The Bosch 800 series dishwashers are well-marketed for their energy efficiency, safety, performance and above everything, their quietness. But is that really the case? We decided to take a look at their 800 series line of dishwashers, since in our opinion this is the only line that can claim to be all of these things.

So is it efficient?

Yes, actually. Bosch 800 series dishwashers are highly energy efficient and they exceed the 2011 Energy Star requirements. They employ a technology that measures the amount of soil on the dishes and based on this, automatically determines the amount of water and heat required. Bosch’s ActiveWater technology makes it possible to clean dishes with just two gallons of water. Key word is “possible” (in marketing speak, this tends to mean probably not). It is estimated that users can typically save about three gallons of water during every cycle by switching to this Bosch 800 series from their current dishwasher.  Also, the EcoAction adjustment calculates the amount of water and cycle length required to clean the dishes. These two changes can reduce the consumption of electricity by almost 156% less than the federal standards. All this means real savings by way of reduced water and electricity bills, while also contributing to a cleaner and better environment.

This amount of energy efficiency does come at a price. Some users complain that these units do not properly dry their dishes. Bosch, in it’s infinite wisdom and an effort to be overly energy efficient, has decided to remove the electrical coil and fan you would typically find in these units. The coil and fan are used extensively during the drying cycle to get the dishes completely dry. Instead, Bosch hits the dishes with boiling hot water at the end of the cycle so that they “steam dry”. This means that if you open the dishwasher right after it’s done, you get hit with a wall of steam and the dishes are too hot to handle. If you wait too long, you get wet dishes. Thus, there is this tiny window of time, about 30 minutes to an hour after the cycle is completed, where you are able to unload a relatively dry set of dishes. This is the reason many people complain about dishes not being dry, and it seems like an unworthy trade-off in our opinion.

Is it safe?

Indeed it is. The Bosch 800 series has many safety features. There is a child-lock feature that prevents kids from opening the dishwasher or changing the load settings while it is running.  It also has an automatic leak protection system called AquaStop that automatically identifies water in the base, and shuts off the operation and pumps it out. This is designed to prevent any damage to the floors due to water leakages.

Bosch Third Dishwasher Rack


Does it perform?

It will clean and disinfect your dishes without issue. It does meets the NSF standards for cleanliness and eliminates more than 99.9% of bacteria. The units can take a water softener that can soften the water and eliminate the lime deposits left by hard water. This makes it an option for any water source. The Bosch 800 series of dishwashers have gone through rigorous testing and they are expected to perform well for up to 4,000 cycles. Their new racking system is very well laid out and extremely easy to use. Unfortunately there is very little true innovation in this area, as much of the design was improved upon by simply copying the rack innovations first implemented out by Miele years ago. Especially their much touted “Third Rack”.

[quote_left]Is it truly quiet?[/quote_left]Yes, technically. But its up there with the best of them. It’s certainly quiet enough to not disturb anyone watching TV or working nearby. It has a solid molded base that reduces vibration while its two-pump motor system washes and drains water. This two-pump system has an advantage over the one large pump systems because it also reduces noise and vibration.

Couple things of note: Bosch’s customer service, to put it bluntly, needs some work. Customers complain of parts (especially control panels) that break and then Bosch sends them to a third-party repair company who then charges exorbitant amounts of money for the parts and the repairs. We don’t know if this is a problem everywhere, or just in a few areas, but it’s something they should have control over, as it is bad customer service any way you look at it – and reflects directly on their well-regarded brand.

Also, some customers (enough to warrant it as a pattern) complain that the units develop a smell. Or that smells come and go. This may have something to do with how the unit drains and may be a design flaw Bosch should address in future versions. Update: As a Bosch representative pointed out below, this may also be due to water backing up from the disposer. See comments below.

Pros: Very energy efficient, visually beautiful machine, name brand recognition.

Cons: Customer service needs work, these units are not made to dry your dishes.

Anthony Rocco

About The Author

Founder and Editor of Appliance Buyer's Guide. With over 10 years experience selling appliances and designing kitchens, and having grown up in the business, I have a unique perspective on todays offerings in the Appliance world. Currently Managing Director at The Kitchenworks in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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7 Responses

  1. boschappliances

    Hello Anthony,

    On behalf of Bosch, we thank you for pointing out efficiency and design features of the 800 Plus dishwasher. However, we are concerned about the customer service issues you have raised. We invite Bosch customers who are currently experiencing issues to contact our support team at 800.944.2904. Additionally, if you are currently experiencing an issue, let us know as we would like some additional information to see how we can help.

    In regards to dishwasher odor, the most common reason for this issue is water backing up from the sink/disposal area. We recommend any dishwasher owners experiencing this issue to verify that a high loop was installed. This DIY Network video explains this issue a bit more:

    • "...and justice for all."

      Hi Bosch Appliances, I wanted to note that many people are reporting problems with the stainless steel doors not being colorfast and turning into doors of many colors. Then they say that though they have called Bosch many times, Bosch refuses to fix this major problem (I say major because most kitchens are furnished to get a certain look–suppose a white door became splashes of ivory, bisque, and salmon??). For this and other reasons (a) doesn’t dry dishes, and b) has an odor even though filter is cleaned as required, etc. I am saddened that the many complaints don’t give me enough confidence to purchase a Bosch dishwasher. : ((

  2. Anthony Rocco

    Thank you for reaching out! I have posted your comment and added a note at the end of the article. I always try to give everyone a fair shake.

  3. john

    I have a Bosch silence plus unit that I
    purchased about 4 months ago

    and it is quiet but other than that it is the
    worst dishwasher

    I have ever owned. Its capacity is substandard
    unless you

    may be using children’s plates and the silverware
    container is a joke!

    It is designed so that as the plastic expands
    from the hot water

    and the knives and forks become entrapped when
    it cools and jam

    in place. I have literally been able to pick up
    the entire basket

    of silverware while trying to extract one fork
    from the basket after washing.

    It also leaves soap scum on the glassware and
    is not close to what I expected

    for the price and doesn’t compare to the 12 year
    old Frigidaire that it replaced.

    Never again will I purchase a Bosch appliance, stick
    to the headphones and

    sound systems, they are great, leave the dish
    washing to people who build appliances.

    • John

      After reading the last 4 lines of your comment, I think that you may have confused “Bosch” with “Bose”. Is there any possibility that you may have been placing your dirty cutlery and dinnerware into an undersized subwoofer?

  4. Tiredof PC

    We purchased a Bosch when we remodeled our kitchen almost 3 years ago. Initially it was amazing. It was so quiet and the dishes were sparkling clean. After a couple of years, I noticed our dishes were not clean. The glasses were streaky and there was debris stuck inside. I always check the filter basket and rinse my dishes well before loading them, so I didn’t know what the problem was. After inspecting the inside of the dishwasher I discovered that the holes in the spray arms, particularly the holes at the ends, were clogged with some kind of debris. It was very difficult to clean them, I actually used tweezers to pull the gunk out, but afterwards, my dishwasher worked great again. Sadly, the problem reoccurred after a few months and I was back to using tweezers again. I think Bosch needs to make these holes bigger or should design the spray arms to be disassembled so they can be cleaned easier. KInd of a major flaw for such a high end dishwasher.

  5. mimi

    bought the model that has a heated dry element and it still doesn’t dry the dishes, only for that reason will be returning it

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