Whether you’re putting together a meal in a tiny apartment, an RV, or an older home without a built-in dishwasher, portable dishwashers can help clean up your messes so you barely have to lift a finger. This appliance is a total time-saver, keeps the eczema on your hands at bay, and allows you to kick up your feet after cooking a pasta dinner.
Portable dishwashers offer a more compact footprint – some even fit on the countertop – and a plumber-free installation. They’re ideal for smaller households that don’t produce a full load of dishes, and they also usually cost much less than traditional machines.
The best portable dishwasher for your home depends on the number of people living in the home, how often you wash dishes, and the space available for a dishwasher. We’ve gathered all the factors to consider in this guide, so keep reading. But first look at some of the best portable dishwashers, selected for product efficacy and overall value.
5 Best Portable Dishwashers of 2021:
There are very few boxes this stainless steel portable dishwasher doesn’t check off. It’s sleek, powerful, and relatively quiet since it runs at 54 decibels, which is low enough to have a conversation over. The most notable feature this machine has is its sanitize setting, that’ll eliminate those nasty germs that inevitably linger on your dishes. This setting ensures your flatware is remarkably clean, and is one of three wash and dry options you can choose from.
The delay start setting gives you the option to run your portable dishwasher at a later time, and the high-temperature wash setting ensures you can run a cycle that’s powerful and fast-acting. Like a built-in dishwasher, this portable machine also has a hard food disposer and filter, which will ease any worries about your dishes coming out clean. Its interior can fit up to 12 place settings comfortably, and there is an adjustable top rack for when you want to sneak in a pot or two. Overall, it’s the full package for those looking for functionality and quality.
- Hard food disposer
- Sanitize setting
- Adjustable top rack
- On the expensive side
- Doesn’t always dry dishes well
Out of all of the countertop dishwashers we tested, the Danby DDW631SDB had the best cleaning performance. While we noticed spinach redeposit on some of the dishes, the DDW631SDB’s stain removal was comparable (or better than) some of the full-size dishwashers we’ve tested. The Normal cycle time clocked in at about 100 minutes, which was similar to cycle times we saw on other countertop dishwashers.
We also liked that this Danby had eight cycles to choose from: Heavy, Normal, BabyCare, Eco, Glass, Speed, Rinse, and Mini Party. (We guess you can only have a mini party with a mini dishwasher?) With an extra drying option, a digital display, and a sleek-looking exterior, the Danby DDW631SDB is the best choice for a dishwasher that takes up a minimal amount of counter space that’s capable of getting job done right, the first time.
- Has comparable cleaning to a full-size dishwasher
- Plenty of cycle options
- Has issues with spinach redeposit
Our next choice for the best portable dishwasher is SPT energy star portable dishwasher. The SPT is an amazing dishwasher that every small kitchen needs or maybe even a big kitchen. This one comes with a large 8 place setting capacity. It’s a standing portable type dishwasher that would be ideal for you if you find countertop type portable dishwasher smaller. Since it’s a standing portable dishwasher, it comes to switch four caster wheels.
There are six wash settings to choose from, so it won’t be a problem if you are looking for a good enough portable dishwasher that can wash the dishes as per the requirements. You can also delay start for up to 24 hours. The stainless steel interior is another one of the perks as it becomes more durable and sturdy. It also features a faucet attachment as well. The dishwasher would remind you if they are low on liquid. It features a 52dB noise level and weighs 118 pounds. If you are looking for a standing portable dishwasher then it should be your first pick.
- Has an Energy Star rating
- Operates quietly
- Has a stainless steel tub
- Have to refill the rinse aid
- Can take a while to complete a cycle
Whirlpool is an iconic brand when it comes to kitchen appliances, and with models like the Front Control Heavy-Duty Portable Dishwasher (model # WDP370PAHB), it’s easy to see why.
Featuring three different wash cycles (including a handy one-hour cycle for those times where you need to get things quickly washed) and two drying options, the Whirlpool also has a soil sensor as well. Put them all together, and you have a very flexible portable dishwasher that should meet all of your needs.
It’s a 24” dishwasher, so that affords extra capacity for up to 12 place settings with two racks plus two sets of spray arms. No need to concern yourself with the noisy operation – at 55 dba it is right below the level of normal conversation.
The black finish with attractive wood top blends well with any kitchen, and the supplied casters make portability a breeze.
Other features include a delay option so you can have it cycle at your convenience, a control lock option for safety and preventing unintended use, and an electronic touchpad for controls that adds to the sleek and modern appearance.
