The Best Portable Dishwashers for Small Kitchens and Travel

These dishwashers use minimal space but deliver maximum cleaning power.

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The Best Dishwasher options

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Dishwashers became as commonplace in kitchens as stoves and refrigerators during the 1970s. These appliances thoroughly clean dishes, flatware, and glassware and they use less water and detergent than hand washing. Plus, they save time once spent on manually scrubbing dishes. One might think that there is no space for a dishwasher in small kitchens, RVs, boats, dorms, and the like. Yet today’s dishwashers are available in compact and portable sizes that can suit smaller spaces and be brought along while traveling. The best portable dishwashers are solid performers despite their minimal footprints, the majority available as countertop models.

The compact dishwashers listed below vary in complexity, some offering basic functioning, and others possessing extra features, such as third racks and special cycles for delicate dishware. Consider whether you want a basic model or a more complex one, noting that the latter type usually comes with a higher price point. Note the dimensions of the washer, and be sure to verify that they will fit where you plan to use and store it. These dishwashers vary in weight, so if you plan on moving it around, consider a lightweight model.

Our Top Picks

There’s a small dishwasher that’s right for your countertop. Consider the following quality recommendations.

The Best Dishwasher option: EdgeStar DWP62BL Portable Countertop Dishwasher

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BEST OVERALL: EdgeStar DWP62BL Portable Countertop Dishwasher

The EdgeStar DWP62BL countertop dishwasher offers performance that rivals its larger counterparts. Within its stainless steel interior, you’ll find a dish rack, cup shelf, and cutlery basket that handles up to 6 standard place settings. The EdgeStar weighs in at 44 pounds and measures 21 5/8 x 19 5/8 x 17 5/16 inches so fits on most counters or under most cabinets. A sleek control panel includes seven cycle options, a built-in rinse agent dispenser, and a cycle that boosts water to 149 Fahrenheit to eliminate germs and bacteria. Plug the device into a 120-volt outlet, connect the faucet adapter to almost any faucet, select the desired cycle, and start the machine. It’s quiet at 52.3dB, a bit softer than a refrigerator. It uses an estimated 200 kilowatt-hours per year––approximately 61% less energy than similar countertop dishwashers––and an estimated 2.85 gallons of water per wash.

The Best Dishwasher option: Farberware FCD06ABBWHA Portable Countertop Dishwasher

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RUNNER-UP: Farberware FCD06ABBWHA Portable Countertop Dishwasher

The Farberware FCD06ABBWHA includes some extra features that set it apart from others on the list: an extra-drying function adds more heat to the final rinse for optimal drying, a convenient self-cleaning option, and a 45-minute speed wash setting for when you’re in a hurry. The potential downside to this model is its hefty weight of 63.8 pounds, so while it’s great for small spaces including kitchenettes, dorms, boats, and apartments, some may have trouble transporting it. The Farberware dishwasher has a cleaning capacity of six place settings and can accommodate dishes up to 10 inches in diameter. It has a modest footprint of 21.7 x 19.7 x 17.2 inches, equipped with fold-down rack shelves and a cutlery basket. The glass door features a handle for easy dish access, while the interior houses a light that makes the appliance easy to see in the dark. The Farberware FCD06ABBWHA includes seven wash programs, started or paused by buttons along the front of the device. This compact dishwasher is simple to install and connects to most faucets.

The Best Dishwasher option: BLACK+DECKER BCD6W Compact Countertop Dishwasher

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HONORABLE MENTION: BLACK+DECKER BCD6W Compact Countertop Dishwasher

The BLACK+DECKER BCD6W portable dishwasher boasts many of the features of its larger competitors: an LED display with electronic touch controls, a child safety lock, 24-hour delayed start option, plus removable racks and utensil baskets for easy loading and unloading. Load up to 6 place settings, including 10 inch diameter plates, into its stainless steel interior. All of that is packed into a 46.2-pound dishwasher that measures 21.7 x 21.5 x 17.2 inches. It’s quite easy to install: attach the hose to almost any kitchen faucet, plug the machine into a 120 volt outlet, and press start. It uses an estimated 203-kilowatt hours of energy and 2.75 gallons of water per cycle. Its 60db is a touch louder than its competitors, but the difference is difficult to notice.