Countertop Review  View Dishwasher Models >>

What is a countertop dishwasher?

Simply, a countertop dishwasher (sometimes called a portable countertop dishwasher) is a dishwasher that sits on your countertop. Generally, these units are substantially smaller than "normal" dishwashers, both in exterior dimensions and interior capacity. They have a drain hose that can drain to your sink drain and a quick connect adapter to accept water from standard sink faucets.

Why should I get a countertop dishwasher?

Countertop dishwashers are great for situations where you need a dishwasher, but you cannot fit a built-in or portable dishwasher- and you have a little counter space to spare. Also, if you have a small family that has trouble filling a full-size dishwasher, a countertop dishwasher may be just the ticket.

Does a countertop dishwasher produce different results than a normal dishwasher?

Countertop dishwashers usually clean just as well as full-size models. I you are interested in the best cleaning performance you can get, invest in a model with two spray arms. The models with two spray arms spray water at the dishes from the top and the bottom of the machine. This criss-crossing of water jets will clean better than models that only use a single spray arm.

As you might expect, countertop dishwashers uses less water and detergent than their full-sized rivals, and countertop dishwashers often have significantly shorter cycle times. However, most models of countertop dishwasher on the market lack a true dry cycle.

Can I install my countertop dishwasher permanently?

Some models of countertop dishwasher can be installed permanently, but no models are specifically designed for permanent installation. If a model can be installed permanently, you may have to alter the unit and do some custom installation. If you go this route please be aware that you may be voiding the countertop dishwasher's warranty.

Can I put this unit under my sink, draining to my garbage disposal?

Most countertop dishwashers can but put under a sink, to drain to the garbage disposal. However, make sure the unit you buy comes with an internal pump to expel the drainage water high enough to drain into the garbage disposal.

What factors should I consider when shopping for a countertop dishwasher?

  • Your dimensions- make a careful note of the exact dimensions you can use to accommodate a countertop dishwasher. Take special note of the distance between the top of your counter and the bottom of your cabinet.
  • Two spray arms or one- two spray arms will clean better, but one spray arm models are generally less expensive. Please note that one spray arm models will clean well enough to remove all but the most stubborn, dried/caked on debris.
  • Capacity- Most models of countertop dishwasher will accept up to 4 place settings. Some models will accept up to 8 place settings. Do you need the extra capacity?
  • The interior composition- countertop dishwashers with stainless steel interiors will be more durable and should last longer than models with plastic interiors.
  • Dry cycle- If it is important to you to have a dry cycle, look for a model that includes this feature.
  • Pump- if the water draining out of the countertop dishwasher needs to go above the level of the countertop dishwasher (as it would if you placed the unit below the level of the drain,) you need a model with a pump
  • Water heater- most countertop dishwashers come with water heaters of varying power. Those countertop dishwashers that have water heaters also usually have two or more settings to vary the power of the heater.
  • Cycle time- Countertop dishwashers generally have shorter cycles than full size dishwashers, but the cycle times may vary from countertop dishwasher to countertop dishwasher.
  • Number of different cycles- Different models of countertop dishwasher vary in their number of cycles
  • Energy and water efficiency- check the water and energy usage of the countertop dishwashers to find one that meets your needs.
  • Ability to be built-in- if you need to build a countertop dishwasher in, make sure to get a model that can be used in this manner

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