Countertop dishwashers are a popular kitchen appliance around the world. If you have ever had to wash dishes, and we literally don’t know anyone above the age of 12 who hasn’t, then you know why.
Joel Houghton invented the first dishwasher to be granted a patent in 1850. It was a clumsy-looking wooden contraption, a box that used a hand-turned wheel to splash water on dirty dishes. We speculate that the machine didn’t work quite as well as its inventor had hoped. It wasn’t a huge success.
But Houghton’s invention sparked modifications that would, more than 170 years later, lead to the rise of an industry that experts say reached a value of $5.25 billion in 2022. That is about the size of the GDP of a small nation. The market is projected to hit around $8.62 billion by 2032.
- 1 The 5 Best Countertop Dishwashers You Can Buy Right Now
- 1.1 1. Homelabs Energy Star Compact Countertop Dishwasher
- 1.2 2. RCA RDW3208 Countertop Dishwasher
- 1.3 3. The Danby DDW621WDB
- 1.4 5. Black & Decker BCD6W
- 1.5 Intuitive and Easy
- 1.6 How to Take Care of Your Countertop Dishwasher
The 5 Best Countertop Dishwashers You Can Buy Right Now
Today, the countertop dishwasher has become a center of daily life, simultaneously providing convenience and generating a dizzying variety of models and brands. There are so many countertop dishwashers out there that it is almost impossible to avoid them: they are in retail stores, offices, homes, and kitchens just about everywhere in the world.
So much so that choosing the right dishwasher for your home can be a conundrum of sorts. The sheer array of options is enough to discourage a would-be shopper.
Of course, we are always here to help. We did the initial research for you, tested quite a few countertop dishwashers ourselves, weeded out those that were of inferior quality, and managed to compile a list of the five best dishwashers you can buy right now. Read on to find out more about them.
1. Homelabs Energy Star Compact Countertop Dishwasher
One look at the Homelabs Energy Star Compact Countertop Dishwasher will tell you quite a few things. This countertop dishwasher’s simple, almost spare design says it means business and will get the job done quickly and without a fuss. The unit’s tough-looking build speaks to the manufacturer’s commitment to long-lasting quality and durability, and its compact size will tell you that it was designed for smaller households.
Homelabs LLC has established itself as a reputable company in the home appliances and consumer electronics industry. The company manufactures washing machines, dryers, vacuums, air purifiers, and other home appliances that emphasize eco-friendly performance, sturdiness, and user-friendly features to simplify household chores. We think that all these qualities are readily evident in the Homelabs Energy Star Compact Countertop Dishwasher, of course.
Small But Capable
The Energy Star takes its name from the US Department of Energy’s rating system. Products with the Energy Star rating are government-certified to run on $35 per year and can save you about 3,800 gallons of water over your lifetime. Now, who wouldn’t want to save both money and water?
We love how compact this machine is, too. This dishwasher measures 17.2 inches in height, 19.6 inches in depth, and 21.6 inches in width. It weighs around 44 lbs., which means you can move it around your kitchen quite easily. You’ll also have no problems packing the unit and its appendages – the filter, and the rinse aid adapter, among others – into a box in case you intend to move.
This device will fit easily onto any counter or tabletop and is perfect for a small kitchen and household. In short, you won’t have problems fitting it between your countertops and the upper cabinets of your kitchen (the standard distance for this space is 18 inches).
But this appliance’s compact size does not mean it has an equally small capacity. This petite countertop dishwasher will accommodate six place settings per cycle. This means you can entertain a few guests and not have to worry about having to manually wash the dishes afterward.
The Homelabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher has six wash cycles, including normal, light, heavy, speed, soak, and glass. It has a large dish rack and silverware basket for its size. You will be surprised at how many dishes it can hold in such a small space and how well this appliance performs.
The control panel is intuitive with push-button controls. Just above the handle, you’ll find the easy-to-read digital display. Here you’ll find the settings and an indicator that lets you know when the machine is out of rinse aid.
“We Love It”
This model does not have its own tank. You will need to place it near your kitchen sink, or it can also be connected to your water mains using a new hose. Set up is straightforward and simple with the included quick connect kit.
