Portable Compact Dishwasher Overview
Portable dishwashers are a great investment for anyone looking for an economic, hassle-free solution to doing their dishes. Portable dishwashers will save you dividends in water costs and time as opposed to doing your dishes by hand. Your next kitchen installation should always take the available area into consideration.
If your residence has a landlord that doesn’t allow you to install a full-blown dishwasher, or if you simply live in a college dorm, a portable mini dishwasher is the ultimate solution for you. Even for those who own their residence but find that their kitchen is too tight on space for a built-in dishwasher, portable dishwashers that take up far less space and can be moved around easily are your go-to option.
Another factor to consider is the effort needed to install a built-in dishwasher into your kitchen. This will likely require you to find an appropriate location to accommodate the placement of your water pipes, knock down some walls, and pay the premium price of a built-in dishwasher with installation fees. Portable dishwashers are also easy to move around (per the name) should you ever choose to do so. This is especially convenient for people who frequently camp or live in a remote setting.
Related: you might also be interested in our reviews of best countertop dishwashers.
It’s not hard to see why portable dishwashers are becoming a more popular choice for consumers, which is why I will break down my five favorite picks for portable dishwashers here.
Here are the best portable, compact dishwashers:
1. Best Overall: hOmeLabs HME010033N Compact Portable Dishwasher
hOmeLabs HME010033N Review
Compact and Stacked with Essential Features: The hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher is one of the best of its kind, featuring a wide variety of modes, energy efficiency, and storage space. hOmeLabs is a company that designs effective home solutions with homeowners’ essential demands in mind.
This dishwasher offers a stainless steel interior and 6 different wash cycle options to choose from: Heavy, Normal, ECO, Glass, Speed, and Rinse. The minimalistic and very straightforward interface allows you to effortlessly navigate the different settings to suit your dishwashing needs.
The hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher also consumes a measly 3.1 gallons per water cycle, making a strong case to abandon your hand-washing dish habits. As stated by Energy Star, hand-washing your dishes consume a whopping 25 gallons per cycle which pales in comparison to this dishwasher, which would save over 87% as much water.
As aforementioned, this dishwasher features a stainless steel interior tub, which has some major benefits over dishwashers constructed with plastic. Stainless steel muffles noise while your dishwasher is operating more effectively than plastic, making stainless steel washers a more popular choice for those who wish to avoid obnoxiously loud dishwashers that will run late at night.
It also resists stains (as per the name) and odors. Stainless steel dishwashers are also not only a more premium and durable material, but they are far more efficient when it comes to drying dishes because it retains heat inside the dishwasher better than plastic. Speaking of drying dishes, one of the limitations of this dishwasher is the lack of a drying feature, which means you will need to air dry your dishes or dry them by hand using a towel.
- Dimensions: 21.6 inches long, 17.2 inches tall, and 19.6 inches deep
- Weight: 44.1 lbs
- Energy Star certified: products with this certification meet the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) criteria as an energy efficient product that will save energy consumption costs in the long-term while delivering the same performance as its non-certified equivalents
- 6-place setting storage capacity
- Straightforward interface that is easy to use
- Stainless steel interior tub that will last a long time, muffle noise, and resists stains and odors
- Easy assembly: all materials required to construct this dishwasher are included in the box
- Includes a wide variety of accessories: rain hose, inlet hose, faucet adapter, drinkware rack, detergent dispenser, cutlery basket, spray arms, silverware basket, filter, and rinse aid
- No drying function. Dishes will need to be dried either by hand or by letting them sit out to dry
- Simple design that lacks a modern feel in comparison to other dishwashers
- Not as small or portable in comparison to competitors
Original Retail 349.99
2. Best Compact: Farberware FDW05ASBWHA Complete Portable Compact Dishwasher
Farberware FDW05ASBWHA Review
Big on Portability, Small in Size, Offered in a Modern Design: Designed by Farberware, a company responsible for providing quality cookware and bakeware, the FDW05ASBWHA Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher has a much more modern and sleeker design than the hOmeLabs dishwasher and features a front glass window view, which is useful for those who like to check on their dishes while they are being washed, or for those who simply want to see how much space is available in their dishwasher without having to open it.
This dishwasher includes 5 different modes: Normal, Rapid, Fruit Wash, Baby Care and Glass. The two noteworthy cycles are Fruit and Baby Care. The Fruit cycle turns your dishwasher into a fruit basket that will wash your fruits and vegetables before you serve them. The Baby Care cycle generates steam that can be used to cleanse your baby bottles and eliminate odors, similar to how the Glass cycle utilizes steam to sterilize your glassware.
