A++ dishwashers rarely come much more affordable than Indesit’s DFP 27T94 Z UK Extra Baby Care model. This basic-looking 14-place dishwasher offers a Baby Care programme that removes 99.999% of bacteria and a big item Extra programme.
It’s simple to use and the Eco wash is super-frugal, even if other programmes ramp up costs. Great wash performance and super-low running costs make the DFP 27T94 Z UK Extra Baby Care a great everyday dishwasher – and you don’t even need a baby to use it.
A++ energy-rated dishwashers are a rare beast. Rarer still are such models around the £300 price point. Enter Indesit’s DFP 27T94 Z UK with high-spec eco credentials at just £320.
The DFP 27T94 Z UK is exclusively available from independent Euronics shops on the high street and online. Indesit’s more widely available DFP 27T96 Z UK is the same machine with some minor cosmetic tweaks and a cutlery tray. Since that model is nearer £400, you can imagine which we think is better value.
The 27T94 comes to the Trusted Reviews test bench with the intriguing subtitle of ‘Extra Baby Care’. Who’d have thought you could wash small children in a dishwasher? Well, only us apparently; Indesit was at pains to point out that wasn’t the case.
In fact, this model has a hygienic Baby Care Cycle that claims to remove 99.999% of bacteria. That can include baby bottles, teethers and toys – but not babies.
To drive the baby point home, this machine is supplied with the funky Indesit Baby Zoo. This mini-basket is designed to hold those baby bottles, teethers and toys, and clips onto the upper basket. It’s fetchingly decorated with colourful plastic animals and green plastic leaves around its baby cutlery holder.
The Baby Zoo could still be useful even if you don’t have family members likely to be entranced by a yellow elephant. It wouldn’t be a DIY stretch to remove some of the ornaments and specialist holders to give you a fairly effective cutlery tray.
The interior of the 27T94 is otherwise standard fare. It’s all stainless steel, has detergent and rinse-aid containers on the door, and a salt-fill cap in the base. The lower basket features two pairs of full-width plate tines. The rear set can be folded flat for pots, pans and bowls. You get a lift-out cutlery basket that can sit anywhere along the front rows of tines.
The upper basket has a two-position side adjuster for height. In the upper position, you can get plates up to 26cm diameter in the basket below. If you do need to use the double-deck cup holders or wash tall glasses, the lower position provides plenty of space up top.
If space for really big stuff is what you’re after, this Indesit has a dedicated Extra feature. With some clip-fiddling, you can remove the upper basket completely. This allows you to wash items almost the full height of the cabinet. Baking trays, pizza stones, large bowls and even a wok will all go in. The Extra program is an intensive wash for just such items and automatically stops water going to the upper spray bar.
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With the door closed, the 27T94 has a clean white finish and simple controls. It isn’t a machine you’d buy for its stylish lines or stunning good looks, if we are honest.
Graphics to the left offer a full breakdown of its seven programmes, selected by the central knob. Half Load, Delay Timer and the Start/Pause buttons are to the right. Sprinkle in a few LED indicators and this Indesit is about as simple as the genre gets.
Indesit DFP 27T94 Z UK – What programmes does it have?
This is a seven-program machine with the Eco cycle in pole position. This is designed to wash normal daily dishes with reduced water and energy consumption. It’s a 50ºC cycle and takes a lengthy 3hrs 10mins. It’s also the only wash that technically achieves the A++ energy rating.
The Auto Intensive and Auto Normal programmes run at 55ºC and 65ºC respectively. The Intensive version is geared up for heavily soiled pans and dishes; it isn’t suitable for delicate items.
Energy and water consumption for Auto Normal is about 30-50% higher than the Eco cycle. Run-times are 1hr 30mins for a half load and 2hrs 30mins for full. The Auto Intensive uses 50-100% more energy and runs a little longer too.
If you’re in a hurry, there’s the Rapid 40 cycle. This is a 40-minute wash at 40ºC for lightly soiled dishes with no drying. Since you’ll need a tea-towel anyway, a bowl of hot water and some elbow grease might be quicker. The Prewash program is a quickie cold-water rinse; useful if you’re not going to run a full wash right away.
The special Baby Care programme is intriguing. Items placed in the Baby Zoo basket on the top shelf are washed and sanitised while your normal dishes are washed in the basket below. Given the energy consumption and claim of pasteurisation levels of sanitisation, we guess this wash is over 70ºC. For total sterilisation of your baby items, Indesit recommends an additional clean using a sterile solution.
For large, properly mucky and greasy pots and pans, Indesit’s Extra wash completes the programme lineup. Switch on the Half Load option and it reduces the intensity of the Extra wash for equally large but lightly soiled items.
Indesit DFP 27T94 Z UK – How noisy is it?
Due to the noise of high-pressure water jets hitting the inside walls, dishwashers are rarely super-quiet. Well, not unless you have a premium budget anyway. It’s quite a surprise then to discover that this relatively affordable full-size dishwasher boasts a very respectable 44dB noise rating. At this price, we’d expect nearer 50dB.
