5 Best Portable Dishwashers in 2019 - But Wait, Is Your Kitchen Ready? [REVIEW]

It makes sense to invest in a portable dishwasher if your apartment, your vacation home, or RV has a small kitchen. You will not only have one less chore to attend to but also save valuable storage space in your cabinets.

These small dishwashers come in two styles - the larger capacity portable dishwasher on rollers or the smaller capacity countertop dishwasher. We refer to both of these styles as portable dishwashers as you can move them around easily, unlike built-in dishwashers, which are stationary. Considering that there are only less than a handful of unique manufacturers that make these products, we prepared the following ranked list to help you compare and contrast different models.

It is important to note that not every kitchen is ready for a portable dishwasher. Unlike other kitchen appliances such as your toaster oven, which is plug and play, a portable dishwasher needs to take in and discharge water. This means that you need to have a suitable source of water and find a convenient location to drain. We will cover basic hookup requirements with illustrations in this article.


Top Picks Table

Do Portable Dishwashers Have a Standard Size?

It is always a good idea to start your portable dishwasher shopping expedition by measuring your designated space. Consider the spot you are going to park the dishwasher as well as where you intend to keep it when it is operational and when you are loading/unloading it (think of opening the drop-down door to pull out the shelves).

Portable Dishwasher Size: A typical portable dishwasher is 24-25 inches wide, 27-inches deep, and at the standard counter height at 36 7/8-inches. Most of these dishwashers have black or wood/butcher block tops to give you extra counter space.

GE also makes an 18-inch wide model GPT145SSLSS to fit in even tighter spaces. (Budget 25 3/8-inches for its depth and 36-inches for height.)

Countertop Dishwasher Size: These dishwashers are typically 22-inches wide, 20-inches deep, and 17 1/2-inches high.

Please make sure to check the specifications document of your dishwasher to verify the specific dimensions of a pr


How Do I Connect a Portable Dishwasher?

Over the years, we have come across many people who purchased a portable dishwasher without proper preparation. In this section, we will go over basic hook up requirements to save you the hassle.

Portable dishwashers use standard 110 Volt electricity. However, they need to be connected to a faucet to get water in and need a drain line that safely discharges the dirty water.

Avoid Headaches: Before purchasing a new portable dishwasher, please make sure you have a proper faucet with an internal or external threaded nozzle. Installation instructions for each manufacturer may vary slightly. Please check the installation manual of your product.

Step by Step Instructions to Hook Up

  • Step 1: Remove the aerator or screen holder, the screen, and the washer.
  • Step 2: Use the appropriate adapter for internal or external threaded faucet nozzle along with the washer and screens.
  • Step 3: Pull the hose from the back of the portable dishwasher and connect to the faucet, which now has the adapter.

Portable Dishwasher Hook Up Requirements:

  • Grounded outlet (120-volt, 60 Hz, AC-only, 15- or 20- amp, fused electrical supply) - means that you just need a standard outlet
  • Top of sink or laundry tub that is at least 27" (68.6 cm) high and no higher than 48" (122 cm) from the bottom of the dishwasher. Your portable dishwasher needs to pump the dirty water out. Remember your physics class in high school and try to keep the drain hose as low as possible.
  • A hot water faucet or hot and cold single-spout water faucet within 30" (76.2 cm) of the back of the dishwasher. 120°F (49°C) temperature is ideal.
  • 20-120 psi (103-827 kPa) water pressure - basically, make sure your water stream is normal.

Can I Use My Faucet When Dishwasher is Operational?

Yes. Most portable dishwashers come with faucet adapters that allow you to use your faucet. However, do not use your faucet when the dishwasher is filling up with water or discharging water.

Do I Need Hot Water Connection to the Portable Dishwasher?

Portable dishwashers have internal water heaters, but it takes longer for the portable dishwasher to heat water. Using your existing hot water faucet will speed up overall wash time.


Everything to Know About Modern Dishwashers

Dishwasher technology is far more advanced today compared to ten years ago. Manufacturers emphasize energy and water savings in their design. Also, there are many colors and style options in the market. Bosch and Miele are the front runners in dishwasher technology. However, they do not participate in the portable dishwasher segment.

Selection for portable dishwashers is limited to 3 primary manufacturers: GE and Whirlpool when it comes to portable dishwashers on rollers and Midea group for countertop dishwashers. Midea is a giant player from China, and it makes/licenses 99% of all small countertop dishwashers. (You may have come across names such as SPT Sunpentown, Danby, Sunbeam, Homelabs and more in this category)

Below are the specific features that we expect from a modern dishw


Quiet operation

Having a noisy dishwasher is not ideal in a kitchen. In the past ten years, almost all manufacturers started making silent dishwashers. In the built-in category, almost all dishwashers are below 50 dB rating, and most high-end dishwashers are well below 45 dB rating.

Noise Level Comparison Chart

Overview of Decibel (dB) Ratings for Dishwashers

Rating dB Description
Loud - 60 dB & Above This is what dishwashers sounded like before the 2000s.
Average - 50 dB & Above This is more than half as loud as 60 dB's. Most entry-level built-in dishwashers and almost all portable dishwashers fall into this category
Quiet - 44 dB Ideal for most households. While there is operational noise, you will forget the dishwasher is even running unless you pay close attention.
Quietest - 38 dB The quietest dishwasher rating on the market.