True to its label of being a portable dishwasher, the Farberware FDW05ASBWHA can operate without the use of a sink or water source by using its optional built-in water tank with a capacity of 5 liters that can be filled and used without the need to connect to a faucet. In addition to this portability feature, this dishwasher is also incredibly light. At 16.1 pounds, it weighs less than half the weight of the other dishwashers on this list, and less than a third of the Farberware Professional FCD06ABBWHA, making it an excellent choice for those who intend to frequently move their portable dishwasher.
- Dimensions: 16.5 inches long, 17.3 inches tall, and 17.3 inches deep
- Weight: 16.2 lbs
- Built-in 5-liter water tank that does not require any connection to a faucet. This is ideal for frequent traveling, camping, portable kitchens, RV settings, and boat use
- The front glass view allows you to see inside to determine the available occupancy to load in new dishes to clean
- Very lightweight, making it much easier to move and carry around than other competing dishwashers
- Sleek and modern design in comparison to its competitors
- Small interior does not allow for sizeable storage space
- This premium dishwasher’s high price may not be worth the buy for everyone, particularly for those who intend to keep it in a fixed location (such as a kitchen or apartment), where the built-in water tank might not be used often due to faucets already being available to hook up to this dishwasher
- The control panel is located towards the bottom of the front face of the dishwasher, making it a little more difficult to read and interact with the controls without ducking down a bit to see and adjust the settings for this particular dishwasher depending on the height of your counter or surface that this unit will be mounted on
- While a water hose is included to establish a direct connection to a faucet, an adapter is not included, meaning you’ll need to go out and buy an adapter for the water hose if it does not fit over your faucet
3. Best Water Usage: EdgeStar DWP62SV Portable Compact Dishwasher
EdgeStar DWP62SV Review
Conserve on Utility Bills Without Sacrificing the Performance You Deserve: The EdgeStar DWP62SV is sold by EdgeStar, an American-based company that has provided a wide variety of home appliances since 1999. This dishwasher features a large interior for great storage space and boasts fantastic energy efficiency for a dishwasher of its caliber. The EnergyGuide label estimates how much energy this dishwasher uses, and approximates the annual energy cost at $18!
Furthermore, this dishwasher consumes very little water, at only 2.85 gallons per normal wash. Combined with the energy conserving capabilities, this is sure to cut down your utility bills considerably. For these reasons, I would most recommend this dishwasher to the frugal demographic who prioritize energy efficiency and water conservation in their appliances in order to cut down on their utility bills. Consumption perks aside, this dishwasher is comprised of a 6-place setting and stainless steel interior, which is always nice to have.
One downside is the 5 foot hose included that connects the back of the dishwasher to your faucet. This hose has been reported by numerous customers to be fragile and require delicate threading when connecting the dishwasher to your faucet in order to avoid damaging the hose and causing leakage. Thus, you may want to avoid connecting and disconnecting the hose from your dishwasher regularly.
Also included are 7 different wash cycles: Heavy, Normal, Light, Glass, Baby Care, Speed, and Rinse.
- Dimensions: 21.7 inches long, 17.2 inches tall, and 19.7 inches deep
- Weight: 44 lbs
- Large interior that can store dinner plates with 10.5” in diameter, larger than the 10” plates that the Farberware FCD06ABBWHA can hold
- Incredible energy efficiency. Energy Star certified and includes EnergyGuide label detailing an estimated yearly energy cost of $18 assuming you run a natural gas water heater
- Stainless steel interior tub
- Noise level of 52.3 dB, approximately the same volume as a quiet indoor conversation
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- Available in two colors: silver and white. Note that both versions include a steel interior tub
- The included hose that connects this dishwasher to a faucet is reputed to be of poor quality and requires careful connecting when coupling it to your dishwasher to avoid damaging your connections and causing leaks
- While this dishwasher checks almost all the boxes, it does not have any features that give it a significant edge over the hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher. Despite this, the Edgestar DWP62SV will still cost you slightly more than its hOmeLabs counterpart
4. 7 Wash Programs: Farberware Professional FCD06ABBWHA Compact Portable Compact Dishwasher
Farberware FCD06ABBWHA Review
Delivering Essentials and Beyond: The Farberware Professional FCD06ABBWHA Compact Countertop Dishwasher has similarities to the hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher. The two units share similar stainless steel interior tubs, Energy Star certifications, 6-place setting interior capacity, and similar dimensions with the Farberware being very slightly longer and deeper than the hOmeLabs dishwasher. While the two machines share many of the same wash cycles, the Farberware has 7 cycles, one more than the hOmeLabs dishwasher.
