Best Kenmore Dishwasher: Get the Most for Your Home

Kenmore 13002

Nothing is more frustrating than opening your dishwasher and finding out the soap didn’t dissolve all the way and your dishes aren’t clean. You rinsed your dishes, scrubbed your dishes, loaded your dishes, and organized your dishes.

It took valuable time out of your day to get them done, and now you have to do them again by hand. Enter the Kenmore dishwasher.

It's true that even the best dishwashers need to be cleaned now and then. You should periodically run a cup of vinegar through it to clean out and scum, residue, and food particles.

However, you shouldn’t have to go through the aggravation of it leaving you with dirty dishes every time you run the dishwasher. Even on a light cycle, a good dishwasher will clean lightly soiled dishes perfectly.

Comparison Table

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About Kenmore

Kenmore makes household appliances like dishwashers, microwaves, stoves, and refrigerators. Sears, Roebuck and Co. owns Kenmore, but Sears, Kmart, and all sell Kenmore products.

Kenmore first introduced their washing machine in 1927, followed closely by the first Kenmore vacuum cleaner in 1932.

Kenmore has an upscale line of products called Kenmore Elite and a professional line of appliances called Kenmore Pro.

Sears expanded the line of Kenmore products in 1976 to include refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers, originally branded as Coldspot.

Today, Kenmore products come from a variety of manufacturers, including Whirlpool, Electrolux, GE, Panasonic, and Daewoo.

The Best Kenmore Dishwasher Models 

Kenmore makes great dishwashers. By our standards, you can’t go wrong with any model you choose. Kenmore’s current line of dishwashers includes upscale brands like Kenmore Elite and professional appliances like Kenmore Pro.

The line also includes varying sizes, as well as built-in dishwashers and portable dishwashers.

For this article’s purposes, we’ll focus on some residential-use built-in models. In no particular order, here are the best Kenmore dishwashers.

Kenmore 13002

kenmore dishwasher 13002 open on white background
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This 24-inch built-in dishwasher fits in most residential under-counter spaces. This particular Kenmore dishwasher model proves that price doesn’t necessarily correspond with cleaning power.

This is an excellent product at a lower price point that still outperforms models costing several times as much.

While the Kenmore 13002 doesn’t have a lot of the frills, like stem holders, foldable tines, a flexible silverware basket, or any other special features, it gets the job done.

Kenmore focused their development on cleaning power and not extras for this one.

Key features

No, this Kenmore dishwasher doesn’t have any unique features. However, it achieves its primary function.

Kenmore cut everything except performance, so for the price point, you can get a fantastic dishwasher and not break the bank.

It comes with three different wash cycles: pots and pans, normal wash, and one-hour wash. You can also select high temp, sani-rinse, or heated dry for extra cleaning power.

Pros and cons

Incredible cleaning power at a reduced price is precisely what this Kenmore dishwasher has going for it. It’s plain and ordinary, otherwise.

The exterior is all white, so it blends in well with white cabinets and provides a nice, light contrast to a kitchen with dark designs. While it’s not fancy, it's basic and inoffensive.

The front control panel contains plastic buttons. The only other adornment is the Kenmore logo. It’s very simple and unobtrusive.

The interior is also plain, consisting of a top and bottom rack without all of the other components.

None of the tines fold down, but they’re evenly spaced enough to fit most of your dishes. This Kenmore dishwasher says it holds a maximum of 12 place settings, but it starts to feel pretty cramped at 10.

You also can’t raise or lower the top rack, so there’s no alternative for making more space for taller dishes.


At 56 dBA, you may need to leave the kitchen to have a conversation, but you may barely hear it by the time you move to the living room.

Some other dishwashers at this same price are rated at 54 dBA, but that’s not a huge difference, and you probably wouldn’t even notice unless they were running side by side.

It handles chunky food just fine, but it struggles a bit more to take care of peanut butter or the inside of tightly nested bowls.

It also doesn’t dry very thoroughly unless you turn on the heated dry option.

