Portable Dishwashers: Choosing the Perfect Companion for Your Kitchen

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Written By Matthew Sullivan
Portable Dishwashers

There’s a revolutionary kitchen trend on the rise, and it’s all about maximizing efficiency without sacrificing space. Gone are the days when the only option for dishwashing was the bulky, built-in units or the time-consuming task of hand washing. This guide dives deep into the world of the best portable used dishwashers, giving you a detailed overview to help make your purchase decision an informed one. So, let’s dive in!

What are Portable Dishwashers?

Portable dishwashers are standalone units that can be moved around, typically on wheels. They are larger than countertop models but offer the mobility that built-in models don’t.

Key Features:

  1. Mobility: Comes with wheels for easy movement.

  2. Size: They are often as tall as regular built-in dishwashers.

  3. Capacity: Typically, they can accommodate up to 8-12 place settings.

  4. Connection: Uses a faucet adapter to connect to a kitchen faucet. This means they can be rolled to the sink for use and away for storage.


  • Flexibility: Can be moved out of the way when not in use, freeing up space.

  • Higher Capacity: Can wash more dishes compared to countertop models.

  • Variety of Cycles: Offers multiple wash cycles similar to built-in models.

Portable dishwashers

What You Should Know Before Buying a Portable Dishwasher?

When it comes to investing in a portable dishwasher, there’s more to consider than just its size and portability. From understanding its capacity to its energy efficiency, and even how it fits with your kitchen aesthetics, making an informed decision can make a world of difference in your overall satisfaction. Dive into our comprehensive dishwasher buying guide to gain insights on the key features, benefits, and potential pitfalls of purchasing a portable dishwasher. Ensure that your choice not only saves you time and effort in the kitchen but also provides the best value for your money.

1. Size and Dimensions

  • Space Constraints: Measure the area where you intend to place the dishwasher. Make sure to account for extra space for hoses or connections.

  • Capacity: While portable and countertop dishwashers are compact, their internal capacity can vary. Decide how many place settings you’ll typically need to clean.

2. Connection and Installation

  • Faucet Compatibility: Not all kitchen faucets are compatible with portable or countertop dishwashers. Ensure your faucet can work with the dishwasher’s adaptor.

  • Drainage: Some models might require being placed close to the sink for drainage, while others might have a built-in system.

3. Efficiency

  • Water and Energy: Check for Energy Star ratings or similar certifications that signify the appliance is energy and water-efficient.

  • Wash Cycles: The more wash cycles available, the more flexibility you’ll have. Look for options like eco-mode or half-load for added efficiency.

4. Noise Level

  • Decibels (dB): Portable and countertop dishwashers can vary in noise production. Check the decibel rating—anything below 50 dB is relatively quiet.

5. Material and Durability

  • Stainless Steel vs. Plastic Tub: Stainless steel interiors tend to retain heat better, aiding in drying dishes. They’re also more durable and stain-resistant than plastic.

6. Features and Settings

  • Dry Cycle: Some portable models might not have a drying cycle. If this feature is important to you, ensure your chosen model includes it.

  • Delayed Start: This allows you to run the dishwasher at a later time, which can be particularly useful if you want to take advantage of off-peak energy hours.

7. Price and Warranty

  • Budget: Prices can vary significantly based on features, brand, and capacity. Set a budget, but be flexible enough to ensure you’re getting the quality and features you need.

  • Warranty: As with any appliance, it’s reassuring to have a good warranty in place. Check the duration and what’s covered.

8. User Reviews

  • Real Experience: Before making a purchase, read through user reviews. They provide valuable insights into performance, longevity, and potential issues.

9. Maintenance

  • Cleaning: Some models might have self-cleaning, while others will require manual cleaning. Understand the maintenance needs to keep your dishwasher in top condition.

  • Replacement Parts: Consider how easy it is to find replacement parts like hoses or faucet adaptors. This ensures a longer lifespan for your appliance.

