It’s time for some kitchen noir with Blomberg’s large-capacity LDFN2240 dishwasher, tested here in fetching all-black coachwork. The independent retailer brand’s top-spec plate and pan cleaner boasts a 13 place setting capacity, an A++ energy rating and a fanned drying system.
It isn't without its quirks, though, including a slightly drippy spray arm and an Eco programme that's best avoided. Yet the Auto cycle delivers excellent wash results and outstanding drying while using the minimum of resources. With an attractive asking price and low running costs, the Blomberg LDFN2240 is great value all round.
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Available exclusively from Euronics member retailers, the LDFN2240 is Blomberg’s top-of-the-range dishwasher. It's available in traditional white, of course, or you could opt for the rather more svelte and stylish black on test here. In both models the interior is stainless steel with maroon fittings and a brushed metal trim.
This machine offers a whole lot more than its dashing dress sense, though. It's an A++ energy-rated machine with 13 place settings, and Blomberg has employed almost every dishwasher storage trick in the book to maximise flexibility of the internal space.
A three-basket design, it has a dedicated cutlery tray at the top. This is a compact tray taking up about half the width of the appliance, allowing room for glass stems and taller items to go on the side-racks in the basket below. The cutlery tray’s plastic base is moulded to stack cutlery on its edge, maxing out its knife and fork capacity neatly. In addition, the tray unclips from its runners so you can take it to the kitchen drawer for unloading. If that isn’t enough spoon space then this model comes with a traditional cutlery basket as well.
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The upper of the two larger baskets is height-adjustable, using simple press-latches either side to move it up or down by around 4-5cm. It isn't possible to have one side up and one side down, as we've seen on more affluent dishwashers, but it does offer great flexibility below – around 26cm diameter with the basket down and 30.5cm with it up.
Two rows of plate-racking tines in the upper basket take up most of the open-area space. That will be fine if you're a serial tea-cup and saucer user, but not so practical for much else. Thankfully, one set of tines can be folded flat to accommodate mugs, bowls and larger items in the basket.
There are cup and glass racks to the sides, each in two halves. All four sections are height adjustable or can be folded up out of the way altogether.
The large and deep lower basket is simply fitted with four sets of plate tines. Individually these can all be folded flat, giving you options from lots of plates to a fully flat area for large pots and pans. If you do use the cutlery basket, this sits over the upright tines, allowing you to slide it left or right to best juggle your dishwashing load accordingly.
The soap dispenser and rinse aid compartment are traditionally placed on the inside of the door, with salt fill and a removable plastic solids filter in the dishwasher base below. The rinse aid has a neat dial to adjust water hardness, and the LDFN2240 comes with a water hardness testing kit if you don’t know what you're working with.
The front fascia is glossy black plastic, slightly in contrast to the rather orange-peel black paintwork, with a contrasting metal handle. The control panel to the left is compact and relatively simple, with a large, crisp display. The buttons are chunky and solid to the touch and the overall operation is logical. Simply press P+ or P- to get the required programme number, then add one of the five options and press start.
Wondering what those programmess are? Simply open the door and the programme list is printed along the top edge for easy reading.
This Blomberg is an eight-programme machine, or nine if you include its self-cleaning ProClean cycle. In the primary P1 spot is the 50oC Eco wash. This is the most economical washing program for medium-soiled daily dishes and the cycle on which the energy label’s A++ plus rating is based.
The Auto programme is a full-sensor cycle that determines temperature, time, water and energy usage, depending on how mucky your dishes are. This cycle measures how dirty the water is during the pre-wash, and selects the wash cycle as it goes along. This is the best all-round daily programme for a mix of dishes, pots, pans and all the odd stuff that ends up in the dishwasher for scrubbing.
The Mixwash+ cycle is aimed at mixed loads, with different water pressures for the upper and lower baskets. This allows you to put the likes of delicate glass items in the top, and pots and pans at the bottom for washing at the same time. It does struggle to perfectly finish glassware if the pans at the bottom are really oily, but it’s a good compromise.
The two hot 70oC programmes offer a serious intensive wash for heavily soiled pots and pans, while the Express58 cycle is for washing medium-soiled dishes in a hurry. Coming in at just under the hour including drying, it’s quick if not particularly energy-efficient.
The special Glass Care programme lowers water pressure to be extra gentle on glasses. That's ideal for post-party clean-ups – but given the capacity of this dishwasher, you'd need an awful lot of glasses to fill it up.
For very lightly soiled loads, the Mini30 cycle is a high-speed wash that forgoes the drying cycle to come in at around half an hour – plus your tea-towelling time, of course. If it usually takes you a few days to build up a full load in the dishwasher, the Prewash cycle gives plates a quick splash to stop food drying hard or the plates or smelling.
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Alongside the delay start feature and child lock, there are some other rather interesting options too. The Half Load function simply reduces water and energy assuming there are far less plates in the entire compartment. We prefer half-load options that allow you to wash either the top basket or the lower basket individually, but you can’t have everything on a dishwasher under £400.
The RapidClean and IntenseWash options both increase the water pressure coming through the dishwasher jets. For low to medium-soiled loads, RapidClean’s higher power shortens the wash time, while for heavily soiled pots and pans the IntenseWash gives the lower basket something a good jet-washing.
SuperGloss isn't something we've come across before, but it promises to add an extra gloss and sparkle to your glassware and crockery by improving drying performance. This engages the machine’s drying fans and extra heat for a little longer than normal, so expect a little extra energy usage too.
