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Whirlpool Gold WDT720PADM Review

By: Kelly Burgess on April 28, 2017

Bottom Line

The Whirlpool Gold WDT720PADM offers good cleaning and drying performance at a great price. Owners say it's quite and that the attractive, stainless steel exterior is a nice touch for a budget dishwasher.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Attractive
  • Energy Star certified
  • Excellent washing and drying performance

Cons

  • Plastic interior
  • Long cycles
Our Analysis
Specs

Breaking it down

Performance

Does well in professional testing. While the Whirlpool Gold WDT720PADM may suffer a bit from some low-end touches to keep the price down, there's no skimping when it comes to performance. At ConsumerReports.org, it earns an Excellent rating both for both washing and drying performance, although owners say it struggles with getting plastic items dry -- a big challenge for almost all dishwashers. Johnny Yu at Reviewed.com is less impressed with its washing performance, saying that the normal cycle was too slow and there was too much redeposit. Still, he says performance is "decent" for the price. Most owners are pleased with the wash performance, though, saying this dishwasher does a great job. There are a few who say they have to rinse the heck out of their dishes to get the machine to clean well, but those complaints are very much in the minority. The Energy Star certified Whirlpool WDT720PADM's estimated annual operating cost is $31.

Ease of use

Very straightforward. There aren't a lot of bells and whistles on the Whirlpool Gold WDT720PADM, and in terms of simple operation, that's a good thing. In fact, it earns a score of Very Good on that account from ConsumerReports.org. At Reviewed.com, Yu likes the unique design of the cutlery basket, which attaches to the door. You can load from the top, as usual, or open it up to lay the flatware in, as if it were a rack, to avoid touching the tops of the silverware. The WDT720PADM also has a "silverware spray" function to be sure everything in the cutlery basket comes out clean. What Yu doesn't like is that the adjustable rack is quite difficult to adjust -- it's a complex, two-handed hassle. Still, users don't seem bothered and we saw far more raves than rants about the flexible loading options with this dishwasher. The filter is not self-cleaning, it should be removed and cleaned about once a month or so, another issue that brings its ease-of-use scores down with experts but that actual users don't seem to care much about.

Noise

Mixed feedback for noise. At 51 dBA, the Whirlpool Gold WDT720PADM is not the quietest dishwasher available, but, in spite of that, we saw almost no complaints of this dishwasher being perceived as loud. In fact, it was quite the opposite, we noted many, many comments about how quiet it is. ConsumerReports.org seems to agree, awarding it a score of Very Good in that category.

Appearance/durability

Stainless steel finish is a nice upgrade. Most experts agree that it's pretty rare to get stainless steel when you dive below the $600 price point ($599 is the Whirlpool Gold WDT720PADM's MSRP, but it's usually found on sale for around $540 or less). Unfortunately, the plastic tub, which is common on less-expensive models, might not be as durable as a stainless interior. Still, we read very few reports of durability issues after a year or more; just the occasional complaint of a hose leaking or motor issues -- both of which sometimes happen even with top-end appliances.

Our Sources

Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

ConsumerReports.org tests the Whirlpool WDT720PADM dishwasher, ranking and rating it against several dozen others. Testing includes cleaning performance, energy efficiency, noise level and ease of use. Top models receive a Recommended tag; best values are also designated as Best Buys.

Johnny Yu, Oct. 22, 2014

Johnny Yu gives the Whirlpool WDT720PADM an overall score of 7.5 out of 10, saying it, "features wash options and flexibility not found in budget dishwashers, but still keeps costs relatively low." He's a big fan of the utensil holder that folds out so you can load it without touching the tops of your flatware.

Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of April 2017

In more than 7,150 reviews, the Whirlpool WDT720PADM earns an overall rating of 4.4 stars out of 5; 90 percent of customers would recommend this dishwasher. Many of these reviews are original to HomeDepot.com, others are culled from the manufacturer's website. Owners praise the WDT720PADM's versatile loading options and say it's very quiet.

Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of April 2017

The Whirlpool WDT720PADM earns an overall rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 in more than 495 reviews here, which are all unique to BestBuy.com. The vast majority are very pleased, saying it's a terrific dishwasher for the price. In particular, they call out it's good performance in cleaning, quite operation and value pricing.

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