The Best Portable Dishwashers of 2019By Matthew Zahnzinger, January 02, 2019
Study after study has proven that hand washing is the least efficient way to clean dishes. Hand washing isn't just a waste of time, it's also a huge waste of water. But not all kitchens have the plumbing—or the space—to install a full-sized dishwasher.
If you’re sick of hand washing but can't remodel your kitchen, we’ve got the solution: a portable dishwasher. Just snap it onto your kitchen sink's faucet when you need to use it, then wheel it away to a corner or closet when you're done. Based on our tests, our favorite portable dishwasher is the SPT SD-9241W (available at Home Depot for $460.74) because of its amazing cleaning performance and easy operation.
(If you only need to wash a few dishes at a time, check out our article on the Best Countertop Dishwashers.)
Read on to find out what we liked (and disliked) about each of the portable dishwashers we tested.
Updated January 03, 2019
SPT SD-9241WBest Overall
Without question, the SPT SD-9241W is the best portable dishwasher. The SD-9241W is an 18-inch portable dishwasher that turns out spotless dishes in just under two hours. In our tests, it sprayed away stains that stymie many full-size dishwashers, and even has a stainless steel interior for quieter washing. User reviews don't mention anything about reliability issues, either, although some mention finding it hard to fit odd-shaped dishes in the racks.
With a simple interface and six cycles to choose from, the SPT is a snap to use and surprisingly versatile. As long as you don’t mind doing a bit of hand drying for plastic dishes and utensils—the SPT has no heated dry option—this is as good as portable dishwashers get.
Portable versus countertop dishwashers
If your kitchen doesn't have a cutout for a standard 24-inch installed dishwasher, there are two alternatives to just giving up and washing everything by hand: portable dishwashers and countertop dishwashers. Make sure you know the difference when you're shopping.
Portable dishwashers — Portable dishwasher are typically on wheels so you can roll them up to the sink when in use and shove them in a corner when they're not. They're typically 18 inches wide, though you can also find 24-inch-wide models. Because they're about the same height as a standard dishwasher, the two racks can hold quite a few dishes.
Countertop dishwashers — If floor space is limited, or you just don't need to wash that many dishes, a countertop dishwasher may be a better choice for you. Countertop dishwashers typically cost about half as much as a portable dishwasher. They don't fit much and they certainly don't roll out of the way, but you'll still save a lot more water and time than you would if you always wash your dishes manually. Take a look at our Best Countertop Dishwashers of 2018 for recommendations.
Note: If your kitchen faucet lacks a removable aerator (the fitting at the end of the faucet that contains a gasket and a small screen), you may have some issues with installing countertop or portable dishwashers. Examine your kitchen faucet carefully to ensure that it's capable of having a hose attached before you purchase a portable or countertop dishwasher.
More portable dishwashers we tested
Where To Buy$529.99 Sears Buy
The 18-inch Kenmore 14652 is also a great portable dishwasher. The 14652, which has a stainless steel interior, was able to get our test dishes nearly 100% clean. It also had great debris filtration, which cuts down on redeposit (or when food is cleaned off of one dish, only to get stuck on a second dish). You also get a China Delicate cycle for fragile dishes and a Quick Rinse for fast touch-ups. User reviews report a high level of satisfaction with the machine.
With all these pros in its favor, you might wonder why this Kenmore isn't the winner. In a word? Price. The 14652 is more expensive than many full-sized dishwashers. Again, we can’t praise this Kenmore enough, but the fact that it more than the comparable SPT portable dishwasher makes it tough to justify the cost. If you can find it on sale, though, don't hesitate. Read the full review.
The Danby DDW1801MWP is another 18-inch portable dishwasher with a stainless interior. The overall cleaning performance was very strong, although dishes on the top rack had some issues. Danby’s unusual control design, completely devoid of text, may also take a while to get used to.
A number of disgruntled reviewers mentioned leaking, incompatible faucet adapters (the dishwasher's hose connector is male), easily-broken castor wheels, a confusing user manual, and poor customer service. Happier customers reported that the DDW180MWP worked perfectly, although there is evidence that the drying cycle's effectiveness lessens over time. While we didn't have any of these problems, there's one-star enough online reviews that it's worth exercising caution when considering the Danby DDW1801MWP.
Where To Buy$629.00 Abt Buy
And now for something completely different: The Whirlpool WDP350PAAW is a full-sized 24-inch dishwasher that’s actually installed in a metal cabinet, complete with a laminate woodgrain top for extra counter space. Despite what some retailer websites say, it appears this dishwasher cannot be converted into a built-in model.
While it's less energy-efficient than other portable models we've tested, it does a fine job cleaning dishes and we'd happily suggest it as the go-to option for a full-sized portable. Unfortunately, the Whirlpool WDP350PAAW has been discontinued, but the WDP370PAHW looks like a near-identical replacement and is widely available. Get it at Home Depot for $749.
The GE GSC3500DWW is a convertible dishwasher—simply buy an inexpensive kit and you can take it off its wheels and permanently install it in your kitchen.
Unless that convertible option appeals to you, however, we don't think this GE offers any benefits over the 24-inch Whirlpool. Its cleaning performance was noticeably worse than any other machine on our list; it was unable to perfectly clean almost every stain we threw at it. Unless you're a particularly heavy dishwasher user, we'd suggest spending less money on a more compact model. Read the full review