Price, coupons, and deals

The Kenmore 13002 is a steal. You can also find refurbished units at

Sears includes a one-year manufacturer’s warranty in the price of the dishwasher, as well as extended warranties for an additional cost.

While you may have to rinse and scrape your dishes before you load them, this Kenmore dishwasher can attack most types of food with ease if you forget or happen to leave them out overnight. It’s a good dishwasher at a great price.

Kenmore 13479

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The Kenmore 13479 is basically a souped-up version of the 13002. Kind of. It comes in black, white, and stainless steel and has a curved handle.

The control panel on the top lip makes the front of the dishwasher look a bit sleeker, but there still aren’t any frills.

At this price point, many people are nervous about cleaning ability. Inefficient cleaning means more work for you, and nobody wants that.

However, we were pleasantly surprised with the performance of this Kenmore dishwasher and its ability to get off food that had been sitting for 24 hours.

Key features

The status light is one added feature on the Kenmore 13479 that we like. It shines green while the dishwasher is on, letting you know it’s in the middle of its cycle.

A comprehensive set of six cycles including pots and pans, china gentle, and smart wash.

The spray arm has red jets, and the rinse aid dispenser has a red cap, giving the interior a hint of color. The control panel rests on the top lip along with a countdown timer, which is nice and makes the front looks more clean and sleek.

Available alongside the set of six cycles are the options to include a sani-rinse, a high-temp rinse, or a heated dry.

Pros and cons

The Kenmore 13479 says it holds 12 place settings, but as will the 13002, it feels cramped after 10. There are no fold-down tines or wine stem holders, and you can’t adjust the upper rack at all.

The plastic tub is in line with the price point, although it doesn’t have the same energy-saving features as a stainless steel tub.

There are also no adornments like specialized jets, customizable cycles, or a third rack that you might expect with the increase in price from the 13002.

While it’s only a slight price increase, and you can’t expect all of these features, we thought we might see at least one add-on.


The Kenmore 13479 out-cleans most dishwashers three times the cost, so it’s one of the best-performing dishwashers on the market. That makes it a huge bargain if you don’t care about all of the extras.

The smart wash cycle senses dirt and saves energy, which is nice if you don’t have a lot of heavily soiled dishes. While the one-hour cycle seems a bit slow, it gives you a more effective clean.

Occasionally, there’s a speck or two of food left on a plate, or a nested spoon or bowl will have food stuck to the inside.

The spray arm does its best to cover every dish at every angle, and it does it better than can be expected for a dishwasher of this price.

Even with the heated dry option selected, this Kenmore dishwasher doesn’t do as well as we expected. The 13002 is actually cheaper, and surprisingly, better.

Many of the dishes still have water droplets on them after a heated dry cycle. However, the 13479 is much quieter than the 13002, so it does have that going for it.

Price, coupons, and deals

The Kenmore 13479 is a bit more expensive than the 13002. While it looks nice on the outside and comes in more than one color, it still does the same cleaning job without all of the extras. It’s available at, often at a discount.

Kenmore 13699

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The Kenmore 13699 falls into the middle of the road as far as pricing goes, but its cleaning power is not lacking, and it comes with some extra features that will make you smile.

It includes the basic cycles you expect to have in a dishwasher, and the plastic tub keeps the price down in comparison with other dishwashers of similar capability.

Key features

Now we’re talking. You can raise and lower the top rack of the Kenmore 13699 to make more room for tall dishes on the bottom.

It also includes one set of tines that fold down, making it more flexible and giving you more room when you need it.

The gray racks look sleek and attractive, and the red jets provide a nice looking accent to the interior.

It also has all of the cycles you’d expect, including high-temp, sani-rinse, and heated dry. The controls are intuitive and easy to use.

Included in this Kenmore dishwasher are a few more helpful options like TurboZone.

TurboZone enables the jets at the back of the tub for tough spots on casserole dishes or pots and pans. It helps scrape away dirt during any cycle and makes for a nice extra feature.

Pros and cons

The Kenmore 13699 comes in three different colors: black, white, and stainless steel, so it fits any decor.

While there’s nothing special about the bland appearance, you’re not limited to one color choice.