This appliance did what it is supposed to do, and we liked its features. The rinse aid dispenser will keep your dishwasher looking as good as new for longer. The dual-action spray arm provides even coverage, so the water thoroughly washes your dishes no matter which cycle you use. You can remove these for cleaning.
You can also remove the filters for the same purpose. The kit comes with clear and simple instructions for routine maintenance, which is refreshing. We know how it feels to ponder over the sometimes-impenetrable language in which instructions and manuals for some other brands and appliances are written.
This device will save you water, too, needing only 3.1 gallons per load. You use about 25 gallons of water when you do your dishes by hand.
The bottom line? The Homelabs Energy star is pricey, yes; but pound for pound, we think this is the best countertop dishwasher in the market right now – and we’re not the only ones who think so.
“Overall, I highly recommend this product if you have limited space in your kitchen and the dishes pile up easily…” says one customer review. “I love it and it’s made me way better about keeping up with kitchen chores.”
2. RCA RDW3208 Countertop Dishwasher
If you want a budget-friendly automatic dishwasher that will do the job just as well – if not better – than its more expensive competitors, we recommend the RCA RDW3208 Countertop Dishwasher. This countertop dishwasher costs much less than the Homelabs Energy Star, but it will also fit six-place settings.
Chances are, you’ve heard of the RCA brand. The RCA Corporation’s brand has been among the most recognizable name in the manufacturing and electronics industry for more than 100 years. Apart from many other products, RCA is also a competitive manufacturer of washing machines, refrigerators, and automatic dishwashers like the RDW3208.
One of the many things we liked about this countertop dishwasher is its quiet operation. While many budget appliances can be noisy while running, the RCA RDW3208 runs so quietly that you just might not notice that it’s on. You can load it with dishes before bedtime, run a cycle overnight, and sleep soundly while it does the work.
The RDW3208 is 21.9 x 19.8 x 23.8 inches, so it does take up more space than the Homelabs Energy Star although it weighs about the same. It has a heating element that heats the water as necessary for each cycle. You don’t have to use hot water directly from your faucet.
The control buttons on this countertop dishwasher are large and responsive. They are laid out clearly to permit intuitive operation. They also light up to show which program is in use. Like the Energy Star, this dishwasher has six wash cycles: normal, economy, rapid, glass, soak, and intensive cycles for heavy-duty washing situations.
The stainless-steel interior features a cup shelf and cutlery basket. You can flip the plate racks so that they lay flat when you need to accommodate pots and pans in the cycle. We thought this design feature was convenient and well-considered.
We had no problems cleaning the unit, inside and out. You will find the removable filter inside the dishwasher. The manufacturers advise users to clean this food debris regularly. You will find the detergent and rinse aid dispensers on the inside of the door, as well.
Excellent Value for Your Money
The RDW3208 countertop dishwasher performs each of its programs well and economically. The heavy program runs for 100 minutes and will use 14.5 liters of water. A standard wash runs for 85 minutes and requires 12 liters of water.
The 45-minute speed program uses 12 liters of water, as well. Rinsing will use 4.3 liters of water. Like the Homelabs Energy Star, the RDW3208 is Energy Star Certified by the US DOE. Running this countertop dishwasher will cost you no more than US $27 a year! That is incredible savings and cost-effectiveness.
“Very heavy, very effective, and a great value,” says one happy customer on Amazon. “I was expecting a sort of knock-off experience, but this is a legit, fully functional dishwasher.”
We obviously liked the RDW3208. We appreciated this countertop dishwasher’s straightforward design and performance, as well as its reasonable price point and economical operation. The machine offers the basics, which means it will give you everything you need to get your dishes sparkling, and that’s it.
Some users have noted how stacking plates into it requires some practice. A few more programs would have been nice, too; but overall, we think the RCA RDW3208 provides excellent value for your money and is a smart investment all around.
