Many homes and apartments come with a built-in dishwasher that is always connected to the sink, allowing you to run the sink and dishwasher at the same time. Portable dishwashers, on the other hand, can be moved around at your convenience and connected to the sink when you need them. These units tend to be more cost-effective options, and they allow you to wash large volumes of dishes, yet store the dishwasher elsewhere when not in use.
Check out our expert picks for the best portable dishwashers of 2021 below.
The GE GPT145SSLSS is an 18-in. stainless steel portable dishwasher that offers three different wash cycles, an eight place setting capacity, and is ENERGY STAR® Certified. Owners of this unit love that it runs quietly and has a child lock function to prevent it from being turned on accidentally. This portable dishwasher also features an Autosense Cycle that uses light to precisely measure the soil level of dishes, adjusting temperature and water levels to get your dishes sparkling clean every time.
One highly unique feature of this portable dishwasher is its Piranha Hard Food Disposer, which has stainless steel blades that rotate at 3,600 RPM. This prevents food particles from clogging various components and wreaking havoc on your machine.
The Danby DDW1805EWP is an 18-in. portable dishwasher that has four wash cycle options, an eight place setting capacity, and features a hassle-free rinse agent dispenser and detergent dispenser. This beautiful white dishwasher is ENERGY STAR® compliant and operates at just 52 dBA. It gets the job done right on the first wash with only 13.2 liters of water per cycle, and it is compatible with most sinks.
This Danby portable dishwasher also comes equipped with easy-to-use controls and a display light, as well as a sanitize feature that increases the rinsing temperature to ensure cleanliness.
For those looking for a higher capacity machine among the best portable dishwashers, the Whirlpool WDP370PAHW is hard to beat. This 24-in. portable dishwasher provides three wash cycle options and has a 12 place setting capacity. This unit also features a soil sensor to use the right amount of water for every mess, and the high-temperature wash option gives dishes an even more thorough cleaning. Additionally, a heated dry option optimizes drying so dishes don't require a towel wipe down after removal from the tub.
Users will appreciate the removable water filtration system that makes water filter replacement simple, and the 1-hour wash cycle that gets your dishes clean in just 60 minutes.
Countertop dishwashers are a fantastic option for those who don't need as high of a capacity in their dishwasher, and the 22-in. Sunpentown SD2225DW is one efficient machine. This ENERGY STAR® Rated dishwasher runs quietly and provides six different wash cycle options. It also has a six place setting capacity, and its attractive LED display tells you how much time is left on your current cycle or which setting it is running on.
This unit alerts you when you need to add more rinse aid, and you can delay the start of your dishwasher for two, four, six, or eight hours so that it runs at your convenience.
Another great countertop option is the Whynter CDW6831WES portable dishwasher that comes with six wash cycles and has a six place setting capacity. This ENERGY STAR® Certified dishwasher offers user-friendly controls, a timer delay function of up to 24 hours, and runs at an ultra-quiet 45 dBA or below. This unit also has a three stage filter system that is easy to remove and clean to keep your dishwasher running as efficiently as possible.
Parents will appreciate the Baby Care Wash Cycle, which thoroughly washes baby bottles and other items in under 90 minutes.
Do portable dishwashers work as well?
Yes, portable dishwashers can work just as well as built-in dishwashers, and some units offer as much space for dishes too. If you don't have a designated space for a built-in dishwasher in your home, a portable dishwasher is a great option, as it can save over a dozen gallons of water per load and save you hours of time and effort versus hand washing.
How do portable dishwashers hook up?
Most portable dishwashers are super easy to hook up to your sink. For many units, you will simply attach or screw the dishwasher hose to the faucet of your kitchen sink, turn on the water, and plug the electrical cord into the outlet before you can adjust the settings and run the dishwasher.