When we moved into our latest house, I didn’t even think to look for a dishwasher. The thought never crossed my mind that a house built in the 1960s, almost 60 years old, didn’t have a dishwasher. But, it didn’t.
This is our third house and by far the most beat up. The basement had flooded at some point so they put in a French drain. They neglected to properly dry the basement out and cut back dry wall so it was just a black moldy mess. I wish home inspectors could cut out drywall and check what’s back there, but alas, they can’t. It did smell, and I knew something was up. So, it wasn’t a major shock when I found it. When you grow up the son of a contractor, you luck out with some basic skills that let you tear all that stuff out and save a pretty penny.
The home we just moved from was a brand new build and we were the first owners. It was nice, had all the modern touches and creature comforts. But it was located in a not-so-ideal area and we ended up moving.
The kitchen at this house, at first sight, looks like something you would find in a cabin in Story. That polyurethane stained pine cabinets, grey slate tiled countertops with a bit of 1950’s flair thrown in kind of look. While small, I just assumed there was a dishwasher and didn’t think twice.
Now, this kitchen is small. I would have to rip things out, redesign layouts and move plumbing in order to put in a dishwasher. That’s not really something I wanted to dive into right now so I looked into portable ones. First off, they are as much as a middle-of-the-line installed dishwasher. For a starter portable dishwasher, $800 was what I was coming up with.
I don’t know about you but that is kind of expensive for something that will ultimately be a temporary thing. Secondly, I didn’t have the space to store a giant cube in wheels.
So I just accepted the fact that I would be hand washing dishes for a while like some broke college student.
Enter: A random ad for a countertop dishwasher.
Countertop dishwasher? Is there such a thing? Why have I never heard of this before? Are they just a glamor purchase to go with your tiny stackable washer and dryer you see in European homes on International House Hunters? They must be poorly designed and not work well if this is the first I’m hearing of them.
Turns out, nope, they work amazing and take up hardly any space for what it does.
I had a perfect spot for it on my counter and after some research, I went with a $280 product. Home Depot shipped it out that same day and it was sitting on my doorstep two days later. That alone was impressive. I can’t even get something small like markers to my house that fast.
After installing a few hoses and changing the nozzle out on my rental-style faucet, I was ready to roll. It has a handy mesh cup over the drain that you can just pick up, clean out and put back in easier than changing out a trash bag. Why standard dishwashers don’t have that feature is beyond me, it’s a huge selling point in my mind.
I had made some macaroni and cheese for the toddler earlier and decided to test its cleaning capacity. I didn’t rinse anything off, had four-hour stuck on cheesy Kraft noodles and would have been a giant pain to clean by hand. In went the pot, a few plates, cups and silverware. Surprisingly I still had plenty of room for more items, it’s like the TARDIS in there.
I put it on the normal setting and let’er rip. 1 ½ hours later I inspected the results.
The grate had caught all the stray noodles and nothing remained on the pan. I was impressed. Well worth the investment and the saved time not hand washing is invaluable.
If you have a small kitchen and no dishwasher, I implore you to look into a countertop dishwasher. They are a life saver.