3. The Danby DDW621WDB
The Danby DDW621WDB Countertop Dishwasher offers a simple solution for homemakers who don’t have the space for a full-size dishwasher. The Danby DDW621WDB is compact and performs every bit as well as larger machines, thanks to six wash programs. Despite its relatively diminutive size, its interior is roomy enough to fit up to six standard place settings, five to six cups, and assorted silverware in the included basket.
The DDW621WDB is simple to install and operate, as well. Out of the box, this countertop dishwasher includes all the hoses and attachments you’ll need to connect it to your faucet. You will find all the machine’s functions clearly displayed on a LED dial, too.
This countertop dishwasher is manufactured by Danby Appliances Inc., a Canadian company headquartered in Guelph, Ontario. It was founded in 1947 by John Silberschlag as a manufacturer of small electrical appliances. Over the years, the company has grown to become one of the leading home appliance manufacturers in North America with good, solid products like the Danby DDW621WDB.
Full-Sized Cleaning in a Compact Machine
Just like a full-size dishwashing machine, the Danby DDW621WDB features an auto detergent and rinse aid dispenser so your dishes and cutlery come out spotless and clean. This countertop dishwasher offers six wash cycles: light, normal, heavy, speed, rinse, and glass. You also get delayed start options of two, four, six, and eight hours, which means you can arrange its operations around your schedule.
The Danby DDW621WDB is also a remarkably energy-efficient machine. Like the two previous countertop dishwashers on this list, this machine has a US government Energy Star rating and will consume less water than other dishwashers.
You will be pleased to know that, too, unlike a full-sized dishwasher machine, you will not need the services of a qualified plumber to install the DDW621WDB. Everything you need to attach the appliance to a faucet is in the box. These include a drain hose, inlet hose, faucet adaptor, and a quick-connect attachment with a pressure relief valve.
The instructions that come with the unit are simple to follow. Preparing the machine for a wash should become second nature after a while.
One of the conveniences offered by the DDW621WDB is that the engineers over at Danby designed the machine to fit under most standard cabinetry. This countertop dishwasher is 17.24 (L) x 21.65 (W) x 19.69 (H) inches. You shouldn’t have any problems finding a suitable perch for it in your kitchen.
Now, just because it’s small does not mean the DDW621WDB cannot do bigger dishwashing jobs like saucepans and pots. You can position the plate racks on this dishwasher horizontally. This permits enough room in the interior for larger dishes and pans. Granted, you will need to use some of your Tetris skills to stack everything neatly, but that is much easier than it sounds.
Economic and Reliable
We liked this countertop dishwasher’s top-notch cleaning performance. The six-place setting capacity should easily meet the needs of a single household or even a small family. The machine’s energy consumption earns it an Energy Star certification with an estimated yearly energy cost of $18 when you use a natural gas water heater.
Don’t let the sparkling clean outcome of its operation fool you into thinking that it uses a great deal of water, too. The dishwasher’s water consumption is just 3.1 gallons of water per wash. Now all that should help you save money throughout the machine’s life cycle!
Overall, we think the Danby DDW621WDB is among the best countertop dishwashers in the market today. You’d be hard put to find one that is better at its price point.
“I’ve put this dishwasher through 5+ years of constant use with no problems whatsoever, and only a handful of times has it ever left a dish anything but spotless,” says one reviewer on Amazon. “Even if it died today, it still would be one of the best things I’ve ever spent money on.” Now, do we really need to say anything more?
4. Magic Chef MCSCD6B5
The Magic Chef MCSCD6B5 is a dependable countertop dishwasher that will rank high on any list of the best dishwashers around. This unit is ideal for small apartments and homes. It is surprisingly roomy and can take on the dishes of a one- or two-person household quite handily.
We can’t say that it’s quieter than the RDW3208, but the MCSCD6B5 is quiet enough that you forget that it is there even when it is on. On paper, it has a decibel rating of 52 dB. That’s about the decibel level inside a quiet office.
Magic Chef is a brand of kitchen appliances manufactured by the MCA Corporation. Established in the United States in 1929, the brand initially gained popularity for its gas stoves. Over the years, the product line expanded to include a wide range of appliances, including refrigerators, cooktops, microwave ovens, and, of course, dishwashers like the Magic Chef MCSCD6B5.
