Good Question: Are Countertop Dishwashers Any Good?

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Dear Kitchen,

I just found out about countertop dishwashers and I'm curious. They seem brilliant, but I'm wondering if there are quality issues that keep them from wider circulation. Do you know anything about them?

Thanks,
Anna

Anna,

These dishwashers are small machines designed to connect to the kitchen sink. The standard models retail for about $175 and usually wash only about four place settings at a time. Is it worth sacrificing counter space to clean just four plates, glasses and some silverware?

People who do not have much kitchen space and renters who can't install appliances may consider them. While these dishwashers are usually more energy efficient than larger models, this is in part because most of them do not have a drying cycle.

In your question, you mentioned quality issues. Mediocre reviews on Epinions.com, Amazon.com and other sites are discouraging. Some posters say that the machines by both Haier and Danby tend to break down after a few years and others report problems with leaks. "Not a prizewinner, but it beats the alternatives," said one reviewer. Here's a strange story from a dissatisfied Danby owner.

I've seen countertop dishwashers posted on Craig's List. You might want to start your search there. While I've checked out these machines in stores, I've never owned one. Hopefully, some readers will post more feedback.

Good luck and let us know what you decide about the dishwasher.

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