Haven’t got the space for a full-size dishwasher in your kitchen? Then how about a countertop dishwasher? Get the lowdown on them in this article.

How countertop dishwashers work:

  • A hose connects the faucet to the dishwasher
  • The water expels into a drain hose and empties into the sink
  • Tabletop dishwashers use less water and electricity than normal-sized units
  • They are easy to store away when guests arrive

That was a little sample of what tabletop dishwashers are all about. But in reality, they can do so much more. Keep on reading to find out their full potential.

How Do Countertop Dishwashers Work?

Do you have limited kitchen space? Or are you trying to cut down your water bills? Whatever your circumstances, a countertop dishwasher could be right up your street.

Coming up, you’ll see how a countertop dishwasher works. You’ll also get access to a run-down on all of its best features.

A Countertop Dishwasher’s Water Supply

So here comes the million-dollar question. Where do countertop dishwashers get their water from? The answer is simple. Countertop dishwashers connect to your water faucet by a hose. The hose joins to a fitting called a unicouple. This connects to your sink’s faucet. The hose carries the water into the dishwasher.

But what if you cannot use your faucet to connect to your dishwasher? Then you can also connect your countertop dishwasher to a water tank.

A Countertop Dishwasher’s Water Drainage

Here comes another great question. How do countertop dishwashers drain the water away? A countertop dishwasher drains using the connected hose. This hose empties the water into your sink.

How to Install a Countertop Dishwasher

So you’ve bitten the bullet and you’ve already got yourself a brand new countertop dishwasher. But you are now wondering what you need to do to set it up. Take a look at the following instructions that will help you.

  1. Attach the water inlet hose to the dishwasher
  2. Connect the unicouple and inlet hose to the sink faucet. If your faucet doesn’t have a threaded spout, you will have to use a faucet adapter.
  3. Attach the water drain hose to the dishwasher
  4. Put the drain hose in the sink
  5. Open the hot water faucet
  6. Turn the dishwasher on
faucet on sink
On a faucet like this you will need to use an adapter

The Difference Between Countertop and Portable Dishwashers

Now let’s clear something up. There is a lot of confusion out there between countertop and portable dishwashers. Are they the same thing? And if they aren’t what’s the difference and which is more suitable for you? Let’s find out.

Countertop Dishwasher Portable Dishwasher
– Sits on the countertop – Is on rollers
– You can lift it up and put it in storage when you are not using it – You can roll it away into storage when you are not using it
– Can only wash a few place settings at once – Has enough room to wash as much as a normal dishwasher
– Uses 2 gallons of water (7.5 liters) per cycle – Uses 3 gallons of water (11.4 liters) per cycle
– It connects to the water faucet via a hose – It connects to the water faucet via a hose
– Saves on electricity bills          – Uses more electricity

As you can see, there are quite a few differences between countertop and portable dishwashers. One of them is how you store the dishwasher. Both countertop and portable dishwashers can be stored when you need the extra space. But there are a couple of factors you should consider about their storage.

  • Countertop dishwashers are heavy. The average dishwasher weighs about 47 pounds (21 kg). So although convenient, lifting the dishwasher about could put a lot of strain on your back.
  • Portable dishwashers are full-size dishwashers. You can store portable dishwashers. But because they are so big, you have to make sure that you have enough space to store them. Otherwise, you might find you are better off with a standard dishwasher.

What else can I say about the differences between countertop and portable dishwashers?

Countertop dishwashers will save you more water per gallon. But here’s something important to remember. You won’t be able to fit as much in a countertop dishwasher as you would in a portable dishwasher. So although it will save more water, you will have to do more loads. In the long run, they could prove just as expensive or even dearer than portable dishwashers.

dishes in dishwasher
A countertop dishwasher can only wash a few plates at once

Countertop Dishwasher Pros and Cons

So you’re trying to decide whether you should go for a countertop dishwasher or not. Take a look at the following list of pros and cons that should help you make the right choice for your home.

Countertop Dishwasher Pros Countertop Dishwasher Cons
– They are compact and they are easy to store, also excellent for small kitchens.– They take up a lot of countertop space while in use. This could be an issue in small kitchens.
– They use less water per wash than normal dishwashers– Their washing capacity is small. Some struggle to hold a regular-sized dinner plate. You cannot use them to wash pots and pans
– They use less electricity– The quality of washing may be compromised if you overfill them
– They are cheaper than normal dishwashers

When You Should Buy a Countertop Dishwasher

Are you still a little on the fence when it comes to countertop dishwashers? You’re not sure whether you should take the plunge and treat yourself to one. Or should you just stick with what you know and settle for a full-sized dishwasher?

If you’re in doubt, take a look at what’s coming up. You’ll find tonnes of reasons why countertop dishwashers make the perfect kitchen appliance.

You should buy a countertop dishwasher if:

  • You have limited space in your kitchen. You can easily disconnect and store the dishwasher. It is easy to make more space when guests come over.
  • You are trying to cut down on your utility bills. Countertop dishwashers use less water and electricity than normal dishwashers. For example, they use only 2 gallons of water per cycle. Regular dishwashers on the other hand use 3 gallons per cycle.
  • You are looking for an economic purchase. Tabletop dishwashers are cheaper to buy than regular-sized dishwashers. They are also less expensive to run.
  • You entertain a lot. You can clean the glassware in a countertop dishwasher ready to use again while the big dishwasher works on all the pots and plates.
  • Someone in the home has limited mobility. The downside of a regular dishwasher is that you have to bend over a lot to take things in and out of it. A countertop dishwasher however is at arms reach. Stacking and emptying it doesn’t involve any awkward bending over. It’s also easier for you to clean.
  • You go on vacation a lot. A countertop dishwasher is easy to pack up and take away on vacation. If you spend extended time in an RV, in a cabin, or on a boat, a countertop dishwasher is ideal. Why not take the convenience with you next time you travel?
  • You need to organize your work office. A countertop dishwasher is awesome for office spaces. Getting one is the perfect way to stop coffee mugs from piling up in the lounge or breakroom.


Countertop dishwashers are becoming increasingly popular. But is it the right appliance for your kitchen? I am sure that the guide in this article has helped you to see how handy and economical a countertop dishwasher is. It has no doubt helped you understand how they work and assisted you with picking the right appliance for your home.

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Have a great day!