When your dishwasher’s broken and you’re moving apartments soon, with no response from the super, you may be in a weirdly specific situation that I am coincidentally also faced with as of this writing. When I found out countertop dishwashers exist, however, my initial reaction was that of intrigue; finally, an option we can take with us to the next place (that may not have a dishwasher itself) without paying an appliance specialist to repair our old GE Potscrubber dating back to the early aughts. But when I asked our readers for your thoughts on the best countertop dishwashers, reactions were mixed.
While most of our readers suggested I wash the dishes by hand, keep in mind I work 10-12 hours a day writing and editing this nonsense, go for long-distance runs in the evening, and by the time I eat dinner, it’s already 8 PM. Somewhere in there, I need some time to chill. And manually washing dishes is not my idea of leisure. Since I’d rather be playing video games than scouring dishes for that half an hour, and because free time is scarce in my household, I do consider a dishwasher essential. A more valid recommendation came from Avorial, a rolling dishwasher they claim is a safer bet than the countertop kind.
I know this is not “counter top” but have you ever thought about a “rolling” dishwasher?
It’s a normal sized one with a butcher block on top, you roll it in an out when you do dishes, and the rest of the time it’s like a small island.
They are much more reliable [than] countertops as they are basically a normal dishwasher on wheels. It’s what I have used in all the apartments I have had.
A few more commenters chimed in to agree:
I second this. I had one (Frigidaire, maybe?) around twenty years ago when I bought my first house and the tiny kitchen couldn’t accommodate a full size dishwasher. It worked surprisingly well, and being able to roll it around was nice.
Still, in my search for the best countertop dishwashers around, some of you came through with answers to my original question, and for that I am grateful.
Danby DDW621WDB | $230
I bought a Danby DDW621WDB a couple of years ago, which I plumbed in, because what is the point of a convenience appliance that is inconvenient? It is a dream. It is very quiet, except for the completed cycle indicator, which isn’t great if you want to start the dishwasher when you go to bed (usually I still don’t hear it). Does a good job reliably. I would like to figure out a way in which to install the dishwasher under the counter, but I am not up to reconfiguring the cabinets, YET. It is small but want that bit of countertop real estate back at some point. I purchased from [Best Buy]. - Critifur
Farberware FDW05ASBWHA | $318
I got a Farberware FDW05ASBWHA [complete portable countertop dishwasher] on sale for less than $200 and it was worth it. I got a sink attachment to divert water from the faucet, but you don’t have to do that; you can just pour the water directly into the Dishwasher. It works great, has a surprising amount of capacity, and it only uses 5L of water (1.3 gallons).
I got it partially for the convenience, but mostly because of the water use. Handwashing uses something like 8 to 27 gallons of water, depending on how you do it; I felt bad that I was using so much water. Even when I’d conserve water, I’d still end up using at least 4 gallons (half of my sink with water), then another gallon or 2 with the rinse. So, I started realizing that even when I was conserving water, cooking 3 meals a day at home meant I was using somewhere between 18+ gallons of water a day just for dishwashing.
I don’t have to pay for my water or anything. I just think it’s important to conserve water and to be as ecofriendly as you can be on an individual basis.
I like this one because it’s compact and also works pretty fast. It’s not very quiet, but it doesn’t take up much space and it does the job well. - effdot
Farberware FSW05ASWWHC | $310
It’s the same as the Farberware in the article, just a little simpler and much cheaper. It has [three] cycle options instead of [five] and no glass front, but costs [two thirds] as much. It has been the best thing I’ve bought in the pandemic and makes me so happy to have! It cleans really well. It doesn’t require sink hookups to work, giving it a lot more flexibility than most portable dishwashers. It fits tall plates and has a smartly organized rack. I got it for $230  months ago.
EdgeStar DWP62BL | $269
I’ve had an EdgeStar DWP62BL for about a year now and I’ve been so pleased with it that I’m tempted to actually write an Amazon review (lol fat chance, but still).
I’m in a situation where I can’t actually use the faucet attachment (which seems fairly well-built) with my faucet, so instead I’ve swapped in a tee adapter to the hot water line under the sink and connected the water input to that using a standard dishwasher connection kit. I actually set it up with valves and quick disconnect couplers (like you’d have on a pressure washer or you’d use for homebrewing equipment) so that I can disconnect that and roll up most of the braided hose under the sink if desired, but most of the time I just leave it connected with the cabinet open. My point is: big plus that it’s got standard port sizes in the back of the unit.
Beyond the (custom) setup, I’ve had zero problems/complications with it. It works just like your normal-sized dishwasher, but drains into your sink. It’s not much louder than a regular dishwasher and I’ve had it going on in the background while watching TV a few feet away. Seems to get everything as clean as I need it to, though I do try to wash off any big chunks or stuck on stuff as I don’t want to test its limits.
My only complaint—and its super minor–is that it doesn’t fit my large plates very well. Now, these are some fairly wide diameter Pottery Barn plates (like PB White something-or-others), so this may not affect everybody and I am able to fit some of them with some effort, but they don’t feel as secure in the rack as I’d like. So, just calling that out—double check your widest plates, I guess.
That said, probably the best purchase I’ve made since moving to my current place, and definitely worth it. Price isn’t bad compared to others, either.