Save money and space with the best portable dishwashers

·8 min read

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Portable dishwasher that we can use anywhere
Portable dishwasher that we can use anywhere

Some house chores can be a bit fun at times, but doing the dishes isn’t one of them. This is why dishwashers are a blessing that everyone deserves. Unfortunately, traditional full-sized dishwashers take up too much space for many kitchens, not to mention their high cost. Wouldn't it be great if dishwashers were smaller and cheaper while maintaining similar levels of performance? Well, you're in luck because the leading portable dishwashers of 2022 are just that.

These portable dishwashers are the perfect choice for folks with mobile homes, limited kitchen space or a tight budget. Their smaller size makes them ideal for college dorms and other shared living spaces as well. But these mini dishwashers still provide the same performance as regular dishwashers.

Top Picks

Best overall: Homelabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher

Simply load the dishes in the dish basket and cutlery rack and let this white dishwasher do the dirty job
Simply load the dishes in the dish basket and cutlery rack and let this white dishwasher do the dirty job

The Homelabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher blurs the line between portable dishwashers and full-sized ones. It’s small enough to easily fit between the kitchen counter and top cabinets. Despite its size, the features and performance of this dishwasher are more akin to something twice as big. Its sleek exterior is perfectly contrasted with a spacious interior that can easily clean a single day's load for most average households. Using this dishwasher is also made thanks to dedicated physical buttons and a smart light-up display. It's this ideal combo of industry-leading performance, comfort features, and modern design that makes this portable dishwasher the top pick on our list.

Key Features:

  • Fully white exterior color scheme

  • Six pre-programmed unique wash cycles

  • Dimensions: 7.2 x 19.6 x 21.6 inches

  • Six standard place settings capacity

  • Energy star-certified machine

Compact design: Kapas Portable Countertop Dishwasher

The convenient dishwasher can fit a variety of dishes (up to 12-inches in diameter at an angle) and is ideal for small households
The convenient dishwasher can fit a variety of dishes (up to 12-inches in diameter at an angle) and is ideal for small households

Small size is one of the biggest reasons to buy a portable dishwasher, and the countertop model from Kapas delivers on this flawlessly. Of course, being small doesn't mean anything without acceptable performance, and this mini dishwasher doesn't disappoint on that front either. Its 360° water outlets combined with powerful washing modes ensure the perfect removal of cooking grease from plates and pans alike. The best feature of this dishwasher, however, is its built-in water tank that enables a complete wash cycle without having to worry about an active water connection.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 17.5 inches

  • White exterior with transparent window upfront

  • Five liters built-in water tank

  • 75°F heating capabilities

  • Five normal washing programs

Large capacity: BLACK+DECKER Compact Countertop Dishwasher

With this incredible BLACK+DECKER portable dishwasher, you find the right wash cycle that works for you and your dishes
With this incredible BLACK+DECKER portable dishwasher, you find the right wash cycle that works for you and your dishes

Need a small dishwasher with a large capacity? Look no further than this portable dishwasher from Black+Decker. This option can fit up to six place settings with an impressive upper size limit of 10 inches. It has room for everything from pots and plates to mugs and cutlery. Plus, the wheeled rack comes out and makes loading/unloading quick and efficient. Capacity isn't the only impressive attribute of this dishwasher either, owing to its exceptional cleaning power, variety of wash cycles, and smart water pressure.

Key Features:

  • Seven unique wash cycle presets

  • White and black color scheme

  • Dimensions: 21.5 x 21.7 x 17.2 inches

  • Comes with a 59-inch inlet hose

  • Efficient electricity usage with Energy Star certification

Most powerful: NOVETE Portable Countertop Dishwasher

The automatic water level indicator lets you know when the correct water level has been reached
The automatic water level indicator lets you know when the correct water level has been reached

One downside of most portable dishwashers is their lacking performance compared to full-sized options. This countertop dishwasher from NOVETE shatters this notion and offers ultimate cleaning performance in an extremely compact package. The star of the show here are the 14 water ports that can output high-pressure water for over 35 minutes — providing thorough 360° cleaning to every last dish. You can also just leave your dishes inside the washer after cleaning, thanks to its hot air drying ventilated storage that prevents odor or drying stains.