Easy Installation, Six-Cycle Convenience
The MCSCD6B5’s rather elegant-looking exterior looks compact but, inside, it can take up to six place settings, as well as some larger items such as pots and pans.
This countertop washing machine has six wash cycles. These include Heavy, Normal, Light, and Quick. There is also a glass cycle and standard rinse. It has features like a delayed start function that can be set up to 24 hours in advance, which is ideal for busy lifestyles.
There is also an easy-to-clean three-filter system that keeps the appliance hygienic and an automatic detergent and rinse aid dispenser. To top that off, the Magic Chef MCSCD6B5 is equipped with an anti-flood sensor that detects when the water level inside the dishwasher is too high. In short, there is enough in this little appliance to be more than equal to the job in a small household.
Installation is quick and easy, too. The Magic Chef MCSCD6B5 connects to your faucet with an easy-to-install quick-connect kit. The kit includes inlet and outlet hoses, and a faucet adapter. You simply connect the unit to a faucet. That is all there is to it. There is no need to connect it to the main water supply, and no need to engage the services of a professional plumber. So, yes, this countertop dishwasher is perfect for your RV.
Inside, the racks are well-organized to hold plates, pots, and pans. There is also a standard cutlery basket and a cup shelf. Despite its diminutive exterior, the Magic Chef MCSCD6B5 will take larger items like frying pans, should you need them.
We cannot say enough about the performance of this countertop dishwasher during our tests. For a small machine, it does some big cleaning.
“This is seriously the best dishwasher I’ve used as far as getting dishes clean,” says one satisfied customer, who goes on to posit an interesting explanation: “My personal theory is, because the space is smaller inside, the pressure of the water is probably stronger.”
This countertop dishwasher comes in two colors – black or white – to suit your kitchen decor. The stainless-steel interior sparkles with a durable and long-lasting finish, while the controls outside are neatly arranged and intuitive. They consist of a simple array of push buttons and a clear LED display. When the cycle finishes, the appliance will automatically shut off and sound a brief alert.
If you live in a small apartment or are looking for an economical and efficient way to get your dishes clean when you are out on the road with your RV, the Magic Chef MCSCD6B5 is a great option. With its quiet operation and delayed start functionality, it’s designed for both those situations. And for the features and reliability you get with this countertop dishwasher, we say it’s well worth the reasonable asking price.
5. Black & Decker BCD6W
In the Black & Decker BCD6W, you see one of the finest and most recognizable names in the world’s manufacturing industry making one of the best countertop dishwashers in the market today. This machine has a range of useful features you would typically find in bigger dishwashers, and the BCD6W handles them so well that your dishes and cutlery come out as though brand new after every wash.
Established in 1910, Black & Decker’s early products include machines for making milk bottle caps and candy dipping. Over the years, the company has led innovation in the production of a wide range of power tools and outdoor equipment, building everything from electric saws to the power head on the Apollo Lunar Surface Drill.
The BCD6W is among the newest products in the company’s line of kitchen appliances and equipment. As expected, this machine looks fabulous in the kitchen and performs well, too. The fact that it wears the Black & Decker logo only adds to the singular satisfaction of owning a reliable, well-built kitchen appliance that is bound to be useful for many years.
Intuitive and Easy
This countertop dishwasher does not come with a separate tank, but as is the standard with most countertop dishwashers, the BCD6W includes a ‘quick connect’ kit with an inlet and drain hose and a faucet adapter. The plumbing attachments are about five feet long, which should be enough to permit easy positioning.
There is a sleek, almost industrial look to this Black and Decker countertop dishwasher that we found quite appealing. It is larger than most of the dishwashers on this list at 21.5″D x 21.7″ W x 17.2″H and looks almost like a small oven. We liked the dark front panel and sleek handle, and the standard high-quality white finish. This unit is bound to look good in any kitchen.
We liked the LED display and intuitive touch controls on this machine, too. On the control panel, you will find the power button and the clear display, which also shows the delay time and rinse-aid warning.
