I ran a finger over the dried chocolate stuck to several porcelain plates before loading them into four different dishwashers from four different manufacturers. I was touring Frigidaire's dishwasher manufacturing facility in Kinston, North Carolina. My guides brought me back a couple of hours later as the cycles came to an end and I saw the results -- Frigidaire's new model got the plates spotless. The competition left gobs of chocolate still stuck to the plates.
To be fair, Frigidaire employees controlled all of the variables and I'd expect them to show me a test where their new dishwasher shined. Nevertheless, the latest Frigidaire Gallery dishwasher -- model FGIP2468 -- looks great, has a reasonable price, and offers a combination of features that make me think it could legitimately be great at cleaning the grime off of your plates and bowls.
Two wheels are better than one
Frigidaire is adding a second OrbitClean wheel of water jets to the latest edition of its flagship dishwasher. We tested the OrbitClean feature on theand it did help the dishwasher perform well in our tests. Most dishwashers use spinning spray arms lined with jets. The OrbitClean wheel sits at one end of a spinning arm, and spins separately in order to spray water into the corners of the machine and hit all sides of dishes from a variety of angles. The FGIP2468 now has a wheel both at the bottom of the machine like the last version and beneath the top rack as well.
Given that a single OrbitClean wheel performed effectively in our tests, I'd expect two of them could prove to be a potent cleaning combo. Frigidaire also refined the design of the water wheels to propel water with greater intensity to help remove stuck on dirt.
The FGIP2468 will be offered in stainless steel for $850 or black stainless for $1,000. The dishwasher will run at a somewhat quiet 49 decibels, and the extra OrbitClean wheel supposedly helps it cut time from its cycles.
A cool drying system
In addition to the second water wheel, the FGIP2468 uses a heating element at the bottom and a fan at the top to supposedly improve drying performance as well. While the heat rises naturally, the fan blows in cooler, room-temperature air and directs the water in the air to a condensation chamber.
Frigidaire calls the feature "MaxBoost Dry." Lab technicians demonstrated its effectiveness during my tour by spraying a fine mist of cocoa powder and ground coffee into a freshly run unit. The technicians doused dishes from competitors' machines as well, and the powder coagulated on water and showed streaks clearly. Again, the Frigidaire FGIP2468 performed the best of the bunch with few visible blemishes.
If you want to give the Frigidaire FGIP2468 a real-world test, you can find a retailer near you on the company's site. Frigidaire rolled it out quietly on the site last week before a planned debut at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show next week.
The FGIP2468 doesn't have any flashy dishwasher features, but if it's a great performer at a reasonable price, it could make for a compelling kitchen upgrade.
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