Key Features:

  • Holds four full place settings

  • Includes a built-in five letters tank

  • 60 minutes of hot air drying option

  • Maximum dish height of 12 inches

  • Dimensions: 16.9 x 16.8 x 18.1 inches

Premium construction: EdgeStar Portable Countertop Dishwasher

Includes dish rack, cup shelf, and cutlery basket
Includes dish rack, cup shelf, and cutlery basket

The Edgestar Portable Countertop Dishwasher is the ideal option if budget is not a concern and you simply want the most well-built portable dishwasher on the market. Everything from its stainless steel exterior to heavy-duty electronics is expected to last years or even a decade without causing any issues. A complete lack of fragile materials like glass is also a major factor in this dishwasher's long lifespan. Even the cleaning performance is some of the best on the market with its heated water and variety of wash cycle options.

Key Features:

  • Silver stainless steel exterior color

  • Holds plates up to 10.5-inch diameter

  • Comes with a one-year warranty

  • Near silent 52dB operation

  • Energy Star certification for efficiency

Buyer’s guide for finding a portable dishwasher

Among the various kitchen appliances, dishwashers are some of the most difficult ones to purchase. There are so many specifications and technical terms that can quickly end up making the whole process confusing. Buying a dishwasher becomes even more complex once you consider the smaller size of portable dishwashers and the factors that come with it. Luckily, most of these confusing specifications can be bypassed if you know what you're looking for.

Here's a complete guide on cutting through the technical jargon and finding a portable dishwasher that best suits your home.

Dishwasher capacity

The capacity of a dishwasher is one of the most important factors to consider before making a purchase. The loading limit of dishwashing machines is labeled in a unit known as place settings. Smaller portable dishwashers can fit anywhere between four and six place settings, slimline dishwashers can fit up to 10 place settings and the larger full-sized models go as high as 16 place settings. But, what do place settings mean?

An easy way to understand dishwasher capacity is to multiply the place settings number by 10. The resulting number roughly represents the number of items that a specific dishwasher can hold and clean efficiently. So, a mini dishwasher with four place settings capacity will be able to fit 40 individual items.
Remember that this number is just an estimate, however, and a large chunk of it is dedicated to smaller stuff like spoons, forks, knives, glasses, and cups. So, don't expect to put 60 plates in a six-place dishwasher.

Maximum height

A sub-factor of capacity to keep in mind is the maximum viable height. This is often represented by the diameter of the largest plate that can fit comfortably. Most portable dishwashers have a height limit of around 10 inches with only a few going up to 12 inches.

Cleaning performance

Cleaning performance is the next critical factor to consider as it will determine your long-term experience with the machine. What you need to know about portable dishwashers is that their performance should not be worse than full-sized options. These are the features that define this attribute.

  • Number of water ports: Ports are the spraying hoses inside the dishwasher. Now, having more ports doesn't mean better cleaning performance per dish. But, a large number of water ports will ensure thorough cleanup of everything inside the dishwasher from all angles. A decent number of water ports for mini dishwashers is somewhere between 10 and 14. A dishwasher with fewer than 10 ports might leave some areas uncleaned.

  • Water pressure duration: Water pressure is directly connected to dish cleanliness after each cycle. Some higher pressure equals better cleaning. But remember that pressure duration matters just as much. So, look for portable dishwashers that can apply high-pressure cleaning for at least 30 minutes or preferably even more.

  • Drying features: You might not think of drying features as a part of the cleaning process. But, dishes left to dry on their own will lead to water stains and noticeable odor — negating the point of washing them in the first palace. This makes hot air drying functionality a must-have for any dishwasher to be worth your hard-earned money.

Construction material

The only optimal material for quality portable dishwashers is stainless steel. It is extremely durable and equally resistant to rust and corrosion. Stainless steel is also super easy to clean and maintain. Quality plastic exteriors are acceptable to some extent, but the interior must be stainless steel.

Cost

The price tag of dishwashers can vary drastically between options depending on their size, manufacturer and additional features. A good sweet spot for portable dishwashers is between $300 and $400. You will find tons of ultra-high quality options in this range, with only a handful of uber premium options going closer to the $500 mark.

People also asked

Q: Can I hook up a portable dishwasher permanently?

A: Yes, you can. Any portable dishwasher can be hooked up permanently to a faucet, drain, and power outlet. Just make sure that the dishwasher is sitting on a smooth and level surface that can safely hold its weight.

Q: Can I use cold water in a portable dishwasher?

A: No, you shouldn’t use cold water. Portable dishwashers, just like full-sized dishwashers, require at least 120°F water to function properly. Any colder and the dishes might not be cleaned perfectly.

Q: Can I put a countertop dishwasher on the floor?

A: Yes, you can put your countertop portable dishwasher on the floor. But, it is recommended to keep it in an elevated palace so you can load and unload the dishes with ease and the draining process works as intended.