With room for 12 place settings, it’s plenty spacious, but after about ten place settings, you will experience some overlap with your dishes.

The well-spaced tines make plates feel secure, and there’s room for large pots and pans if you load it with fewer regular dishes.

While the control panel feels a little bit common, you can’t fault Kenmore for doing a great job focusing on functionality instead of design. Plus, the controls hide on the upper lip of the dishwasher, so when you close it, you can’t see them at all.

The only thing we really feel is missing is wine stem holders. If you’re in the camp of people who don’t drink wine or find that those pesky stem holders always get in the way, then you’ll be a happy camper.

This Kenmore dishwasher has a sound rating of 50 dBA, so it’s quieter than the 13002 and won’t interrupt your conversation, even if you’re in the same room. It takes longer to wash, but it’s quieter and more efficient, so that tends to make up the difference.


The cycle and the level of soil on your dishes will determine how long the dishwasher runs but compared to other models, the Kenmore 13699 tends to a pretty long run time.

On average, a cycle takes two to three hours, unless you choose the one-hour wash option.

However, it cleans egg, peanut butter, and chili that has been sitting for over 24 hours. It’s well worth the wait for clean dishes and minimal elbow grease on your part.

The digital display keeps you posted on how much time is left in the wash cycle, so you’re never left wondering about its progress, either.

This Kenmore dishwasher comes with a heated try option, but even without that option selected, it does a nice job of drying the dishes before the cycle ends.

You may find a few water droplets on your glasses, but most dishes come out sparkling.

Price, coupons, and deals

The Kenmore 13699 is available, and the stainless steel version is more expensive. However, you’ll find periodic sales from the manufacturer and may want to keep an eye out for those types of discounts if it’s outside of your price range.

How to Load a Dishwasher

Every dishwasher is different, but if you're having trouble getting your dishes clean in any dishwasher, try these tips for how to load a dishwasher to ensure maximum coverage of water and detergent.

Maintenance Tips for Your Dishwasher

Once you’ve decided on the best Kenmore dishwasher for your needs and budget, it’s time to maintain your unit. Below are some helpful maintenance tips, so your dishwasher remains long-lasting and durable for years to come.

Don’t ignore mold and mildew

If you regularly use your dishwasher, it’ll become prone to mold and mildew. Don’t ignore this issue. Empty bleach into your dishwasher and run a quick cycle, so the product thoroughly mixes up int he unit. However, if you have a stainless steel door, bleach can damage the material, so opt for a cleaning product best suited for steel.

Remove dishes and cutlery immediately

After a long day at work, you can easily avoid emptying the dishwasher as soon as the cycle has finished. However, if you leave dishes sitting inside the unit for hours, this can cause mold and mildew. 

For days when you won’t be home late, choose a dishwasher with a delayed timer so the cycle will be complete when you arrive home. Alternatively, choose a high-temperature setting, so the plates and dishes are dry at the end of each cycle.

Regularly use dishwasher salt

Dishwasher salt softens water to prevent limescale built-up within the dishwasher - especially targeting the areas that are hidden. If you live in an area with hard water, your dishwasher will be more prone to limescale build-up. Fortunately, dishwasher salt is an effective and quick solution.

The Verdict

If you don’t care about the perfect style or extras, the Kenmore 13002 is a great buy. It’s a solid choice if you’re on a budget.

Make sure you rinse or scrape your dishes before you load it up, and you won’t have any problems at all. This really is the best choice if you want the cleaning power at this price.

For a more sleek look at a great price, consider the Kenmore 13479. It comes in several colors and gets your dishes clean, but doesn’t pack a lot of extras. It also has a nice mix of cycles, giving you a bit more variety.

As far as a good dishwasher that gets dishes clean and has a few extra features, the Kenmore 13699 is where it’s at.

It’s a more well-rounded machine that’s better at almost everything it does. It sits at a good middle-of-the-road price point that includes a lot of benefits and add-ons.

If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, Kenmore makes quality products. Any of these would be a great new appliance for your kitchen. You only have to decide now what features you want.

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