The 6 Best Countertop Dishwashers
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in March of 2015. 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 selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best countertop dishwasher on Amazon.
Dishwashing Made Easy
Learning how to more efficiently clean the dishes means many hours back in your life each year.
Let warm water and soap slowly soften and break up congealed messes.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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