Black & Decker offers a variety of options with its BCD6W countertop dishwasher that we are sure you will appreciate, too. You get seven programs to choose from: Heavy, Normal, Babycare, Eco, Glass, Speed, and Rinse. New parents will be pleased with the inclusion of a Babycare cycle. Others will find that the program is also excellent for washing crystal, fine china, and glasses.
That’s not all. The BCD6W also features a child-lock, as well as a delay-start function for up to 24 hours, which gives you the option to start your chosen cycle at a time that’s convenient for you. You can also pause the cycle to open the dishwasher. This could be useful if you to load an item or need to quickly retrieve something while the machine is operating.
The BCD6W is easy to load and empty. The slide-out dish rack holds up to six place settings. The interior of this countertop dishwasher is roomy enough to accommodate plates up to 10 inches in diameter. There is also a removable cutlery basket, as well as a cup rack.
The BCD6W countertop dishwasher performs well. You’ll be happy to find your dishes sparkling clean when you retrieve them after a wash. But, as with most dishwashers, you made to rinse some heavier, more dried-on food from your plates before you load them into the washer. You should also take care to clean the filtering system once a week to keep the appliance efficient.
“I find this device quite sufficient for me,” says one satisfied customer on Amazon. “It works well and is quiet.”
“Follow up a year later,” adds another, “still my favorite appliance.”
The Black and Decker BCD6W is an Energy Star-certified appliance, so it won’t put too much of a dent in your energy bills. In terms of water usage, the Heavy program uses about 12.5 liters of water. The standard Normal wash will consume 10.8 liters of water. The Eco mode will use 10 liters.
All in all, we liked this countertop dishwasher. It’s the most versatile on this list and it does what it is supposed to do with a few bells and whistles added. The big-name brand does command a premium, and it will cost you. But it’s also economical with electricity and water, so you will get your money back this way in the end. That’s why it’s on our list of the best countertop dishwashers of 2023.
How to Take Care of Your Countertop Dishwasher
A countertop dishwasher is a convenient and space-saving appliance that helps streamline your kitchen chores. To ensure its optimal performance and longevity, proper maintenance and care are essential.
Before using your dishwasher, read the manufacturer’s instructions and familiarize yourself with its features, functions, and recommended maintenance procedures. Each model may have specific requirements, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.
To maximize efficiency and avoid potential issues, it is also important to load your countertop dishwasher properly. Avoid overcrowding the dishwasher, as this can hinder the water spray and detergent distribution. Place larger items on the bottom rack and position dishes, glasses, and utensils in a way that allows water to reach all surfaces effectively.
While automatic dishwashers are designed to handle food residues, experts advise that you pre-rinse or scrape off excess food from your dishes before loading them. This helps prevent clogs in the dishwasher’s filter and ensures a more thorough cleaning process.
Selecting the right detergent is essential for maintaining your machine’s performance, too. Use dishwasher-specific detergents recommended by the manufacturer to prevent damage and achieve optimal cleaning results. Do not use regular dish soap, as it can cause excessive foaming and may damage the dishwasher.
Be sure you clean the dishwasher’s interior on a regular basis. This is vital for its efficient operation. Remove any debris or food particles from the bottom of the dishwasher after each cycle. Wipe down the interior surfaces using a soft cloth and mild detergent. Additionally, clean the dishwasher’s spray arm, filter, and any other removable parts according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Hot water is crucial for effective dishwashing. If available, check your countertop dishwasher’s water temperature settings to ensure it reaches the recommended temperature for optimal cleaning. If necessary, adjust the water heater in your kitchen to provide the appropriate hot water supply.
Over time, mineral deposits and odors may accumulate in your dishwasher. To prevent this, periodically descale the dishwasher using a suitable descaling agent or a mixture of water and vinegar.
Follow the recommended maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer. This may include tasks such as replacing filters, inspecting and cleaning the spray arm, and checking the water inlet and drain hoses for any blockages. Remember, regular maintenance helps prevent potential problems and extends the lifespan of any appliance. Your countertop dishwasher is no different.