Portable dishwashers do not have the benefit of sound insulation on the side and back compared to their built-in counterparts. Most come with a silence rating between 50 and 6.

Shopping for a quiet dishwasher?
Sizing, quietness, drying & other must know topics covered in-depth!
Read Our Guide
Our Video on Quietness with Actual Audio Test

Design

When it comes to styling, portable dishwashers have not changed their design over the years. The most popular look still is the white with wood top or black with stainless steel front.

Portable-Styles


Cleaning and Drying Features

Sensor Wash: Both GE and Whirlpool make portable dishwasher which use sensors to determine soil level in the wash water to determine how much water to use and to adjust temperature and duration of the clean.

Program Cycles and Options: There are a limited number of cycles and options with portable dishwashers, but these are still important to be able to clean different soil levels properly.

Stainless Steel interior: Portable dishwashers come predominantly with a plastic interior. There are, however, some models that feature a visually pleasing stainless steel interior.

Drying: Portable dishwashers mostly come with a heating element that you can turn on or off.

Third Rack: The silverware tray makes room for more dishes in the racks below. For portable dishwashers, where space is limited, it is a good idea to get one with a 3rd rack.

Durability and Longevity

All three portable dishwasher manufacturers (GE, Whirlpool, and Midea) have a good history of producing reliable products.


Our Top 5 Portable Dishwasher Picks

1) GPT145SSLSS - GE 18-inch Portable Dishwasher

Product Place Holder

Why We Like It:

  • 55 dB silence rating.
  • Stainless steel interior.
  • High temperature rinse to sanitize dishes.
  • If you have food particles left on dishes, the "Piranha" hard food disposer will help remove them.
  • Stainless steel door with a recessed handle that does not stick out.
  • Interior sensor to monitor cycle time and water temperature for perfect results.

If you have limited room in your kitchen, this 18-inch GE is ideal for pulling near the sink when you are ready to run a load. The small footprint also helps when you want to hide it away in a closet. Just roll it to your desired location.

This dishwasher uses condensate dry, which is ideal if you want to protect your plastics from melting. This item can hold 8 place settings and weighs 133 lbs.


2) GPT225SSLSS - GE 24-inch Portable Dishwasher

Product Place Holder

Why We Like It:

  • Stainless steel interior.
  • Stainless steel, white or black door finishes.
  • High temperature rinse to sanitize dishes.
  • If you have food particles left on dishes, the "Piranha" hard food disposer will help remove them.
  • Stainless steel door with a recessed handle that does not stick out.
  • Interior sensor to monitor cycle time and water temperature for perfect results.

Similar to its 18-inch wide cousin, this dishwasher comes with a luxurious stainless steel interior. However, due to its size, it is louder at 58 dBs.


3) WDP370PAHW - Whirlpool 24-inch Portable Dishwasher

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Why We Like It:

  • The wood color laminate top gives you additional workspace.
  • If you have food particles left on dishes, the hard food disposer will help remove them.
  • A high-temperature wash option is ideal for sanitizing baby bottles and more.
  • Option to finish the wash cycle under 1 hour.
  • Comes in White or Black finish

The Whirlpool WDP370PAHW portable dishwasher has been in the market for more than a decade. It is well tested and reliable. It can tackle a load under a minute and has cycles that can focus on heavily soiled dishes.

The only reservation we have on this dishwasher is its rather loud performance at 64 dB.


4) GSC3500DWW - GE 24-inch Portable Dishwasher

Product Place Holder

Why We Like It:

  • Woodgrain laminate top gives you additional workspace.
  • If you have food particles left on dishes, the "Piranha" hard food disposer will help remove them.
  • Comes in White or Black

24-inch width gives you a ton of room to work with.

The chief downside of this dishwasher is that it is one of the loudest dishwashers in the market with a 64 dB silence rating.

GE-white-dw-load


5) MDC3602FSS - Midea Countertop Dishwasher

Why We Like It:

  • Ultimate source of all countertop dishwashers
  • Quick cycle time for 6 place settings
  • Inexpensive price point (under $300)

Midea makes almost all countertop dishwashers in the US market. You will see their products licensed under brand names such as SPT, Sunpentown, Danby, Sunbeam, Homelabs, and more.


Conclusion

Portable dishwashers are as capable as their built-in cousins and will keep your kitchen tasks running smoothly. They can be installed pretty much in any kitchen as long as you can connect to your faucet and drain in to the sink.


FAQs

Fisher Paykel makes dishwasher drawers. Are they portable?

Fisher Paykel single dishwasher drawers are ideal for small kitchens where cabinet space comes at a premium. However, these dishwashers need to be installed in a built-in format inside your cabinets. Therefore, they are not portable.

If you want to learn more about Fisher Paykel dishwasher, drawers please check out our in depth review.

Does Bosch make portable dishwashers?

Bosch does not make portable dishwashers in the USA market.

Are there other dishwasher options for small kitchens?

There are a number of manufacturers that make 18-inch built-in dishwashers for small kitchens - please read our earlier review for model and reliability information