Moving? Consider a Portable Dishwasher

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When I found my current apartment in NYC I was just about at the end of my apartment searching rope. After weeks of refreshing Craigslist apartment ads every few minutes and having two potential places fall through, I finally found a great, spacious place in the perfect neighborhood. But the kitchen had to be its worst feature: old, laminate cabinets with crooked doors, hardly any countertop space and no dishwasher.

I've lived without a dishwasher before and it can definitely be done; however, given the frequency with which I like to entertain and my busy schedule, having a dishwasher has been a big improvement. I was already giving up my kitchen disposal (yes, I was one of the fewer than 10% of NYC apartments outfitted with garbage disposal - I may never have one again!), and the thought of slugging through dishes without even a proper place to fit a drying rack bummed me out.

Prior to searching around online, I had thought that the only portable dishwashers available were countertop models. Without much counter space, those were out, and I figured that in order to be useful, the dishwasher needed to handle more dishes than I could reasonably wash in a few minutes. I ended up finding a used one on Craigslist with a mock butcher block top. Not only did I end up with a better and larger dishwasher than I've had in most of my apartments in NYC, the top worked great as extra counter space. At 24 inches wide and more than 26 inches deep, it definitely took up space, but was well worth its spot in the corner. I wheeled it over to the sink and connected it to the faucet each time it filled up with dirty dishes, and it was easy to wheel back to its spot after the cycle finished.

Things to consider when buying a portable dishwasher:

  • Since the dishwasher needs to hook up to a water source, check to be sure the hose from the back of the unit will stretch long enough to connect to your faucet.
  • Although the dishwasher I purchased had four sturdy wheels, it was quite heavy and I had to have a delivery guy from the restaurant next door help carry it up the stairs to my building (don't worry, I tipped well!).
  • Many leases specifically do not permit portable dishwashers - check with your building management before you buy.

Do you have a portable dishwasher?

(Image: Flickr member David Locke licensed for use by Creative Commons)

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