Aside from being nice to look at and giving the appearance of a very high-priced unit, a stainless steel dishwasher can be difficult to keep clean and free of fingerprints. These units also require special cleaning solvents to avoid damaging the finish of the dishwasher. Shoppers who are considering a top-of-the-line dishwasher should know that these units will often have stainless steel on the interior of the machine as well as on the exterior, and this provides its own special pros and cons.
One pro of using a dishwasher with a stainless steel interior is that the steel does not absorb any smells or odors. This will allow the dishwasher to have a new fresh smell every time the door is opened. The stainless steel also retains heat better than a comparable unit with a plastic tub, making it more economical to use over its lifetime. Most owners also claim that these dishwashers are quieter when operating than other units. This is especially popular for those who operate them at night.
A stainless steel dishwasher will require extra work to keep the exterior clean and looking good. Some commonly-used household cleaners can leave the stainless steel finish cloudy and streaked. These cleaners can also discolor the steel so that it becomes permanently stained and discolored. Many of the specialty cleaners are expensive, however, so many owners just use regular products, often leaving the machine not looking very good.
The staining of the exterior of the dishwasher is more common on the polished stainless steel than on the brushed finish, although there have been incidents of staining on both types. The biggest negative in purchasing the stainless steel models of any appliance is found in the price, which can be quite a bit higher than one with a standard finish. One benefit that simply cannot be overlooked, however, is that the stainless steel dishwasher will match a stainless steel refrigerator and range to complete the total appliance package.