- Three wash cycles (including one-hour)
- Large capacity for 12 place settings
- Attractive black and wood visual design
- Electronic touchpad
- Silverware basket could be taller
- Wheels do not lock in place
If you are searching for the best ECO-Friendly Portable dishwasher, then EdgeStar DSWP62SV is the ideal option for you. This is also perfect as an apartment size dishwasher that it can be portable to anywhere.
This DWP62SV model can handle six standard place settings that making this dishwasher wonderful for small families or couples. It’s fully loaded with features and other programs such as seven wash cycles, quick connect adapter, outstanding digital display, stainless steel interior, water consumption, and more.
Another amazing feature that makes customers fall for is that it includes dish rack, cup shelf, and cutlery basket. All these features are solid proof that it becomes ultimate for any kind of kitchen faucet. On top, all these features and functions at this price should be a striker and make it the best portable dishwasher.
To reduce water spotting on dishes, the product comes up with a built-in rinse agent dispenser and also at the time, an internal water heater and heavy wash cycle, by enhancing water temperature up to 149 degrees Fahrenheit to eliminate bacteria and germs. Last but not least, it saves your money in the way of consuming water and energy as it only takes 200 kilowatts per hour in a year.
- It comes with 7 wash cycles
- Money and Water consuming
- Easy to install and quick release
- Highly suggested product by customers
- Some model parts seems to be cheap
- Some customers are not happy with the plate sizes and amount
Portable Dishwashers Buying Guide
Nobody loves to wash dishes by hand. But, if you live in a small apartment, have a summer home, or travel frequently in an RV, you probably assume that standing and washing dishes is the only way you can get them done because of the space and expensive plumbing and renovations a built-in dishwasher require. Or, maybe you have an outdoor kitchen and wish the dishes could get clean while you enjoy spending time with your guests and family after a delicious backyard dinner.
- Design: Freestanding portable dishwashers usually have wheels, allowing you to easily move them out of the way when they are not being used. They are most often constructed from plastic, although some feature stainless steel exteriors or interiors, which can improve their overall appearance and durability.
- Capacity: The majority of portable dishwashers can hold six to eight place settings, although some of the larger models can hold up to 12 place settings. Aim for a higher capacity if you have a larger family or tend to go through dishes frequently.
- Size: Portable dishwashers tend to be on the compact side. The majority of models are around 18 inches in width, with larger machines topping out around 24 inches. A longer width allows you to not only fit more dishes in the dishwasher but also larger pots and pans.
- Setup: Setting up a portable dishwasher should be fairly simple. Right out of the box, you will probably need to install the wheels on a rolling model, and that should largely be it.
Who Should Get Portable Dishwasher
If you can install a dishwasher, do so. (We have a buying guide for those, too.) Over time, permanent dishwashers require less effort than rolling around a 120-pound machine before every wash cycle.
But sometimes a traditional built-in dishwasher is out of the question. Older, smaller kitchens don’t always have the right layout. Maybe you rent your home and the landlord won’t pay to have a dishwasher installed.
Portable dishwashers are an alternative to built-in units. They’re on wheels, so they can roll in and out of storage as needed, and rather than using a dedicated water line, they hook up to a faucet and drain into the sink below. (You may also need an attachment for your faucet for the hose to fit properly.) Most models are 18 inches wide, though there are a few standard 24-inch models out there. Apart from those differences, they work like a regular built-in dishwasher.
TIPS of Using Portable Dishwashers
- Some portable dishwashers feature a soil sensor, which will adjust the wash cycle automatically to account for more food particles on the dishes.
- The dry cycle of a portable dishwasher will likely be more effective if the machine’s interior is constructed from stainless steel.
- If you have a kitchen remodel in your future, consider purchasing a convertible portable dishwasher. These can be used either as a freestanding machine or as a built-in dishwasher (you will need an additional installation kit).
- While not standard, a hard food disposal element will grind up larger chunks of food so they can be flushed out of the dishwasher. This will keep debris from building up in the filter, but it can also result in a louder-running machine.
- A countertop dishwasher uses around two gallons of water, while a freestanding model uses about three. Because of the larger capacities of freestanding models, they tend to be a more efficient choice in terms of water usage.
- If your kitchen sink has a built-in sprayer head for a faucet, you may run into some problems hooking up your portable dishwasher.
- Before hooking up the hose and running a dishwasher load, run your sink’s tap until the water is hot. This will help detergent to dissolve and leave your dishes cleaner overall.
- You should regularly clean a portable dishwasher’s filter. While doing so, also inspect the sprayer arms to verify that they spin fully and that the holes in them are not blocked in any way.