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I want a dishwasher. Living with 2 men who either don't do dishes, or when they do they leave smudgy stuff and food caked on has led me to doing 3-4 loads a day, and my nails are a MESS! My kitchen is small and does not have an area for a built in, so I am looking into portable dishwashers. Are they any good? Do they work as well as regular washers? I would have to get a small one, does size affect washing power? I assume not all washers are created equally...are there features I can/cannot live without? I have never owned a washer in my life. I think they waste waster, but I see there are energy efficient ones. What does this mean? Does it use less water or less energy?

How do portable ones work? Do they just hook up to the tap on the sink?

Of course the trick will then be training my room mates to load the dishwasher and run it...
Dec 28, 2007 @ 10:12 am

6 Replies



I used to have a portable and was really happy with it. It was about the size of a small built-in, and as long as you don't mind to wash your big items (i.e. serving platters, etc.) by hand, it will do really nicely for your everyday stuff. I have had 2 built-ins since and found the washing results to be very comparable. In my experience, it's more about the type of soap you use than the washer itself (having never owned any fancy brands, I can't compare to top-end equipment though).

Using a washing machine is generally more water efficient than doing the same sized job by hand, unless you are really frugal with water use in the sink. The main thing is to load it up to capacity (not beyond, because then you'll have to rewash some things prob) and not run half loads. Most dishwashers are good enough that you don't have to pre-rinse your stuff, but if your dishes are really filthy you can wipe off the main guck with a rubber spatula directly into the trash - no water wasted!

Energy efficiency is exactly what it seems - energy saver. Water efficient machines will be marked as such. If you can't find/afford an energy or water efficient unit, you can try adjusting the settings on your standard machine. For example, for water efficiency you can skip the pre-wash cycle (there is usually a button or dial you can set, mine says "water miser"); for energy efficiency you would choose the "no heat" dry setting. You might have to towel off your dishes when you unload, but if you open the door for 15-20 minutes before you are ready to unload (particularly shortly after the machine is finished and the dishes are still hot), most of the water will evaporate.

Portables have a retractable hose that you attach to your kitchen sink. If you have one of those diffusers on your faucet, you may have to remove it to make the attachment fit. Then simply plug it in to any outlet (doesn't need a special plug or power supply) and start it up!

You ask what features you can/can't live without? I like the energy and water efficiencies I mentioned above, and to be fair must say that I've never seen a dishwasher without those features. I think they're pretty standard. Other than that, the only feature I am concerned about is not having to scrub the dishes myself. I guess my tastes are pretty basic...

Good luck on the training of your friends. I suspect that will be the most difficult part of your job here ;)
Dec 28, 2007 @ 11:00 am

less expensive plan...

...Hey Nessie, since I have met those roomies, I don't know that a portable washer will be the answer here. I say they have their own dishes and utensils and you have yours....tell them they are NOT allowed to touch your stuff. When all their crap is dirty they will be forced to wash it!!!! Enough with tenants running things! Either that or you can try to get them to pitch in for a washer but you better believe your bills are going to go up from running a washer in the first place!
Dec 28, 2007 @ 12:13 pm
Ali de Bold

Amen, Sister

I agree with MizzRobin, it is very wrong of the boys to expect you to be Mommy and clean up after them.

I would make your dishes off limits so they are forced to clean their own. If it really gets bad, you might consider taking that stack of dirty dishes and leaving them in their bedrooms so they can face the filth head on. Then, when they are about to come home and discover it, go get yourself a manicure and a martini.

Good luck!!
Dec 29, 2007 @ 12:24 pm


thanks you guys! Well, my boyfriend will clean when I ask, but my room mate I literally have to put the broom in his hand. It's not that they aren't willing, it's just they don't think about it, and when asked they put it off and forget.

Thanks for your reply mamaluv, very helpful! Now lets see if the boys can get it together by february to treat me to one! if I get one I shall be sure to rate it :)
Jan 03, 2008 @ 11:40 am

option 2

get a washer and add hydro to their rent, that'll teach them. Tell them what it will cost them in average in hydro and then give them the option to wash their own dishes instead of you buying a washer. I'm sorry there is no excuse for such laziness of your tenants... they are university students for goodness sake, they should have the brains to know that their dishes don't magically do themselves!
Jan 03, 2008 @ 03:21 pm


I had a coutertop dishwasher in my old apartment. It was ok but I had to use the sani-wash option (really high temp water) or else it would just use the hot tap water temp and dishes wouldn't come clean or rinse properly. If you have the room, go for the portable on wheels. They're narrower but just as tall as a built-in. And you can use the top of it for a microwave or something. I already had a portable laundry washer/dryer in my kitchen so the countertop was my only option. I could only find it at wal-mart, it was a Danby. The hoses attach to your faucet, pretty easy to use.
Jan 08, 2008 @ 08:34 pm

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