The 27T94 made a bit more noise than claimed, but not by much. We measured around 46-47dB for the Eco cycle. That noise increased a couple of decibels further on the intensive cycle as the water pressure went up. However, for a machine running an Eco cycle, this dishwasher is pleasingly peaceful.
Indesit DFP 27T94 Z UK – How well does it wash?
For our main test load we filled the dishwasher with plates, cups and cutlery from a normal few days in the Stevenson homestead. For repeatable test subjects we also put in a china bowl with dried-on porridge, dried baked-beans on a Pyrex dish and a glass stained with red wine.
We loaded the dishwasher with supermarket own-brand detergent tabs, rinse aid and salt. For the first test, we selected Eco cycle at 3hrs 10mins. Drying was good, with very few cup-pools visible and no drips. Bouncing the upper basket produced a few drips from the spray bar, but nothing more.
Everything in the compartment was properly cleaned to cupboard standard, including the oats bowl and bean dish. The glass was buffed clean, but it had a very feint streak where a bead of water had run and dried. Later washes didn’t replicate this and produced a very clean glass. The machine had used a frugal 1kWh of electricity and a bonkers-low 7 litres of water.
Tests continued using the Eco wash, as it was proving very effective indeed. The next full load featured the nemesis of all dishwashers: microwaved scrambled egg dried onto a Pyrex bowl. The same run used 0.99kWh of electricity and an even sillier low 6.7 litres of water this time.
Thanks to the binding properties of egg proteins, our egg-bowl test is designed to be all but impossible. We simply measure how much of the egg has been removed. In this Indesit’s case it was a very good 90-95%. That’s an outstanding result for a relatively affordable dishwasher. It’s doubly impressive when you consider we were using the Eco programme rather than an intensive cycle.
On the downside, engaging the Half Load option on the Eco wash saves you nothing. It used the same energy and water, and took the same time. That rather beggars the question what the Half Load actually does on the Eco wash.
On both Auto cycles the Half Load offered a fair reduction to consumption and time. Yet energy and water use were never lower on these Half Load Auto cycles than the Eco wash as standard.
Over subsequent real-world tests, the 27T94 turned in admirable results across both Auto washes. Auto Intensive marginally improved the egg test, yet the cycle used 2kWh of electricity, double the water and was nearly as long. We’d save that cycle for when you have really mucky pots and pans or long-dried dirty dishes.
The Baby Care programme is going to be rather household specific, and we were short of a test baby. The Extra wash has wider appeal, though. We cleaned the wire shelves and several baking trays using the extra room with ease. Again, energy and water use were up there with the Intensive wash. Thankfully, this isn’t a cycle you’re likely to very often.
The 27T94 lacks the breadth of speciality programmes of some of its competitors and its options list is very basic. Yet, given the great wash results and ridiculous low running costs of its Eco cycle, it’s a superb everyday dishwasher.
Indesit DFP 27T94 Z UK – How much will it cost to run?
The last A++ dishwasher we tested used 1.3kWh of electricity and 10 litres of water for a full load Eco wash. This Indesit managed the same load, cleaned well, using just 1kWh and an average of 7 litres of water. That’s mighty impressive.
Our annual test calculation is based on a family that does 250 dishwashing cycles, split half on Eco and half on Auto for more heavily soiled loads. Given the 27T94’s excellent Eco programme results, we’d be inclined to use that programme every day.
There would also be little point in running half loads, since it doesn’t save you anything. So it’s best to wait for the dirty dishes to build up and run 250 full loads.
That would use 250kWh of electricity per year and a stupendously low 1750 litres of water. At 15p per kWh, that would be £37.50 in electricity and just £6.15 in water if you were billed at £3.50 per cubic metre supply and waste. The total running cost is therefore less than £45 per annum plus any Intensive, Extra or Baby Care loads.
For our two-person, two-dog household (and, yes, we tried the dog bowls on the Baby Care programme…), we barely run the dishwasher twice a week. That would see the total running costs more than halved. With dishwasher running costs that low, standing at the sink with your Marigolds on could become a thing of the past.
Why buy the Indesit DFP 27T94 Z UK?
Indesit’s DFP 27T94 Z UK is basic in style and features but won us over with great cleaning and super-low running costs. It’s simple to load and operate, did well in our stain tests and dried effectively. The full-height Extra cycle is genuinely useful, and those with smaller family members will benefit from the anti-bacterial Baby Care wash.
While full-load Eco running costs were exemplary, selecting Half Load Eco made no difference – and other programmes ramped up the costs significantly.
Given the superb wash results and impressively low energy and water consumption on the Eco cycle, Indesit’s DFP 27T94 Z UK is an excellent everyday dishwasher.
Basic dishwashing features and simple operation meet great wash results and low running costs for the Eco wash.