The 6 Best Countertop Dishwashers

Updated June 11, 2018 by Quincy Miller

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you don't have much space in your kitchen, but you're tired of spending your evenings cleaning up after meals, then these countertop dishwashers will be of great interest. You'll likely have to rinse your plates off before running them through these mini-machines, but they'll still save you hours of your life compared to hand washing — and they're portable to boot, so great for RVs and cabins. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best countertop dishwasher on Amazon.

6. SPT SD-2224DS

The SPT SD-2224DS filters and reuses the water several times per cycle, making it ideal for the environmentally-conscious, or for anyone looking to save a few bucks on their utility bill. The LED monitor is very informative and easy to read as well.
  • can hold some pots and pans
  • great option for mobile homes
  • obnoxiously small cup rack
Brand SPT
Model SD-2224DS
Weight 61.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Danby DDW621WDB

The Danby DDW621WDB has a built-in heater to help steam your dishes clean, as well as ensuring that they usually come out dry when the cycle's finished. It's Energy Star compliant to boot, so having warm, dry plates won't leave you with an empty wallet.
  • rapid-wash option
  • easy to install
  • does not show countdown time
Brand Danby
Model DDW621WDB
Weight 59 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Magic Chef MCSCD6W3

The Magic Chef MCSCD6W3 has foldable tines built into its rack, which allow for easier loading and unloading. A flow meter sensor monitors water usage and protects against flooding, so you can turn it on and leave for the day without coming home to a small man-made lake.
  • easy-to-clean filter
  • five wash cycle options
  • holds large plates at an angle
Brand Magic Chef
Model MCSCD6W3
Weight 74 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Edgestar DWP62SV

The Edgestar DWP62SV boasts a variety of cycle lengths, so whether you need a quick rinse or a thorough cleansing, it can get the job done. It's fairly quiet while running as well, so you can enjoy some after-dinner conversation without having to shout at each other.
  • works well on baby bottles
  • child lock prevents accidents
  • good at cutting through grease
Brand EdgeStar
Model DWP61ES
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Koldfront PDW60EW

The Koldfront PDW60EW has a five-foot hose that connects to the faucet of your kitchen sink, giving you a range of placement options. It stands a touch over seventeen inches tall, ensuring it should fit in most cabinets in case you get tired of looking at it.
  • no installation required
  • includes a cutlery basket
  • doesn't require much detergent
Brand Koldfront
Model PDW60EW
Weight 52.5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. SPT SD-2202S

The SPT SD-2202S can hold up to 6 full place settings at a time, making it a great choice for families living in small homes or for the singleton who wants to be able to go for nearly a complete week without doing any dishes.
  • uses very little electricity
  • delayed-start feature
  • 6 different cycle options
Brand SPT
Model SD-2202S
Weight 64.6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Dishwashing Made Easy

Assuming you spend between 10 or 15 minutes hand washing the dishes each night, that means you will spend an average of around 75 hours per year doing the dishes. That's more than three entire days spent scrubbing away at plates, forks, bowls, and all the rest of it. Over the course of the average adult lifetime, that works out to be more than half a year spent washing dishes.

And that's assuming you only need 10 or 15 minutes, which is rather efficient cleaning for the cookware and place settings associated with the average family meal. Learning how to more efficiently clean the dishes means many hours back in your life each year. Here are a few tips to speed things along their way:

Start With The Cleanest Dishes - When it's time to do the dishes, save those greasy, food-encrusted pots and pans for last, first washing those nearly spotless water glasses and salad plates. Cleaning cleaner dishes first keeps your sponge and sink cleaner; cleaning greasy dishes of pots first can make other dishes even dirtier than the already are and eats up for time and effort.

Use Cold Water On Certain Stains, Foods - If you're trying to remove bits of rice or pasta, use cold water, as hot water will make them stickier. Milk, butter, and yogurt are also better cleaned with cold water than hot.

When In Doubt, Soak - Your time will be better spent submerging a dirty pot now and scrubbing at it for three minutes in an hour than scouring and screaming at it for ten minutes now. Let warm water and soap slowly soften and break up congealed messes.

And of course there's always your greatest ally in the kitchen: the dishwasher.

Choosing The Right Countertop Dishwasher

More often than not, a person considering the purchase of a countertop dishwasher lives in a home with a smaller kitchen. A higher-end countertop dishwasher costs an average of $300, while many good quality standard sized built-in dishwashers cost little more, often priced below $400. So in this category, it's usually the case that adequate space is more of an issue than cost. However, keep in mind that in your small kitchen, the countertop real estate you sacrifice when you get a countertop dishwasher might be sorely missed. Are you sure you are willing to give up room on the counter to save ten or fifteen minutes cleaning dishes each night?

And if the answer is yes, that's certainly a fine answer -- remember that 75 hour statistic from earlier.

The standard height between a countertop and the upper level of kitchen cabinetry is 18 inches, thus the reason most countertop dishwashers stand just 17 inches tall. Take a moment to measure your kitchen to make sure it is designed according to these specs, but chances are that any standard countertop dishwasher will fit under your cabinets with ease.

Almost every countertop dishwasher on the market can accommodate all the flatware and cutlery associated with four place setting, and many can handle the dishes of six settings. You'll pay a bit more up front for the added capacity, but the energy and water used aren't much different, so consider that as you weigh your options.

Some units are more energy efficient, but these options tend to be less thorough and their standard cycles often run long. And keep in mind that most countertop dishwashers do not have a drying cycle; if this is important to you, it's going to narrow your search. Otherwise, just get a towel or two ready.

Countertop Dishwasher Use And Maintenance

It might seem counter-intuitive, but the fewer dishes you can put into your countertop dishwasher, the more dishes the unit will successfully clean. If you believe the wisdom that even full-sized dishwashers aren't "miracle workers" and should not be overloaded, this holds even truer with smaller countertop dishwashers. Load them, but don't jam in a single plate, mug, bowl or spoon more than can fit with ease. In order to do its job well, a countertop dishwasher needs to be able to spread soap and water over every square inch of the flatware and cutlery within itself; overloading makes this impossible.

As far as the countertop dishwasher setup process, it will last all of a minute or two. Just place the unit on a level surface (like a countertop) and make sure both of its hoses are securely connected to its back. The outlet hose (AKA drain hose) must be lowered into a sink or a large container. The inlet hose will easily connect to most kitchen sink faucets. Once the hoses are securely in place, turn on the water, plug in the dishwasher, and punch in the wash cycle you need, using soap as specified by your machine's manual. That's that.

Here's some additional food for thought: if space is indeed at a premium, a countertop dishwasher doesn't have to go on the countertop at all. You can purchase extended hoses and tuck the unit away under the sink, under a table, or anywhere else you can allow for adequate drainage, you can reach a water source, and you can connect it to an outlet. And you can always just put the unit away between uses.

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Last updated on June 11, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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