The one distinguished cycle that the Farberware washer has is Self-Clean, a useful feature that cleans the inside of the dishwasher itself, making it easy to cleanse your dishwasher of any stubborn bits of food residue that you would otherwise need to go out of your way to scrape off by hand. This dishwasher offers 7 different wash cycles: Heavy, Normal, Baby Care, Light, Glass, Speed (cleans dishes in 45 minutes), and Self-Clean.
An additional Extra-Drying Function is also included, which adds more heat into the final cycle during rinsing to assist in the drying process. The limitation with Extra-Drying, however, is that it can only be used with Heavy, Normal, Light, Glass, and Baby Care cycles. But, this excludes only two modes (Speed and Self-Clean) while managing to be incorporated into the majority of the main cycles.
In addition, this dishwasher offers a couple of extra utilities: warning indicator LEDs and a Child Lock function, which locks the control panel to prevent children from tampering with the controls. This function also prevents users from accidentally bumping into or pressing of any of the controls.
- Dimensions: 21.7 inches long, 17.2 inches tall, and 19.7 inches deep
- Weight: 63.9 lbs
- Stainless steel interior tub, which has many benefits over that of plastic. As covered in the hOmeLabs washer, stainless steel is more durable, sound muffling, and more resistant to stains and odors
- Can store dinner plates up to 10” in diameter
- Child Lock function that locks controls to prevent unintended input from users
- In addition to having a comprehensive LED control panel (typical in all the dishwashers on this list), this particular dishwasher features unique warning LEDs that indicate if the dishwasher’s rinse aid supply is running low and if the dishwasher is not receiving any water
- Quick installation: similar to the hOmeLabs dishwasher, this unit comes with accessories and easy-to-connect parts for simple setup
- Speed cycle cleans your dishes in just 45 minutes
- Self-cleaning cycle cleans the dishwasher itself, making maintenance easy as opposed to other dishwashers where you would be responsible for maintaining your dishwasher’s interior yourself
- This is the heaviest dishwasher on this list, weighing in at 63.9 pounds. This makes it possibly the least portable when it comes to moving it. In the event that you do plan to move this dishwasher frequently from say a kitchen closet to your sink, you would likely need a pushcart on wheels to move it around and somewhere to store it. If you plan on picking this up, it is recommended that you have a fixed place in your kitchen on a countertop or someplace similar to keep it permanently sitting
5. Best Designed: BLACK+DECKER BCD6W Portable Compact Dishwasher
BLACK+DECKER BCD6W Review
Convenient Features and Contemporary Design Rolled into One: The BLACK+DECKER BCD6W features most of the standard specifications you would expect in a small, portable dishwasher but with a modern design, particularly in the front glass window, a combination we haven’t seen much of from its competitors.
There is also an extremely convenient Delay Start Option that allows you to set a timer at the end of which the dishwasher will begin its cycle, allowing you to coordinate when the dishes need to be done and the dishwasher will automatically begin its cycle at your preferred time regardless of whether you are present to start the cycle or not. This wonderful feature can schedule wash times up to 24 hours from the time that you set it, making a convenient automation system that will work even when no one is home.
While this dishwasher possesses the largest measurements on this list, this does not mean that this dishwasher can store larger dishes. In fact, this dishwasher can store dishes up to 10” in diameter, a lower size than the 10.5” plates that the EdgeStar DWP62SV can store with smaller dishwasher dimensions. While half an inch may not be a remarkable difference, it would still be nice if this dishwasher had a more vast storage space to match its larger exterior proportions.
There are also 7 wash cycles offered: Normal, ECO, Glass, 90 minutes, Rapid, Intensive, and Soak.
- Dimensions: 24.8 inches long, 20.9 inches tall, and 23.4 inches deep
- Weight: 46.2 lbs
- Delayed start option can be set for up to 24 hours
- Energy Star certified product that will cut costs on energy consumption while performing at standards set and tested by the EPA
- Child Lock feature prevents users from unintentionally pressing any of the buttons, particularly children who may tamper with the controls
- While all of the dishwashers on this list possess an aesthetically pleasing LED display, this particular dishwasher also has unique touch controls rather than conventional pushbuttons
- Runs at 60 dB noise level. While this is by no means considered loud, it is slightly noisier than the sound output of the EdgeStar DWP62SV
- Dimensions are larger than the other dishwashers on this list, but its storage capacity is not quite as large as you might expect
Portable, Compact Dishwasher Additional Information
How does a Portable Dishwasher work?
