Bosch 300 Series Dishwasher SHX43R55UC

UPDATE: This model has been discontinued.

Manufacturer: Bosch

Welcome back to weekly appliance reviews! The appliance of the week is the Bosch 300 Series dishwasher, model SHX43R55UC. It is available in white, black, and stainless steel.

The Bosch SHX43R55UC dishwasher has a towelbar handle with fully-integrated controls. As is standard with many of Bosch's appliances, there is a power button that must be pressed before choosing options and starting the cycle. This is one of the ways Bosch eliminates "phantom drain" and reduces energy consumption, reaching Energy Star CEE Tier 2 status.

At 48 decibels, the SHX43R55UC is quiet enough that once you've gone to another room, the dishwasher will be difficult to hear. This is owed partially to the triple filtration system that is standard on all Bosch dishwashers and partially to the tub, which is entirely stainless steel and pretty heavily insulated with sound dampening materials.

The nylon-coated racks ensure better durability than PVC. The upper rack is adjustable by sliding it off the runners and replacing it on the alternate set of wheels. It's a simple adjustment to give you greater room on the bottom rack for large pots or cutting boards, or to create more space on the top rack for stemware (which will benefit from the stemware holders that prevent wine glasses from damaging each other).

The bottom rack has been redesigned with the user in mind. Older Bosch models had a center-mounted silverware basket. This model, and all new Bosch dishwashers, feature a side-mounted basket. Demand has been high for this configuration, and now you've got it!

The wash arms feature slits rather than circular openings, giving greater pressure and coverage. This cleans better while using less water and without needing more energy. The water is heated beneath the floor of the dishwasher tub in a special flow-through heating chamber. This is part of the washing system and part of the drying system, too. All Bosch dishwashers use condensation drying, which uses slightly less energy than the heated drying of American-style dishwashers.

Cycles and options are pretty straight-forward. There's Heavy, Auto, Normal, and Half-Load. In most cases, Auto is all you'll need to use to ensure proper cleaning of any load. The Half-Load cycle gives you the ability to wash just the top rack, which is great when there aren't a lot of dishes needing to be washed and you're not expecting more any time soon.

There's an optional Sanitize button, so everything can be sanitized according to NSF standards. This is important when there are allergies, baby bottles, and any time you want to make sure there aren't any germs left behind on your dishes or silverware.

Three indicator lights tell you when more rinse aid is needed (it's not usually necessary to use rinse aid if you're using a detergent with it built in, like Finish Powerball products), when a load is clean, and when a load is sanitized.

Regular maintenance is simple, requiring the triple filtration components to be removed and rinsed in the sink every couple months or so. If you notice a loss of cleaning power or grit left behind, give the filtration system a rinse.

For peace of mind, Bosch has built a leak-sensing system into their dishwashers called AquaStop. When water is sensed outside the tub, it will shut off the water and drain itself to prevent excessive damage. It's just another way Bosch has taken you and your home into mind when designing its dishwashers.

If you're looking for a quiet, energy-efficient dishwasher with modern styling and excellent cleaning performance, give the Bosch SHX43R55UC dishwasher a serious look.

For a $100 price difference, there's the Bosch SHE43R55UC. All the features are exactly the same, but the door has the old-fashioned plastic console rather than the towelbar handle, with the controls integrated in the top surface. If you're on a stricter budget or just prefer that appearance, the SHE43R55UC is a great option. It's also available in white, black, and stainless steel.