Know how much countertop space you have for the countertop dishwasher, unless you’ll be placing it on a roll around cart. Don’t just assume counter width is sufficient. How much space do you have from the counter to the cabinets above it? Give yourself at least an inch or two of space on all sides of the unit so you have access to hoses and hardware. This is essential given that many people buy a counter-top dishwasher because their small apartment doesn’t have one – so there’s very little space available for the dishwasher.
What do you need to know before you buy a countertop dishwasher?
Compare the size of your dishes versus the interior dimensions of the counter top dishwasher. Remember that a ten inch door opens to an eight or nine inch tall interior.
Know how much weight the countertop can support. Some counter top dishwashers have large capacity but are heavy – and your older counters may not be able to hold the load.
What are the Consumer Reports recommendations or similar industry reviews of the countertop dishwasher? Some units have reputations for leaking, while others fail to clean your dishes, which is the whole point of a dishwasher.
What is your budget? Don’t forget the cost of hardware if it doesn’t come with the dishwasher or the possibility of another $20 for a connector for the dishwasher water supply hose if the hardware provided doesn’t fit. Many portable dishwasher sellers offer the manufacturer’s installation kit.
How far is the farthest point from where you want to put the dishwasher to the sink. If the water supply and hoses are shorter than this distance, you either need to find another location for the dishwasher or plan on buying extension hoses.
Considerations Before You Buy a Countertop Dishwasher
Counter-top dishwashers are noisier, on average, than full size dishwashers because they have less insulation. The noise level is compounded by the fact you have to run it on heavy duty to get mid-grade dirty loads done. If you will be running it a lot, shop for quieter countertop dishwashers.
Do you want to have a portable dishwasher now that you could take with you and install under the counter in a new residence? There are portable dishwashers that can be installed under the counter if you pay for the kits to do so, and they can drain into the sink if that isn’t an option.
When shopping for portable dishwasher hardware, select the hardware kit with a quick connect assembly for the faucet. After all, you are going to be using the kitchen sink for more than supplying water to the dishwasher, and the hassle factor of having to screw on and off a water hose gets tedious – as well as increases the odds you’ll spray water around because it wasn’t put on tightly enough one time.
Features like heated dry and delay start are not always available with counter top dishwashers. In general, these units can rinse dishes but don’t do a good job drying them.
These units are not supposed to be installed on your main water line, though some stores sell the hardware to do so. Note that this may violate your lease and the dishwasher’s warranty if you do this.
Remember that the counter-top dishwasher doesn’t have a food grinder in it so is more prone to clogging. Wherever you put it, make sure you can access the hose so it can be cleaned as necessary and isn’t kinked by its installation. And take care to rinse dishes of food globs to prevent clogs. If you wash a lot of dishes with heavy food reside, select a countertop dishwasher with screens over the drain so they are easy to clear without having to go fishing through the drain hose for the clog.