Despite the EdgeStar's small size, it does a very good job cleaning dishes and features a stainless steel tub. But though it's performance is fantastic, that front panel's still made of plastic -- the faux stainless is about as realistic as a TV show plotline about a robot child.

On the website where we ordered the , its exterior was described as "silver." In the photo, it looked like it could pass for stainless. It won't. It's just a matte silver plastic panel, though it is resistant to fingerprints.

Edgestar-Exterior.jpg

Aside from a knob that's used to select a cycle, there are four plastic membrane keys. One turns the machine on and off, another starts or pauses a cycle, the third button engages a delayed start and the fourth -- labeled "3 IN 1" -- optimizes performance for detergent tablets.

Controls 1 Photo
Controls 2 Photo

Despite the plastic exterior, inside there's a stainless tub. That's pretty classy for a dishwasher in this price range.

Front Open Photo

There's only one rack on this dishwasher.

Top Rack Photo
Cutlery Basket Photo

The EdgeStar relies on hot water input. Though it has internal heating elements, it doesn't get water much past 148 degrees. That means less energy is used on heating water. Cycles used between 0.26 and 0.51 kWh of electricity per wash depending on the cycle.

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The used very little water for its equally small wash tub. Cycles ran between 2.56 and 3.82 gallons of water, which is probably less than you're currently using to hand wash your plates.

An average year of running the would set you back a total of $18.37 in water and electricity. Only you can decide if that's worth not having dishpan hands.

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Cycles took a little longer than the countdown screen promised, but the discrepancy wasn't huge. The shortest cycle -- Speed -- took 53 minutes, while the longest -- Heavy -- took about an hour and 43 minutes.

washing speed test

In order to see what kind of cleaning power a dishwasher packs, we place standardized stains on our dishes. Unless you bring your dishes straight from the table to the dishwasher without scraping or rinsing them, the dishes you wash will never be this cruddy.

Even in the face of filth, however, the did an admirable job getting dishes clean. We'd recommend placing all dishes with their dirtiest side facing the spray arm, and not putting anything in the rear corners where very little got clean.

Science Section 1 Images

After 53 minutes, dishes emerged fairly clean. The EdgeStar had no problem with tea or egg stains, but oat flakes stayed stuck onto the cereal bowls we washed, and some minced meat was left behind as well. Still, for lightly soiled loads, this would be a perfectly adequate cycle.

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The did a little better job on the normal cycle. It took almost an hour and a half, but got off all the minced meat and a lot more of the stubborn spinach stains.

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Because the 's interior is so small, we could only wash pots and pans on this cycle. After a wash, there was no trace of baked-on lasagna or burnt creme brulee, but some cheese did stay stuck on one pan.

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The has five full wash cycles, in addition to a ten minute rinse. We recommend running that before storing the dishwasher, since it cleans off the filter and clears out the hoses. Otherwise, the unit might end up smelling funny with food residue left behind.

DWP61ES cycle details

There are two options on this washer. You can delay a wash up to 24 hours, and you can customize a wash to work with all-in-one wash tablets by pressing the "3 IN 1" button before a normal, heavy duty or quick wash.

Controls 2 Photo

There aren't any other ways of customizing washes on this unit.

Controls 1 Photo

Its manual said the could fit six place settings, but we found that poorly-placed tines and fixed rack space limited us to four settings. This isn't a particularly tall machine, so your capacity will fall even more if you're trying to wash a large item, since you must lie it down flat.

Pictured is the interior of the Sunpentown SD-2201W. It is identical to the EdgeStar.

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Top Rack

Capacity Top Rack Photo

There's a single wash arm at the bottom of the machine. There's also a removable screen and filter, both of which we recommend cleaning after each wash. In all our tests, the filter ended up totally clogged.

Wash Arms 1 Photo
Filter Photo

There's only one dish rack on this unit, and it's pretty straightforward. The only adjustments are the removable cutlery rack and a shallow folding shelf. In our capacity testing, tines were a little close together for some larger bowls and serving dishes.

Top Rack Photo

The cutlery holder is removable. It features oddly-sized holes that won't fit the handles of some silverware styles.

Cutlery Basket Photo

There are two dispensers on this dishwasher for detergent: one for larger loads, another for smaller loads. If you're using a tablet instead of a powdered detergent, press the "3 IN 1" button on the control panel to optimize the wash cycle. There's also a rinse aid dispenser.

Detergent Dispenser Photo

If you have a standard kitchen faucet with a twist-off aerator, the will connect to it easily. We needed a 15/16" to 55/64" adapter to hook this dishwasher up with the faucet in our lab, but otherwise installation was easy and painless. This is a heavy machine, so prepare to leave it near your kitchen. You could always lug it to a closet for storage, if you're so inclined.

You'll definitely notice this washer's many noises, from the sound of water flowing in to the hum of the pump that pushes dirty water out.

Controls are spread out across the panel, with a cycle selector knob on one side and the cycle display on the other.

Controls 1 Photo
Controls 2 Photo

The won't make much of a dent in your utility bills, as it's extremely efficient when it comes to water and electricity use. Chances are, it uses less water to wash dishes for you than you would use to wash dishes by hand.

Dishes emerged clean after thorough, short cycles. Just be aware of how you're loading the wash rack, because dishes improperly loaded won't get clean.

Unlike many portable dishwashers, the has a delay timer and a special wash option for detergent tablets. It also has a countdown timer that shows how much time is left on a wash cycle.

Meet the testers

Keith Barry

Keith Barry

Former Editor in Chief, Reviewed Home

@itskeithbarry

Keith was the Editor in Chief of Reviewed's appliance and automotive sites. His work has appeared in publications such as Wired, Car & Driver, and CityLab.

See all of Keith Barry's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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