10. Portability Features

  • Wheels: If you’re considering a portable model (not a countertop one), see if it has wheels. This makes it easier to move and store.

  • Handles: Sturdy handles can also make a difference when it comes to moving the unit.

6 Best Portable Dishwashers

1. EdgeStar DWP62SV Portable Countertop Dishwasher

Efficient Water Use: Consumes under 3 gallons less water per normal cycle, offering savings compared to hand-washing.

Compact Design: At roughly 24 inch portable, 22 inches wide and under 18 inches high, it seamlessly fits under most standard kitchen cabinets.

Eco-friendly: Energy Star-certified, ensuring reduced energy and water consumption.

Quiet Performance: Operates at a relatively silent 52 decibels.

Detailed Overview:

For those seeking an affordable dishwasher without compromising on functionality, the EdgeStar Countertop Dishwasher stands out. As a countertop model, it occupies a compact space but efficiently handles dishwashing chores.

While it costs just a few hundred dollars upfront, the long-term savings are notable due to its minimal water and electricity usage. Michelle Hobgood, a renowned personal organizer and TV show host, emphasizes the importance of choosing appliances with high Energy Star ratings.

They not only conserve energy and water but also deliver optimal performance. With the EdgeStar dishwasher, users can expect to utilize less than 3 gallons of water for a full regular dishwasher cycle. This efficiency is especially commendable when compared to hand-washing dishes, which can consume at least 5 gallons.

EdgeStar DWP62SV Portable Countertop Dishwasher

2. SPT SD-9263SSA 18” Stainless Steel Portable Dishwasher:

Compact & Mobile: Its design, combined with four caster wheels, ensures easy movement and storage.

Energy Efficiency: Comes with an Energy Star certification, ensuring reduced power consumption.

Easy Setup: The quick-connect hose simplifies the process dry setting up, allowing for prompt use without hassles.

Space-Saving Dimensions: Its 18-inch width is optimal for tighter spaces, compared to floor space, to the standard 22 to 24-inch models.

Detailed Overview:

Opting for a portable dishwasher often stems from the desire for an appliance that doesn’t demand installation or significant plumbing work. The SPT SD-9263SSA caters to this need and goes a step further, offering enhanced mobility with its four caster wheels. This design means you’re not just buying a dishwasher; you’re investing in convenience.

Its more compact 18-inch design is what sets it apart. Where most dishwashers might eat up space with widths of 22 to 24 inches, this model’s reduced footprint ensures it snugly fits even in smaller kitchens. When it’s not working its dish-cleaning magic, you can easily roll it into a storage space or corner.

SPT SD-9263SSA 18 in. Stainless Steel Portable Dishwasher

3. Farberware FDW05ASBWHA Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher

Larger Plate Capacity: Accommodates plates up to 12 inches, giving you a bit more flexibility than other models.

Steam Clean Option: Ideal for sanitizing items like baby bottles or glass or other kitchenware that needs a deeper clean.

Efficient Drying System: The air exchange function promotes quicker drying, reducing the need for towel drying post-wash.

Detailed Overview:

For those seeking flexibility in their countertop dishwashing experience, the Farberware FDW05ASBWHA stands out with its built-in water tank. This feature eliminates the need for a direct water hose connection every time you need to hand wash dishes, making it a unique choice for settings where a sink might not be readily accessible, such as during camping trips. Used water can be conveniently discharged into a sink, utility tub, or even a bucket post-cycle.

Farberware FDW05ASBWHA Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher

4. GE GPT145SSLSS 18-inch Portable Dishwasher:

Sanitize with Confidence: Integrated sanitizing cycle for a deeper, germ-free cleanse.

Whisper-Quiet Operation: Ensures peaceful kitchen ambience while it works.

Sophisticated Design: A stainless steel finish paired with a modern design elevates kitchen aesthetics.

