At a Glance:
Contrary to what many believe, washing dishes by hand wastes more water than doing dishes in a dishwasher, no matter how many dishes you’re washing. That’s a major incentive, but not every home can afford to install a dishwasher in the kitchen. But there is another alternative: a portable dishwasher.
Portable dishwashers require no cabinet cutouts, run off your already existing kitchen plumbing, and can be put away when not in use. They’re truly convenient, but before you get sold on one of these appliances, we want to present you with a few major takeaways that come with these dishwashers. Follow along as we take a look into portable dishwashers, from sizes to prices to the best brands on the market. Then, preview four portable dishwasher reviews that give you an idea of what to expect from these space-saving appliances.
In ordinary kitchens, a dishwasher is built into cabinetry and connected to an existing water line and power supply. However, not all kitchens have the space or proper setup for a dishwasher, but portable dishwashers can solve that dilemma.
Unlike built-in models, portable dishwashers don’t require a permanent connection to a power source or water supply, or need to be installed to work. Instead, portable dishwashing machines connect to a kitchen faucet and drain in a sink, and once a load is done washing, they can be disconnected and stored away.
These appliances are practical solutions for dish care in a kitchen with limited space, but they do come with a few tradeoffs. The most obvious is capacity. On average, you can expect eight place settings inside a portable dishwashing machine versus up to 16 place settings on a built-in model. Place setting is usually determined by the size of a portable dishwasher:
- 18” portable dishwashers are the slimmest option and typically provide eight place settings.
- 22” portable dishwashers are less common and provide anywhere between six to eight place settings.
- 24” portable dishwashers are as wide as built-in models and provide up to 12 place settings.
Portable dishwashers are also more simple than conventional dishwashers with fewer features and more basic cleaning performance. You’ll still get a decent wash out of these appliances, but don’t expect advanced wash features or new tech upgrades — just straightforward dish care.
Explore Portable Dishwasher Solutions
Despite the size difference, portable dishwashers are pretty comparable in price to built-in dishwashers in entry-level to mid-end categories. However, you will save on installation and plumbing costs if you don’t already have a dishwasher in your kitchen, meaning portable dishwashing machines can be an affordable alternative for some buyers.
When you shop at Don’s Appliances, you can find great deals on portable dishwashers priced between $430 and $1,000.
Here are four reasons portable dishwashing machines are great solutions for dish care when a built-in dishwasher isn’t a possibility.
1. You Have a Small Kitchen
The last thing a tight kitchen needs is to lose more cabinet space with an additional appliance. Installing a full-size dishwasher in a small kitchen also runs the risk of clearance issues between the dishwasher door and nearby cabinets. A small portable dishwasher, on the other hand, can be stored in a pantry or on a countertop to maximize kitchen workflow.
2. You Live in an Apartment
Sometimes, the problem isn’t space but installation. Case in point, an apartment and similar living situations where tenants aren’t allowed to install appliances. Purchasing a portable dishwasher is a smart solution because there’s no plumbing or electrical necessary, and you get to take your appliance with you after moving.
3. You’re Doing a Kitchen Renovation
Kitchen remodels are on the rise, but before you plan on doing a makeover, plan wisely! Instead of being forced to wash dishes by hand in another sink, upgrade to a portable dishwasher to enjoy automatic dish cleaning even during your renovation.
4. You Want a Supplemental Dishwasher
Whether it’s an outdoor kitchen or you simply want another place to wash extra items along with your main dinnerware, a portable dishwasher is a great way to do so without breaking the bank.
Before diving into our picks for the best portable dishwashers on the market, let’s take a look at the brands behind our selections.
Danby Portable Dishwashers
Danby specializes in small appliances, making them one of the best appliance brands to consider for all your compact kitchen needs. Dishwashers from Danby come with six to eight place settings — enough for single or coupled households — and run at noise levels between 52 to 54 decibels. Danby portable dishwashers are recognized for their energy efficiency, using just over three gallons of water per load.
Danby Portable Dishwasher Prices: $500 to $900
Whirlpool Portable Dishwashers
Whirlpool is known for its affordable appliances designed for family households. Portable dishwashers from Whirlpool are great for buyers looking for a performance close to built-in dishwashing machines and with nearly the same capacity. Whirlpool dishwashers also feature a few upgrades, including soil sensors and heated drying. Models measure 24” wide and have 12 place settings.
