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Best Overall: Whirlpool Heavy-Duty Portable Dishwasher at Lowe’s
"Can hold up to 12 place settings – the most of almost any portable dishwasher on the market."
Best Budget: Danby DDW1801MWP Portable Dishwasher at Amazon
"Its small size contributes to its efficient use of energy and water, adding to the budget-friendly factor."
Best Countertop Model: SPT Countertop Dishwasher at Amazon
"Well-loved by just about everyone who has purchased it and put it through its paces."
Best Convertible: GE Convertible Portable Dishwasher at Home Depot
"Use it as a portable dishwasher now, and install it later if you have a kitchen remodel on the horizon."
Best Stainless Steel: SPT SD-9241SS, 18-Inch at Amazon
"Will blend into your kitchen while working hard on your dishes."
If you’re tired of sudsy hands, soggy towels and soapy sponges, you need to invest in a portable dishwasher. These small but mighty units are solving dish dilemmas in kitchens everywhere and can do the same in yours! Before choosing a new portable dishwasher, you’ll first need to determine how much space you have available. There are slim models that measure less than 18 inches wide, larger units that are 24 inches across and hold up to 12 place settings, and countertop versions that fit under most cabinetry. Next, identify the features and functions that are most important to you. Choose from hard-food disposers, self-cleaning filters, heated wash and dry cycles, and stainless-steel exteriors and interiors. While the number of models available for portable dishwashers is more limited than that for their built-in counterparts, there are still plenty of options to choose from.
Here are our top picks for the best portable dishwashers to help you throw in the towel and resign from dishwashing duty.
Best Overall: Whirlpool Heavy-Duty Portable Dishwasher
For a portable dishwasher that leaves little to be desired, choose this heavy-duty model from appliance giant Whirlpool.
Our selection for the best overall portable dishwasher offers plenty of places to put your plates, glasses, silverware and more. In fact, this 24-inch-wide dishwasher features a "tall tub" design and can hold up to 12 place settings – the most of almost any portable dishwasher on the market. Whether you are a frequent entertainer or have a large family, this model will offer you the room you need to wash your dishes quickly and efficiently.
The Whirlpool Heavy Duty Portable Dishwasher also has a good selection of cycles, including a 1-hour quick cycle for cleaning up in a hurry. A soil sensor allows the machine to adjust the Normal cycle automatically, helping to ensure that the load comes out clean and doesn’t need rewashing.
The machine also includes a Heavy cycle for the toughest dish duty, as well as high-temperature wash and heated dry options. The heated dry is of special note, since not many portable dishwashers are equipped with an onboard heater. At 64 decibels, this model is on par with the noise level of most larger portable dishwashers. It’s not particularly quiet, but it isn’t any louder than similarly sized units. The many features and functions of the Whirlpool Heavy Duty Dishwasher make it a clear choice for best overall portable dishwasher.
Best Budget: Danby DDW1801MWP Portable Dishwasher
If you’re looking for the best portable dishwasher on a budget, the Danby DDW1801MWP is a popular choice.
Manufactured for some years now, the latest model of this compact Danby dishwasher measures 17.7 inches across but manages to accommodate up to eight place settings – at least according to the manufacturer. Real-life users say it seems to hold less but is sufficiently sized for one or two people. Its small size contributes to its efficient use of energy and water, adding to the budget-friendly factor of this particular model.
One thing you’ll need to consider if you are interested in this budget portable dishwasher is the fact that the power cord is only 5 feet long, and the water hose is just 3 feet long. This means you’ll need to have an outlet located close to your sink, or you may have difficulty hooking the machine up to both power and water. Also, some users find that the dishes are very wet at the end of the cycle. To cope with this, it’s recommended that you open the door at the end of the cycle to let steam escape. Still, for a portable dishwasher that won’t take up much space in your kitchen or budget, the Danby DDW1801MWP Portable Dishwasher is a good choice.
Best Countertop Model: SPT Countertop Dishwasher
If the footprint of your kitchen won’t accommodate a portable dishwasher on wheels, try a countertop version like this model available from SPT.
This countertop dishwasher is just over 17 inches tall and can easily fit under most cabinets. Despite its low profile, it will hold up to six place settings. Of course, it goes without saying that while larger plates will fit, smaller items are a better match for the configuration of this compact dishwasher. Even with the small size, this unit has inspired reviews that include an "appliance love story" as well as regrets about not buying it sooner. It is well-loved by just about everyone who has purchased it and put it through its paces.
One of the best things about this countertop dishwasher is the addition of an internal water heater. This feature, plus its stainless steel interior, helps to clean dishes more effectively. And if you’re looking to minimize the noise from a portable dishwasher, this countertop version is rated at only 55 decibels.
A countertop dishwasher is a great choice if you have small loads of dishes to wash on a regular basis or no space for a portable dishwasher on wheels. If you choose the SPT Countertop Dishwasher, you’ll enjoy the convenience of having your dishes and silverware washed and ready for you with just the turn of a dial.
Best Convertible: GE Convertible Portable Dishwasher
If you’re looking for the best of both worlds when it comes to a dishwasher, choose a convertible portable dishwasher. The GE version is our favorite pick and is available in both black and white.
The GE Convertible Portable Dishwasher can be used as a freestanding portable unit or can be installed as a built-in dishwasher with the purchase of a separate installation kit. This offers flexibility: Use it as a portable dishwasher now, and install it later if you have a kitchen remodel on the horizon.
This convertible unit features a hard-food disposer, a unique feature in portable dishwashers. The hard-food disposer grinds up larger food debris and makes sure that it gets washed away during the cycle, leaving you with cleaner dishes and a cleaner machine. However, a hard-food disposer can result in additional noise during the cycle.
This 24-inch-wide dishwasher has space for up to 12 place settings. It also can accommodate pots and pans and has a special cycle for this purpose. Other options include heated dry and a high-temperature wash option. Users find it to be efficient in cleaning and easy to hook up when used as a portable dishwasher.
Best Stainless Steel: SPT SD-9241SS Portable Dishwasher, 18-Inch
If you’re looking for a stainless steel portable dishwasher, look to the sleek and shiny SPT 18-inch dishwasher.
This portable dishwasher will go anywhere (in your kitchen) while looking great. Featuring a shiny stainless steel door and interior, combined with a simple black touchpad control panel, this unit will blend into your kitchen while working hard on your dishes. The SPT portable dishwasher has six wash cycles and includes a time delay of anywhere from 1 to 24 hours.
The SPT portable dishwasher earns praise for its easy hookup and its quiet operation. However, you may want to rinse items thoroughly to make sure that dishes come out perfectly clean. One other thing to note is that this unit does not have an option for heated drying, so you may need to crack the door open and let the load air-dry. In any case, this stainless steel portable dishwasher gets your dishes done in style!