You load up the dishwasher, throw some soap in there, close the door and hit the “start” button. But, what is actually going on inside of your dishwasher? Surely water is involved,heat, soap, but what exactly is going on? Understanding what the processes are will make it much easier for you to find your new portable dishwasher.
Depending on the type of dishwasher you use, a variable amount of hot water will be used. However, unlike your clothes washer, it will not fill up completely with water. The most common style of dishwasher being one with a rotating sprinkler at the bottom. This sprinkler sprays water and soap up into the dirty dishes in a whirlwind motion until the timer dings. Of course, this is a bit of an oversimplification. Much more is happening inside of your dishwasher than you think.
Inside your dishwasher are various sensors to ensure everything runs smoothly. Your dishwasher is simultaneously monitoring the cleanliness of the water, as well as the temperature. As you might already know, not all dishes are made equal. A porcelain dinner dish and a Tupperware container are going to have a massive difference in heat tolerance. This is why your dishwasher is constantly checking to make sure things aren’t getting too hot in there. For most dishwashers, this system is automated. Control over the temperature is an extra feature on some portable dishwashers if you want to be extra careful with your more expensive dishware.
The sensitivity of your dishwashers sensor for water clarity is another important factor in the process. When you put those dirty dishes in there, you expect them to come out clean enough to eat off of. Otherwise, what is the point? Well, sanitation might be a decent answer, but why not both? Make sure you read reviews of reputable sources on the quality of the portable dishwasher you’re looking to buy. This will save you tons of money on buying an appliance that won’t even get the job done properly.
Find A portable dishwasher that matches your needs
Maybe you need a portable dishwasher to save yourself space in your home or apartment. As the housing issue continues to grow, people are having to be more and more savvy with the space they use. A portable dishwasher might afford you the luxury of having a dishwasher without having to use up valuable space to have one installed. Maybe you’re a renter and your landlord doesn’t want to install a dishwasher. A portable model is a perfect solution for either of these scenarios.
Another growing trend coming out of the housing crisis is the rise of the “Tiny Home” movement. If you thought your little apartment was cramped for space, you should see some of these Tiny Homes. Owners and builders of Tiny Homes pride themselves on the ability to maximize comfort and space. For this reason, a full size dishwasher just isn’t in the cards for most people. A portable dishwasher allows them to save space and time when it comes to household chores.
Regardless of your reasoning for looking to purchase a portable dishwasher, you’re going to need to consider how many dishes you need to wash. Of course, because of the units portability, load capacity is going to factor in heavily. Here are a few more features to consider when shopping for a portable dishwasher.
Key Features to consider for your portable dishwasher
Conventional thinking will lead you to believe that washing a dish by hand is better for water conservation. The truth is that the opposite is true. On average it takes at least 8 gallons of water to wash a load of dishes by hand where a dishwasher will only use upwards of 4 gallons. This is not only a massive savings being passed on to you in your water bill, but a large ecological impact for the earth.
Not all portable dishwashers are going to use the same amount of energy while doing their job. It’s important to consider how much wattage is required to run the dishwasher in the first place. The last thing you want is to invest in a portable dishwasher that works better as a tool to flip your breaker rather than clean your dishes.
This has been mentioned before, but it’s important to make sure to mention it again. Make sure you are purchasing for the appropriate capacity for you and your loved ones. It’s no fun to have to smell all those dirty dishes while waiting for the first cycle to finish. Make sure you’re shopping for the appropriate size to suit your needs.
This might seem like a no brainer, but dishwashers can make a lot of noise. If you’re operating in a small space, this noise can be amplified several times over. Make sure your portable dishwasher is on the quieter side to avoid this annoyance.
What’s the takeaway?
A vetted source of per-rated portable dishwashers will greatly reduce your risk of buyer’s remorse. When shopping for the best portable dishwasher at the best price, it’s imperative you take the word of a trusted and professional source.
Most of the portable dishwashers we’ve reviewed, while small in size, can handle reasonably-sized loads of standard place settings. While you may not be able to wash large pots & pans, these portable dishwashers are great options for small kitchens with limited counter space.
We hope our buying guide on portable dishwashers was helpful in allowing you to make the best decision before purchasing your disposable dishwasher.