I have a Whirlpool GU1500XTLS2 dishwasher that I bought 6 years ago. It has never given me any trouble and is very quiet. But I was never really pleased with the washing results until just this last year when I finally decided to try a different dishwasher detergent. I had been always using the top rated Cascade 2 in 1 Action Packs so I figured I was already using the best detergent money could buy. But I just decided it was time to start trying different brands to see if that might help. So I purchased some Kirkland Liquid Gel (Lemon Fresh Scent) from Costco and I was amazed what a difference it made! Our dishes are always spotless now! All those years of re-washing and scraping dishes and glasses were for nought because it was just that we were using the wrong dishwasher detergent. So now our dishwasher can fall into the "I Love My Dishwasher" category!
I don't know why the Cascade Action Packs don't work well for us, but the Kirkland Liquid Gel definitely works much better. And it's cheaper too. Our water is from a spring and is pretty soft, so maybe that has something to do with it. One thing I'm doing different is I fill both the main compartment and the pre wash bowl with the gel, whereas before I just put in 1 Action Pack in the main wash compartment. According to Cascade's directions, it was unnecessary to use a pre wash with the action packs, so I didn't. I'm sure if I did though, the wash would have come out better. But the cost of using two of those packs would really up the dishwashing bill. And it would be a nuisance to use the gel in the pre wash bowl and a pack in the main wash compartment. Might as well just run the gel across both areas and be done with it. The results are great and the cost is still cheaper even with filling both now.
I haven't seen CR test the Kirkland Liquid Gel so I don't know what they'd think of it. But in our machine and with our water it blows away the Cascade Action Packs. At least at the single pack level.
We always have Jet Dry in the rinse dispenser and always run the water in the sink until you see steam rising. That is a necessity with these newer water conserving dishwashers. Because if your hot water heater is any distance at all from the sink (as ours is), it will never see a spec of hot water by the time the tub fills with that little bit of water they use. And your dishes will never get clean if they don't get hot water to them. Ours has the ability to raise the temperature of the water, but if it starts out cold it takes so long to get it hot that it eventually just gives up and starts cleaning with lukewarm water. Then you are guaranteed of opening the door to a dishwasher full of dirty dishes. If it starts out hot from the beginning, the dishwasher stands a good chance of raising the temperature to a level that will get your dishes clean.
If your dishwasher isn't cleaning your dishes well, maybe try a different dishwasher detergent because just because it is top rated by CR doesn't necessarily mean it will be top rated by you. At least that has been my experience. And always run the water in the sink to as hot as it can get just before starting the dishwasher.
I have a Kenmore UltraWash HE and I use Cascade Action Pacs (from Costco; recommended by CR). I have 3 children, two of whom load the dishwasher. Needless to say their scraping leaves a lot to be desired. I NEVER pre-rinse, and my dishes always come out clean. I've had the dishwasher for 1 1/2 yrs and LOVE it, despite the cost (my recollection is it cost a bit more, but it's been worth it!). I use the SmartWash cycle and it runs forever, but it's quiet and gets the job done (at least once a day, sometimes twice!). I allow the dishes to air dry, which is both more energy efficient, and allows me to easily clean any little bits of food left on because they haven't been baked on with the heated drying (maybe once or twice a month I have a dish with something small left on it).
The dishwasher has a filter I have to manually clean, but it takes just a minute or two once a week and I use a soft bristle bottle brush.
I don't think they sell my particular model anymore, but it appears to be 13154 (I see a 1315(2) listed in the CR reviews, but no customer reviews with it and I remember reading reviews on mine). Again, it's been awhile, but I remember that CR wasn't as impressed with my machine, but the user reviews were slightly more in favor of it. CR now seems to be impressed with the machine (something about the enzymes in the detergents now in their testing may have changed their minds).
I had a Kenmore before and ultimately hated it -- after a few years it left food on the top rack all the time and I finally quit using the top rack. I hesitated buying another Kenmore, but I truly love this one. My parents have the same old machine that I had and they don't have as many problems with it, although they do have some.
I love the turbo zone that cleans backed on, hard to clean dishes (like casserole dishes). Almost always comes out 100% clean. And QUIET; sometimes I have to check the light to make sure it's still running. I thought I would miss seeing how much time was left for the machine to run, but I've decided that frankly I don't care how much time it has left on it -- either it's done or it isn't and I can stop worrying about it!
I can't say enough about how much I love this dishwasher!!
Inasmuch as people are often focused on a specific brand: either shopping for, praising, or faulting the brand. Why not setup separate threads, one for each brand to relay to the reader the good, the bad and the ugly of ONLY that specific brand. Then, Let the Buyer Beware. Why should each of us have to sort thru all of the whirlpool or LG comments, if we are interested in a Bosch or Miele. Help us to be more focused. Or CR could develop a search function for each of your threads.
I have an old Kitchenaid made by Hobart -- rusty racks now. New racks from an appliance parts store cost about $180 for one!! Racks are made by Whirlpool. I bought one, but had second thoughts, and am returning it today. I
I will probably continue using my old Kitchenaid/Hobart DW until racks totally rust - - it is still working!!! But I am seriously considering the Bosch middle line recommended by CR.