GE GSC3500DWW Portable Dishwasher Review
A portable with some problems
After years testing dishwashers, one of the more unusual models that we’ve encountered is the GE GSC3500DWW (MSRP $600). What makes it so odd, you ask? It’s a convertible!
No, we don’t mean it cleans your dishes with the top down, splashing water all over your kitchen. It’s actually a full-sized dishwasher built into a frame with wheels. You can keep it this way and use it as a portable, or after a kitchen upgrade you can disassemble the frame and install it under a counter.
It’s a compelling solution for those planning on upgrading to a larger kitchen someday. Or at least, it would be, if it were a better dishwasher.
Controls, or lack thereof
It's important to remember this portable—while $600—is based on the GSD3300KWW, which costs about $349. Hence, it has the trappings of a definitively entry-level machine.
Our first issue with this machine is its outdated mechanical control interface. You get just two cycles: Normal and Pots & Pans. A crank on the right has indicators around it like "Heavy" and "Rinse Only," but these merely add or subtract time from either cycle.
Frankly, a vague crank timer with confusing labels simply isn’t a user-friendly interface. While we were first getting accustomed to this machine, we'd often hear the dishwasher shut off right after turning it on. We'd nudge the dial to make sure it hadn’t stalled, which felt like the dishwasher equivalent of banging on an old TV set to get the picture to come in.
How It Cleans
Break out the sponge
Certain stains—like baked-on meat, pasta sauce, egg, and even burnt sugar—were no match for the GE, but we did notice moderate redeposit spread across both racks.
More challenging stains, however, proved too much. Baked-on spinach was an insurmountable hurdle, and bowls were still covered in green specks at the end of each cycle.
And sorry breakfast-lovers: About half the time, bowls of oatmeal had a scummy residue left on the entire bottom of the bowl. We also include a small casserole dish with burnt cheese as part of one of our test loads, and this GE did nothing to remove the cheese... except make it damp and soggy.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
GE offers a conventional one-year limited warranty which you can read about in the product manual.
Best To Avoid
Roll it away
The GE GSC3500DWW is a tough sell. We reviewed multiple portable machines, and this was our least favorite. True, the convertible feature is neat. But if your kitchen is cramped, the full-sized width could be too much, even with the extra counter space afforded by the wood laminate top. And if you have the ability to install a dishwasher under a counter from the start, there are better machines out there for the same price or less—even with this one selling for $539 in stores.
If you can tolerate the cheap controls and don’t tend to leave excessively soiled dishes, it’s not the worst machine. But the right buyer is an unusually specific one with specific needs. And we'd be hesitant to recommend this GE even to them.
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