Whirlpool Portable Dishwasher Price: $1,000
GE Portable Dishwashers
For one of the most advanced portable dishwasher lineups on the market, we recommend GE. These dishwashing appliances offer great features like a three-level wash system, GE’s Piranha Hard Food Disposer, an Autosense cycle, and stainless steel tubs. There’s even an optional Wi-Fi compatibility GE offers that can be paired with these dishwashers. Models from this lineup provide eight to 12 place settings.
GE Portable Dishwasher Price: $650 to $950
Even portable dishwashers come in a variety of styles. Here are four different types of portable dishwashers we recommend if you’re searching for dish care for your limited kitchen.
Best Portable Dishwasher with Butcher Block Top: Whirlpool® 24" Portable Dishwasher
Whirlpool WDP370PAHW Dishwasher Reviews
This convenient dishwasher packs a lot of performance into an appliance that is completely mobile on moveable caster wheels. This portable dishwasher uses soil sensors to provide a custom wash to achieve the best results. Other great features include a 1-Hour Wash Cycle, 12 place settings, and a butcher block surface that doubles as a cutting surface or counter space.
Verified buyer review from Carolyn: “I love my portable dishwasher.”
Best Portable Dishwasher on Wheels: Danby® 18" White Portable Dishwasher
If you have dish care needs for one or two, this 18” dishwasher makes after-dinner cleanup simple. Eight place settings and an adjustable upper rack provide loading flexibility, while a quick connect faucet adapter works with most spouts for easy setup. This compact dishwasher not only saves space, but money too, thanks to its ENERGY STAR certified performance that uses just 3.5 gallons of water per wash.
Verified buyer review from Poodleluve: “amazing how many dishes it holds.”
Best Stainless Steel Portable Dishwasher: GE® 18" Stainless Steel Portable Dishwasher
If style is important to you, this GE stainless steel portable dishwasher is worth considering. It features a pocket handle with top controls for a modern presentation that is sleek and sophisticated. Plus, it comes with many of the same features you’d find on GE built-in dishwashers. Highlights include an Autosense Cycle that monitors soil levels to deliver the best wash, a Piranha Hard Food Disposer for speck-free dishes, and a Sanitize option for dishes that are truly clean.
Verified buyer review from Joebern: “head and shoulders above our previous portable dishwasher.”
Best Portable Countertop Dishwasher: Danby® 22" Stainless Steel Countertop Dishwasher
All you need is 22” of countertop space to enjoy this Danby portable dishwasher. Its setup comes with six place settings, eight wash cycles, and an eco-friendly wash system that uses just 3.1 gallons of water. For extra flexibility, this portable dishwasher can be programmed to delay two to eight hours, giving you the option to run the dishes on your time.
Verified buyer review from Kaila: “gets my dishes really clean.”
Portable dishwashers aren’t just great for kitchens. You can also use these appliances in RVs, dorms, or office spaces to enjoy easy and efficient dish care with minimal work. The main idea is to consider your lifestyle. If you have a large family, a 24” portable dishwasher is probably your best option, while an 18” model is great if you have smaller dish care needs. The good news is Don’s Appliances is here to help you find the perfect solution. Start your search for portable dishwashers from Don’s Appliances for the best prices on the best dishwasher brands in Milwaukee.
When it comes to portable dishwashers, here are a few of the most common questions we get from our buyers.
Do portable dishwashers need a drain?
Portable dishwashers drain and fill from the same hose, meaning there is no extra drain needed.
How many place settings does a portable dishwasher hold?
Portable dishwashers provide anywhere from six to 12 place settings.
Can you wash pots and pans in a portable dishwasher?
While washing pots and pans in a portable dishwasher will use up most of its capacity, you can definitely wash cookware in a portable dishwasher.
Founded in 1971, Don’s Appliances is a family-owned, independent appliance retailer based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Don’s has since expanded to 10 locations selling, delivering, installing, and servicing all major appliance brands. Large enough to offer competitive pricing yet small enough to continue offering the “white glove” service we pride ourselves on, our focus is always on the customer experience — from the first step into a showroom to the purchase transaction to well after your new appliance has been installed.
When our customers are remodeling or building a new house, Don’s has all the expertise, product knowledge, inventory, brands, displays, and services to meet and exceed your needs. And in the event an appliance breaks, we are there, right on time and with the right product, delivery, installation, and service.
Shop Portable Dishwashers at Don’s
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, and shop dishwashers online at Don’s Appliance. Our friendly experts are always happy to help you find a portable dishwasher solution for your home — whether you call us at 866-544-1711, email us, or use our online chat feature. Better yet, stop by any of our Don’s Appliances Pittsburgh, PA warehouse locations. Visit us today!
Learn More: What Are the Best Types of Dishwashers?