-year limited warranty, but Whirlpool customer support can help you with any issues that you may run into after the warranty has expired.  

Whirlpool WDF520PADM: User reviews

On Best Buy’s website, the Whirlpool WDF520PADM has an average rating of 4.4/5 stars, with over 3000 reviews from verified buyers. A large number of positive reviews praise the 1-hour wash cycle, with some users saying it will clean even the most soiled pots. One user said, “All of my dishes come out nice and squeaky clean but we do rinse and brush them before placing them in the dishwasher which probably helps”.

The small number of negative reviews is mainly focused on the motor, with some people claiming it breaks easily. One user stated, “Its motor broke after 14 months. The installer came out twice to fix it”. 

Overall the reviews are very positive, and Whirlpool Team actively responds to negative reviews to help provide services and fixes for any problems that occur. 

Should you buy the Whirlpool WDF520PADM?

Overall, for the price, this is an amazing budget dishwasher with a good amount of features. If you are looking for a dishwasher at a reasonable price for a family, then this really could be the machine for you. The ability to both clean and dry your dishes whilst also saving you money on energy bills is nothing to be sniffed at. This dishwasher does not include any smart features, but we believe it makes up for it in efficiency and price.  

How does the Whirlpool WDF520PADM compare?

If you want a dishwasher with smart features, then you may want to check out the LG Top Control Smart Dishwasher with Quadwash.

If you want a dishwasher that will make almost no noise while washing then the Samsung Smart 44dBA dishwasher could be for you.

If you want to invest in a top-of-the-line dishwasher with a large number of cleaning features then the KitchenAid Top Control Dishwasher would be a great choice. 

Monib Zahdeh

Monib is a writer for Top Ten Reviews. He has a degree in journalism and over four years of experience in the home and garden industry as a Digital Content Specialist for the made-to-measure marketplace Britannia Rose. When he is not reading or writing, Monib enjoys cooking, going on walks, and visiting different historical sites.