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A countertop dishwasher for all my woe?
August 19, 2011 2:31 PM   Subscribe

What do you know about countertop dishwashers? What should *I* know about them before purchasing one? Where can I find a selection (or heck, even 1) in stock at a brick'n'mortar here in Los Angeles? and, barring a local retailer, Which countertop dishwasher should I buy online?

From what I can tell so far, I don't want one with a window in the front. (because of leaks but also because who sits there watching dishes get cleaned?)

Price is a factor, I can spend $250 tops including shipping (if necessary).

I live alone in a studio apartment with a very, very small kitchen. 4- or 6-setting is plenty. There's just enough counter space for one of these things; Approx. measurements:
30" depth, 30" width, 45" height

So again:
Where can I get one of these in Los Angeles?
Danby? Haier? koldfront? SPT? Which brands should I be considering, and which should I dismiss?
What other considerations are there when planning to use one of these appliances?
posted by carsonb to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Amazon really has a good selection and the reviews are extremely helpful. Our dishwasher has a front window and we've never had leaks. It's the Edgestar Portable Dishwasher with Window.

The most annoying thing about it is that it takes up space and it's hard to use the sink while it's running. Other than that, nothing I can think of to warn you about it or about portable dishwashers in general.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:55 PM on August 19, 2011


I loved my little Danby when I lived in an apartment without a built-in dishwasher. When I moved I gave it to my aunt and she continues to swear by it.

It's a bit of a pain because it takes up so much counterspace and you can't use your tap while it's running, but it's still better than washing dishes. And I did hear horror stories of the things leaking where the hoses are connected, but as long as you keep an general eye on it while it's running you should be fine.
posted by cgg at 3:14 PM on August 19, 2011


I had a Haier briefly that I got at ShopKo; I don't remember the details, but I know it didn't do a very good job at cleaning, so I didn't use it for very long.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 3:17 PM on August 19, 2011


Don't have personal experience with this, but I read about the Mono Dishwasher today. It looks really interesting.

As far as other brands go, I had a Haier portable clothes washing machine. It worked really well (and played jingle bells when a load was ready). I was impressed with how well it worked and would check them out if I was shipping for another compact/portable appliance like a counter-top dishwasher. Here's one that holds 4 place settings.
posted by missmerrymack at 3:23 PM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Should have previewed. Just read workingMyWayHome's comment. Forget my advice on Haier. ; )
posted by missmerrymack at 3:24 PM on August 19, 2011


Measure the temperature of the hottest water you can get from your kitchen faucet, particularly if you have a single lever type faucet, nearly all of which mix at least some cold water with the hot, to minimize chances for child scalding. If your water temperature isn't at least 120° F, the water heater elements included in the dishwasher may not get the water to sanitizing temperature (at least 160° F) in the normal (shorter than standard dishwashers) cycle such machines have, and even liquid dishwashing detergent may not work well.
posted by paulsc at 3:26 PM on August 19, 2011


Seconding the young rope-rider. I've lived with one of these and it works just fine. Just don't leave it on the Rapid or Eco setting if there is much of any grease or crud on your dishes.
posted by clavicle at 3:35 PM on August 19, 2011


I've been very happy with my Danby 4-place setting countertop dishwasher. No leaks from the window. Amazon still sells it, $224.99, free shipping.

My current one is actually my second. The first lasted about 10 years, and then the heating element conked out. The dish rack was pretty dinged up at that point, so I bought another rather than mess with it.
posted by DaveP at 3:49 PM on August 19, 2011


I have one, brand new. I would happily send it to you. I am in Seattle. I am not home right now. So unknown brand.
posted by jennstra at 12:13 AM on August 20, 2011


Count me against the Danby. I've had two, both brand new, and they were absolute garbage. Everything had to be washed going in and rinsed again coming out. I've never bought a Danby anything since those awful countertop dishwashers.
posted by arcticwoman at 11:33 AM on August 20, 2011


Due to the mixed reviews here and elsewhere, I decided against a Danby dishwasher. Thanks for the offer jennstra, but I went ahead with this Edgestar 6-setting unit (open box discount knocked $100 off) and am hoping to have it up and running by Wednesday. Paulsc, I made sure the unit was capable of attaining anti-bacterial temperatures, good pointer!

I'll be sure to regale y'all with tales of clean sinks and meals consisting of more than fast food and peanut butter very soon (as well as an evaluation of my decision, of course).

Thank you for your help and advice!
posted by carsonb at 11:32 AM on August 21, 2011


OK! So I had my counter top dishwasher for nearly two months, and it indeed changed my life. It worked a charm, didn't really change much about the topography of my kitchen (just replaced the dish-drying rack on the countertop) and was super easy to use once I got it set up.

Then again, getting it set up was a fiasco involving having to downgrade kitchen faucets and thus several trips to the local Home Depot, but that's another thing.

Anyway, I loved it for the short time I had it. Just this week I let it go to a couple of UCLA students who are sure to get a lot of use out of it, since I'm moving to an apartment with a brand-spanking-new full dishwasher installed.
posted by carsonb at 2:33 PM on October 15, 2011


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