Unless you're buying a super low-price machine, the days of your dishwasherkeeping half the household awake at night are long gone. This Blomberg touts low noise as one of its primary features and the energy label suggests it emits a library quiet 49dB.
Our tests rarely agree with energy label figures, since all that water sloshing around and bouncing off of your plates tends to make a whole lot more noise in reality. So we were pleasantly surprised by the LDFN2240, testing at exactly 50dB throughout the entire cycle. Not only is that very quiet for a mid-priced machine, the noise is consistent, ensuring it won’t disturb your kitchen conversations.
Dried-on scrambled egg in a Pyrex bowl, dried-on porridge oats in a china dish, mucky pans, wine-stained glasses and cups with builders-tea tide marks all went into our first test load. This Blomberg is very flexible indeed, and we laid several rows of the tines flat to accommodate pans down below.
Dropping the upper basket to its low position allowed us to get in standard 26cm plates in the bottom rack and very tall wine glasses at the top. The bases of the wine glasses sat nicely beside the cutlery tray. In an ideal world, the lower basket could have done with some drop-down arms to hold trays and pans vertically – but we're being picky over what is an otherwise very flexible space.
We normally use the standard Auto programme for the main wash test, but with the Eco programme in the primary P1 slot, we started that by accident. We let it run. And run. And run. At a whopping 3hrs 20mins’ duration, this isn't a quick programme.
Thankfully, it was worth the wait. The clean was very good across the upper and lower baskets, with most of the test and day-to-day items left spotless. The machine had a jolly good attempt at the tough (well, near impossible) scrambled egg test with only a couple of eggy lumps remaining. There was a fair bit of egg/oil residue smearing the glass, though.
We were particularly impressed with the drying. The load was extremely well finished, bone dry and with no streaks. Upturned cups weren't pooled too badly, and decent cup placement should ensure everything is dry. Then it went a bit wrong. We pulled out the upper basket first and water dripped out of the spray arm onto the dry load below. Remember to unload the lower basket first and this won’t be an issue, of course.
This Eco cycle used 1.27kW of electricity and exactly 10 litres of water. That's decent in the wider context of dishwashers, but borderline for achieving an A++ rating.
Setting the whole wash up again – another scrambled egg lunch with red wine in-between – we went with the Auto programme to accurately compare with other machines we've tested. The wash started off stating 3hrs 20mins duration on the display, but actually completed about 55 minutes shy of that.
Again, the wash was very good: this time, the scrambled egg bowl had been scrubbed even better. There were no eggy lumps at all and only the feintest smearing of egg/oil on the glass. Drying might have been just as good as previously, but we came back to the load nearly two hours after it had finished and the glassware had steamed up with condensation.
The real head-scratch result was that this Auto programme used 1.03kW of electricity – 20% less than the Eco cycle! Water usage was up marginally at 10.7 litres. The Auto cycle uses a turbidity sensor to adjust the programme, while the Eco cycle is a fixed wash. So for loads that aren't very dirty or particularly greasy, the Blomberg’s Auto programme will almost certainly use less energy than Eco, and is quicker and in general washes better too. Go figure.
Several more loads ensued over the week and we continued to be impressed with Blomberg for its washing and drying performance. To ensure best drying you need to unload the lower basket first and not leave the washing in the machine too long after the cycle has finished. If you can’t factor unloading into your daily routine, make use of the delay timer.
Which brought us around to testing the SuperGloss option. Since the Blomberg’s drying abilities are very good indeed, we didn’t notice a great deal of difference. Glasses came up polished to reflective perfection and ready to be put away. There may have been less drips from the spray arm or a lower propensity for condensation if you left the load sit after the cycle had ended, but the gains were marginal.
This is excellent all-round washing and drying performance with a few quirks and good eco credentials – if not necessarily on the Eco programme.
The LDFN2240’s A++ energy rating is just about validated by our Eco wash test’s near 1.3kW and 10 litres of water consumption. While we've had A+ rated machines achieve those figures on a good day, it's the Blomberg’s Auto programme that impresses the most. With its sensor-based wash-adjusting, relative to the soiling level of the load, for most daily washes it will use less energy and be far quicker than the Eco cycle.
Our annual test calculation is based on 250 dishwashing cycles split half on Eco and half on Auto for more heavily soiled loads. Yet given the LNFD2240’s great Auto cycle results and ability to cater from light to heavily soiled loads, we'd be inclined to use that programme for all washes all year round. Okay, if you need to wash plates in a hurry or require a really deep clean then there are dedicated programmes for that – but the Auto will cover most of your needs, most of the time.
Only using Auto and based on our test loads, this machine would cost you around £38.60 in electricity for those 250 washes. If you're on metered water at an average of £3.50 per cubic meter of supply and waste, the LDFN2240 would add less than £10 to the annual running costs. Such figures could make you want to hang up your dish cloth and tea towel for good.
This Blomberg dishwasher punches well above its price point in terms of style, flexibility and great washing and drying results. It’s nicely quiet, too – but not without its quirks. These include a slightly drippy spray bar, condensation if you don’t unload for a couple of hours after the cycle is finished, and a less impressive Eco wash.
However, use this machine on its excellent sensor-based Auto programme and it will turn in a great wash and dry results every time, using very little water and electricity in the process.
This stylish and flexible dishwasher turns in great wash results with low running costs, making it great value all round.