When you’re living in a dorm room, apartment or other shared space where full-sized dishwashers just won’t work it can be tough to keep up with your dishes and kitchen items. While there is no way to bring home the convenience of having a standard dishwasher installed at home, there are many hand-operated portable dishwashers that may do the trick for you.
Will you need a portable dishwasher?
If so, how often will it be used? These questions should help you determine which unit is best for you. The following guide provides answers to frequently asked questions about dishwashers as well as other tips on selecting the right one for your home.
What is a Portable Dishwasher?
A portable dishwasher is designed specifically for use in recreational vehicles, boats, or campers. It is small enough to fit into tight spaces while still providing adequate washing power for dishes and flatware. Many models are designed to be easily rolled on board while others can be permanently mounted in place.
What are the Advantages of Owning a Portable Dishwasher?
Portable dishwashers provide several advantages over standard units found in homes across America. If you spend long periods of time away from home on vacation or business trips, this appliance can save you time by allowing you to bring along your own supply of clean dishes instead of buying new ones every day. Since portable dishwashers produce less noise than full-sized units, they can be used in areas where space is at a premium, such as small campsites and boat cabins. They can be easily stored when not in use and require less energy to operate than standard dishwashers, making them a good choice for those who have smaller power supplies available on board.
What are the Different Types of Portable Dishwashers?
There are two types of portable dishwasher units: those designed to be permanently mounted in place and others that can be rolled from one location to another. Permanently installed units typically have a larger capacity since they do not have space constraints, but moving models may be more convenient if you work or travel frequently.
There are several different styles of portable dishwashers available depending on your specific needs. Some units allow you to connect a garden hose directly to the sink faucet to create the water supply, while others have a built-in reservoir that is filled with fresh or saltwater. You can even find models that use gray water and waste water from sinks and showers for their reservoirs!
What Features Should I Look For in a Portable Dishwasher?
When shopping for the best portable dishwasher to suit your needs, there are several features you should look out for:
High-efficiency spray arms – Many portable dishwashers do not have enough power to remove dried food particles from dishes and utensils if they remain on the surface after washing. To prevent this problem, you will want to choose a model that has powerful spray arms with multiple jets designed to thoroughly rinse all items placed inside it.
Lower water temperature – To save energy, some portable dishwashers use cold or hot water to help remove grime. This can affect the performance of standard dishwasher detergents that are designed for hot water washing. If you are using a lower temperature model, make sure you select a phosphate-free brand designed for cold washes.
Adjustable tines – You may want to choose a portable dishwasher with adjustable tines instead of fixed ones if you often cook large dishes or casseroles inside your RV or boat. The ability to adjust the height of the rack will allow you to accommodate larger items without sacrificing space elsewhere.
Dish racks – Some models come with folding dish racks that allow them to hold more items than those with stationary racks.
Partial or full height door – Sometimes called a telescopic door, this feature allows the user to open the dishwasher only partway for loading and unloading instead of opening it completely like most other models.
High power drain pump – You will need to use a higher powered drain pump if you plan on using your portable dishwasher in an area where there is little water pressure available, such as far out at sea.
Adjustable leveling legs – If you are installing your dishwashing unit permanently inside your RV or boat, adjustable leveling legs can be used to compensate for uneven surfaces. What are the Differences Between Standard Dishwashers and Portable Models? There are several significant differences between standard dishwashers and portable versions:
Standard dishwashers are typically made with stainless steel and do not have a reservoir. This makes them more difficult to transport, but they require far less maintenance than portable units.
Standard units can hold up to 14 place settings at one time, making them larger and more powerful than most portable versions.
Standard dishwashers usually do not need their reservoirs filled before use—just plug them in and start the cycle. Many portable models, on the other hand, require the user to add water manually before beginning a wash cycle.
Top Portable & Small Dishwashers
Bosch SPX68U55UC 18-in 800 Series Dishwasher
- Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories
EdgeStar BIDW1802SS 18-in Dishwasher
- Accommodates up to eight (8) place settings and features a silverware basket and cup tray
- Six (6) Wash Cycles: Heavy, Normal, ECO, Glass, Rapid, and Rinse; Three (3) Options: Sanitize, Hi Temp, Heated Dry
- At only 17.75 inches wide, using this unit to replace an older appliance such as a trash compactor is a great option.
- Leakage sensor automatically shuts off water flow when a leak is detected to protect your home from water damage
- Quiet 52dB operation keeps the disturbance to a minimum; Dimensions 32.5" H x 17.6" W x 22.4" D; Depth w/ door open: 42.25"; Cutout dimensions: 32.5" H x 17.75" W x 23" D Weight: 52.9 lbs
EdgeStar DWP62SV Countertop Dishwasher
- Six (6) standard place setting capacity / Includes dish rack, cup shelf, and cutlery basket
- Holds plates up to 10.5" in diameter / Seven (7) wash cycles / Quick connect adapter fits standard sized kitchen faucets / Beautiful digital display
- Stainless steel interior / Fits under most cabinetry / Water consumption (normal wash): 2.85 gallons
- Power: 1160 W/5.7 A / Input voltage: 120 V/60 Hz / Noise level: 52.3dB; Warranty: 1 year parts; 90 days labor / Dimensions: WxDxH 21 5/8" (550mm) x 19 5/8" (498mm) x 17 5/16" (440mm)
- PLEASE NOTE: Do not use hand dish detergent, detergent pods, or tabs. This will cause the dishwasher to overflow
Magic Chef Energy Star MCSCD6W5 Countertop Dishwasher
- 6 Place Settings, 6 Programs
- Electronic Controls with Digital Display, Detergent and Rinse Aid Dispenser
- Up to 24H Delay Start, EZ Clean Removable Filter
- Stainless Steel Interior, Residual Drying System
- Indicator Lights, Inlet and Outlet Hoses with Quick Connect Adapter
SPT SD-2225DS Countertop Dishwasher
- 6 wash cycles: Heavy, normal, ECO, Glass, Speed and Rinse
- Delay start for added convenience : Two, four, six or eight hours
- Universal faucet adapter and Quick Connect: For quick and easy connection to most kitchen faucets
- Electronic controls with LED display : LED displays remaining time or current running state
- Water supply warning indicator and rinse aid warning indicator
Portable Dishwasher Buying Guide
The criteria we’ve used to come up with our rankings for this best portable dishwashers list is as follows:
Ease of Use – For such a simple device, having one that requires several hours worth of scrubbing and elbow grease will make you loathe its existence.
Portability – A good portable dishwasher should be easy enough to move around and out of the way when not in use. If it can’t be folded up and stored away when you’re not using it, then that’s a mark against it.
Capacity – Who wants to spend all afternoon standing next to a dishwasher just to get their dishes done? A good portable dishwashers should hold enough plates, pots and pans for a meal or two at least.
Design – Given that your dishwasher will most likely spent time tucked away under your counter or elsewhere, its design is worth mentioning here. It should be simple enough to put together without too much hassle and equally easy to take apart after use so it can be stored easily.