Study after study has proven that hand washing is the least efficient way to clean dishes. Hand washing isn’t just a waste of time, it’s also a huge waste of water. But not all kitchens have the plumbing—or the space—to install a full-sized dishwasher.
If you’re sick of hand washing but can’t remodel, we’ve got the solution: a portable dishwasher. Just snap it onto your kitchen sink’s faucet when you need to use it, then wheel it away to a corner or closet when you’re done. Some even come with built-in counter space on top. Just be forewarned: If your kitchen faucet lacks a removable aerator, you may have some issues with installation.
There are also small, countertop dishwashers that can only fit a few place settings. If that’s good enough for you, we’re fans of the $230 Sunpentown SD-2201W. But we think most consumers would benefit from something larger—the models we chose to highlight here are all designed to wash full loads of dishes.
Without question, the SPT SD-9241W is the clear winner. For about $475, you get an 18” portable that turns out spotless dishes in just under two hours. In our tests, it sprayed away stains that stymie many full-size dishwashers, and even has a stainless steel interior for quieter washing. User reviews don’t signal reliability issues, either, although some find it hard to fit odd-shaped dishes in the racks.
With a simple interface and six cycles to choose from, the SPT is a snap to use and surprisingly versatile. As long as you don’t mind drying some spots of water off plasticware—the SPT has no heated dry option—this is as good as portable dishwashers get.
The 18” Kenmore 14652 comes in an incredibly close second. Our tests showed a nearly perfect clean and great debris filtration, and the stainless interior is a nice touch. You also get a China Delicate cycle for fragile dishes and a Quick Rinse for fast touch-ups. User reviews report a high level of satisfaction with the machine.
With all these pros in its favor, you might wonder why this Kenmore isn’t the winner.
In a word? Price. Selling for $630 at Sears, the 14652 is more expensive than many full-sized dishwashers. Again, we can’t praise this Kenmore enough, but spending an extra $150 up front over the SPT makes it tough to justify the cost. If you can find it on sale, though, don’t hesitate. Read Our Review