Those of us without the luxury of a dishwasher have long thought we would be resigned to countless hours and calloused hands from constantly hand-washing our dishes. Fortunately, the portable dishwasher is a solution for those in small spaces or those who may otherwise not be able to have a standard model.
If you’re in the market for a portable dishwasher, HellaWella has scoured the Web to find the best of the best.*
Maytag Jetclean Plus — $629.10, Home Depot
Earning nearly five stars on HomeDepot.com, the Mayag Jetclean Plus features a touch-pad control system, stain-resistant tub and a tested, long-lasting motor.
Some of the more positive reviews from HomeDepot.com include:
“We like the style of the machine (control knobs, ease of use and the end product, clean dishes) The machine is quiet and thorough in producing a clean end product, and it would be easy to recommend this dishwasher. We are completely satisfied with our purchase and hope for many years of service.”
“I don't usually write reviews but I spent weeks looking for a good portable dishwasher to use while waiting a couple years to remodel my kitchen. I finally settled on the Maytag JetClean Plus after doing quite a bit of research. Recognize before you buy a portable dishwasher that they're far from perfect (as are most built-ins). This model for instance cleans great, is relatively quiet, but will warm a room if you do a hot wash cycle. Otherwise, I don't heavily prewash my dishes but I have yet to have problems with cleaning or spotting. The unit is sturdy and seems to be well-built. I've been really happy with this purchase, and I think this is a great unit.”
“I like this machine. It cleans great and does not leave residue. I do not like the fact that is can run for two or more hours. It does not dry real well, but when I unplug it, I just crack the door a bit and it will finish by air-drying.”
The Maytag model also has the distinction of being considered the best overall portable dishwasher by Bestcovery.com, a product review site.
SPT Countertop Dishwasher — $275, Amazon.com
Earning four stars on Amazon.com, the SPT Countertop Dishwasher measures just 17.24 inches, making it ideal for small spaces. The dishwasher will load up to six standard place settings and easily connects to any kitchen faucet, according to the product description.
Some of the more positive reviews from Amazon.com include:
“This dishwasher is absolutely wonderful. [It] was easy to set up (except be sure to push the washer arm down into place — mine had come out in shipping despite being very well packaged, no biggie). I can't believe how many dishes fit and get washed so thoroughly in this little thing! It does a perfect job of washing dishes. The hose goes on and off the faucet with ease in two seconds using their supplied adaptor.”
“As for cleaning a large load of dishes, this dishwasher does an outstanding job! Does it hold up to six place settings? Everybody’s dishes are different, and it holds about four and then some for me. For those of you who are wondering if this washer drains the water by gravity or it is pumped out, I believe it is pumped out, but I could not find any documentation on this. Very easy to hook up to your kitchen faucet. Does a great job drying the dishes.”
“I have been browsing portable dishwashers for quite some time and debating whether or not it would be worth the investment. Thankfully I trusted the reviews here and gave this countertop dishwasher a try. It was definitely worth every penny. The heavy duty wash takes quite a while, but my dishes come out sparkling. I wanted to put the dishwasher to the test so I put a small beat-up pot of mine in it. The dishwasher did such a good job with my pot that it took off most of the scorching on the bottom. I had a full-size dishwasher a while back that couldn't do that.”
Kenmore 24” portable dishwasher — $699.99, Sears.com
The Kenmore model earned 4.5 stars on Sears.com. The model boasts a high-temp wash option and pots and pans cycle for heavy-duty cleaning. It even comes with a butcher-block laminate top to provide added counter space.
Some of the more positive reviews from Sears.com include :
“I accompanied my dad to purchase his first dishwasher, and this Kenmore 24 portable dishwasher was the right fit. It was very easy for my dad to use and it fit right into the color scheme of his kitchen.”
“We were in desperate need of a dishwasher but without the ability to install a built-in dishwater. I was wary of a portable dishwasher because of an experience of a friend. This dishwasher is perfect. It cleans great, [is] relatively quiet and [is] so easy to install. Is it expensive, [but] yes, it is worth it every penny!”
Danby 8-place Setting Energy Star Portable Dishwasher — $349, Walmart.com
Earning just over four stars on Walmart.com, this 18-inch model features built-in casters for easier maneuverability. Other features include an automatic detergent dispenser, a built-in water softener system and six wash cycles.
Some of the more positive reviews on Walmart.com include:
“There is plenty of room to wash dishes, utensils, pots and pans, cutting boards, any large or small items. There is no center rising sprayer so you can utilize the whole lower rack. There is a spray wash arm under the bottom rack as well as the top rack. They both spin in different directions. This, coupled with the sprayer on the very top of the machine, does an excellent job of cleaning and rinsing anything you put in. Very quiet operation. I expected it to be much louder since it isn't surrounded by cabinets and a counter. But I was stunned to find out that it is very quiet.”
“I have owned Danby Products before and have never been disappointed. This is a well-built machine at a great price. It does have a long cycle, but I've never had a built-in so I don't really have much to compare it to other than doing by hand. The Normal Wash setting runs about 2.5 hours from start to finish. But it is very quiet compared to what I have heard in friend's homes. I live in a small home and my bedroom is right next to the kitchen. “
“This dishwasher is an absolute gem. It is about [three-fourths the] size of a regular dishwasher. It works like a dream, and I can fit lots and lots of dishes, pots and pans inside.”
GE 24.25-inch Portable Dishwasher — $699, Lowes.com
The GE model earned five stars on Lowes.com and features a steam prewash system, dedicated silverware jets and technology that adjusts water and cycle times based on the need of each cycle.
Some of the more positive reviews from Lowes.com include:
“This portable dishwasher is a nice feature to the kitchen, easy to roll around [and] easy to use. [It] has a large interior, plenty of room for dishes [and] runs very quietly. I like that you do not have to use the heat element. I just roll it back when finished and crack the door for the steam to escape. Saves on electric and they dry quickly. The surface is even with the counter top, which makes its appearance less noticeable.
“This product is very quiet and super-fast in the normal wash mode. This model also has the steam (prewash), which works great for hard-to-remove food; also, the sanitize feature is great on this machine. Heated drying and delayed hours are available on this unit. All in all, this GE appliance is a good value for its price, and surpasses most of its competition in portable dishwashers.
Now that you’ve checked out our choices for portable dishwashers, you may still be wondering if they are worth the investment.
According to Energy Star, the answer is yes. Using an Energy Star-qualified machine over hand-washing can save you more than $40 per year on your utility bills. On top of that, you can spend less time scrubbing, rinsing and drying each dish and more time doing things you actually enjoy (unless you have fun washing dishes, in which case have at it).
Then there is the environmental benefit of using a dishwasher. Though it might not seem like it, using an efficient dishwasher uses less than half the energy of hand-washing and saves nearly 5,000 gallons of water a year.
*Prices and availability may vary.