Detailed Overview:

Optimizing space without compromising functionality is the hallmark of the GE GPT145SSLSS. It’s an especially attractive option for those with constrained kitchen spaces, such as apartment dwellers, condo owners, or anyone weary of manual dishwashing.

Measuring a mere 18 inches by 24 inch in width, this GE model liberates your kitchen counter space by being 6 inches slimmer than the average full-size portable dishwasher. But don’t let its size fool you; it’s robust in its dish holding capacity. It comfortably houses eight place settings and features a flexible top rack to accommodate diverse dish sizes.

GE GPT145SSLSS 18-inch Portable Dishwasher

5. COMFEE’ Mini Countertop Dishwashers:

Intuitive Interface: LED display complemented with touch controls for seamless operation.

Space-Efficient: Designed to snugly fit under the counter space of majority of kitchen cabinets.

Hassle-Free Set-up: Equipped with quick-connect hoses for easy and repeatable setups.

Eco-Conscious: Proudly boasting its Energy Star certification, ensuring eco-friendly operation.

Detailed Overview:

The COMFEE’ Compact Countertop Dishwasher redefines what one might expect from a countertop dishwasher. Despite its compact size, it doesn’t compromise on functionality, comfortably fitting up to six place settings per load. One key thing to note, however, is its preference for dishes that are 10 inches or less in diameter.

Its operational noise is whisper-soft, humming at a subtle 50 decibels, which is even quieter than many of its counterparts. Aesthetically, its stainless steel finish ensures that it enhances rather than detracts from your kitchen’s décor. Weighing just slightly over 42 pounds, it’s more of a set-and-forget appliance rather than something you’d want to move around daily. If mobility is your preference, you might want to consider portable options with wheels.

COMFEE' Portable Mini Dishwasher Countertop

6. BLACK+DECKER Compact Countertop Dishwasher:

Sleek Design: Its contemporary exterior gives your kitchen a modern touch.

Efficient Controls: Navigate effortlessly through the seven wash cycles via its LCD control panel.

Drying Feature: Comes with a coveted heated dry option, ensuring no manual drying post-wash.

Compact Yet Capacious: Despite its petite form, it can accommodate six place settings, making it an efficient alternative to manual dishwashing.

Eco-Friendly: Proudly Energy Star-certified, it ensures your dishes and the environment are both taken care of.

Deeper Dive:

The BLACK+DECKER Compact Countertop Dishwasher doesn’t merely stand out for its elegant design. It’s the functional features that truly win the day. For instance, the heated dry function, a rarity in many countertop versions, eliminates any post-wash hassles of drying.

Given its countertop nature, the sink might be preoccupied while it operates. However, the rapid 90-minute wash ensures your kitchen gets back to its routine swiftly.

Its stainless steel tub, complemented by upper and lower spray arms, offers a comprehensive wash. But a heads-up: dishes with tenacious grime might need a pre-rinse for the best outcomes. In terms of capacity full size dishwasher, while it generously holds six place settings, it’s optimal for plates 10 inches or smaller in diameter.

Black & Decker BCD6W

FAQs About Portable Dishwasher

Q: What Are the Differences Between Portable and Countertop Dishwashers?

A: the best Portable dishwashers and countertop dishwashers are both alternatives to built-in models, designed primarily for those who have space constraints or live in rentals.
Portable Dishwashers: These are usually standalone units equipped with wheels, allowing them to be rolled away when not in use. They are connected to the sink via a hose and faucet adapter. Their capacity is generally greater than countertop models, sometimes nearly matching that of standard built-ins.
Countertop Dishwashers: These are compact units that sit directly on top of a kitchen counter. They also connect to the sink using a hose. Their small size makes them perfect for single individuals, couples, or those living in tight spaces like studio apartments. However, their capacity is limited, usually accommodating up to six place settings.

Q: How Do You Attach a Portable Dishwasher?

A: A portable dishwasher is designed for easy attachment and detachment. Typically, they come with a special adapter that fits onto your kitchen faucet. The dishwasher’s hose connects to this adapter. When you’re ready to run a cycle, you simply turn on the faucet, and the dishwasher draws water directly from it. Once the cycle is done, the wastewater is expelled back into the sink through the same hose.

Q: How Wide Is a Dishwasher?

A: The width of a dishwasher can vary:
Standard built-in dishwashers are typically around 24 inches wide.
Compact or portable dishwashers often measure approximately 18 inches in width.
Countertop models are usually smaller in width, often ranging from 16 to 22 inches.

Q: How Long Do Dishwashers Last?

A: The lifespan of a dishwasher depends on its build quality, brand, frequency of use, and maintenance. Generally, dishwashers last between 7 to 12 years. Regular cleaning, proper loading, and timely repairs can prolong their life.

Q: How Much Water Does a Dishwasher Use?

A: Water usage varies by model and wash cycle. However, modern dishwashers are designed to be water-efficient. A typical modern dishwasher uses about 3 to 5 gallons of water per cycle. This is significantly less than the 20+ gallons one might use when hand-washing dishes in a sink.

Q: How do portable dishwashers work?

A: Portable dishwashers function similarly to built-in units. They utilize an internal pump to spray hot water and detergent onto the dishes. Rotating arms distribute water evenly, and a drainage system expels dirty water. The main difference lies in their setup and mobility, and removal. Instead of being permanently installed and connected to a water line, they hook up to a faucet and can be moved around as needed.

Q: How do you hook up a portable dishwasher?

A: Hooking up a portable dishwasher is a simple process:
Connect the faucet adapter to your kitchen faucet.
Attach the dishwasher’s hose to the adapter.
Once everything is securely connected, turn on the faucet, and the dishwasher will draw water for its wash cycle.

Q: How much water does a portable dishwasher use?

A: Portable dishwashers are designed to be efficient. On average, they use between 3 to 6 gallons of water per cycle, depending on the selected wash cycle and model. This is often much less water than what one might use washing dishes by hand.

Q: How many dishes can a portable dishwasher clean?

A: The capacity of regular dishwashers depends on the model. Most portable dishwashers can handle up to 8 place settings. This typically includes dinner plates, glasses, bowls, cutlery, and some larger dishes like pots or pans.

Q: How do portable dishwashers drain?

A: Portable dishwashers usually drain through the same hose they use to fill. Once a wash cycle completes, the unit activates its pump, pushing the wastewater back through the hose and into the sink.

Q: Are portable dishwashers good?

A: Absolutely. While they may lack some features found in high-end built-in models, affordable portable dishwashers offer solid cleaning performance. They’re especially valuable for those in rental homes or with kitchens not equipped for built-in units.

Q: Do you need plumbing for a portable dishwasher?

A: No specialized plumbing is required. Portable dishwashers are designed to hook up directly to standard kitchen faucets via an adapter.

Q: Where do portable dishwashers drain?

A: They typically drain back into the kitchen sink via the connected hose.

Q: Are countertop dishwashers worth it?

A: For those with space constraints or a limited budget, countertop dishwashers are a valuable investment. They provide the convenience cleaning performance of a dishwasher without the need for installation or a significant investment. While they have a smaller capacity, they are efficient and perfect for smaller households.

Q: Do you need to shut off water to install a dishwasher?

Yes, shutting off the back water supply line is essential when installing or removing a dishwasher. This prevents water from flowing and causing leaks during the process.


In conclusion, both portable and countertop dishwashers offer a flexible solution to those with space constraints or those in temporary living situations. Their design allows for easy installation, easy removing without the need for dedicated plumbing making them ideal for renters or those in smaller homes. Despite their compact size, these appliances are efficient in both water usage and cleaning capabilities. Whether choosing a portable or countertop model, users can experience the convenience of automated dishwashing, proving that you don’t need a large, built-in unit to get high-quality results.