Countertop Dishwashers

sean_mFebruary 22, 2012

I can't believe this, but I can't find a single post on here about a countertop dishwasher. Not one!

So...who has used one?

What are they like?



Noise level?

At my office we're getting tired of people leaving dirty mugs/utensils/plates in the sink or doing a half-hearted job of cleaning them. It's quite gross to open the drawer and find forks with food bits still stuck to them. A countertop dishwasher seems like it might be the solution.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They are useless PIAs. Either put in a real DW or crack down on the slobs.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 4:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a Danby (DDW396W) that's several years old, bought NIB via Craigslist.

All these comments apply only to the specific model. Can't say what may be the differences on the current version, or what other brands are available.

Point 1: The capacity and loading patterns are very limited, partly because of the rack design which is conducive to placing certain items in only the designated sections ... such as dinner plates which holds only four (or five at most). Glassware is more flexible, and the rack inserts can be removed for using it (per the manual) as a "bar" washer (only glassware).

Point 2: It uses (comparatively) a lot of power, and moreso if the high-temp option is selected (heats the first wash to 165F). Notably, the heating function delays the timer until the target temp is reached (it heats pretty quickly), so it can run on a cold fill which is nice for use in a camper or travel trailer.

Point 3: The cycle sequence is a bit backward in that the first wash is heated/longer rather than being a shorter/non-heated prewash phase followed by a heated main wash. The timer is mechanical and can be manually cranked along with changing the high-temp option to make a "custom" cycle sequence.

Point 4: There is no drying heater or drying phase in the cycle. The final rinse is always heated to 165F which provides residual heat for flash-drying -- helps to open the door, which has a 'stop' holding it slightly ajar.

Point 5: It has a manual-clean filter that should be cleaned after every run (unless perhaps the dishes are scraped/rinsed clean first, which would be silly IMO). The filter screen sits over the heater sump and gets hot so food particles tend to stick to it a little.

Point 6: It does clean quite well (which it should heating to 165F, LOL).

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 5:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also disagree with LWO on this one - sorta. I have a Bosch I brought back from Europe to use as a glass washer / novelty in a bar. Works fine for that. Cleans well enough. But not available stateside, so it doesn't really matter.

I do agree that your best course is to train your employees how to behave. Just get rid of all dishes / silverware one night and wait for the complaints to fly. Call a meeting and explain the new "program".

If you really want a DW - I'd suggest an 18" model or better yet a single dish drawer. You'll still have to train/ retrain the staff.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 5:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

Paper plates and plastic forks might be a better approach than a tiny little DW that won't get used either. Even if you put in a full sized DW, you'd still be dealing with people who think it's easier to just put stuff in the sink than in the DW. And who would have the responsibility of running a cycle? Emptying it? Buying the DW detergent? You'd have to work out a schedule for those responsibilities, and it will be resented. It would be even more resented if you assigned one single person to dishwasher duty. Just think of how "well" it works to have a company refrigerator! I've never been anywhere where the responsibility of keeping one clean was actually done well unless you have an OCD person on staff. The slobs always win, and the tidier people end up being PO'd that the work falls on their shoulders just because they have higher standards.

Eliminate the problem entirely and let people provide their own utensils for their own lunches.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 5:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

you can always hire a cleaning service, and tell the minions at raise time that their raise is paying for the mess they leave.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

From experience, I would suggest cracking down on the slobs. You'll spend the bucks on a DW and they'll ignore it or screw it up or expect someone else to take care of it. This is a personnel problem, not a machine problem. Annoying, but common.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 11:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This situation's complicated by office politics.

Management wants to avoid conflict at all costs (including the cost of getting a dishwasher). One of the issues is that one of the 'suspects' is a partner's spouse. Adding to the issue is that the cleaning crew doesn't clean. The partner's spouse thinks they can do no wrong, despite them not cleaning the floors for weeks at a time, stealing things and charging nearly double the going rate, so that's a dead end. Same person also insists that we have the plates, silverware, and glasses.

So... back to the dishwasher...

LWO: Have you actually used one? The interior of the ones I've seen online look very similar to the full-size Boschs I've had over the years. They also look almost identical to the 18" dishwashers I've seen in some offices.

hollysprings: I'm not too worried about running it/unloading it. There are several of us in the office who've discussed this and would be willing to do that part. We're just sick & tired of manually cleaning dishes and finding the sink absolutely stacked full of dirty dishes. Or worse, opening up the cabinet and finding dirty silverware & plates shoved in there. The office would pick up the costs of purchasing & operation.

Actually the office fridge has remained clean. Out of the past 2 years there's only been one time when someone left something in the fridge that spoiled. And it wasn't entirely their fault -- they unexpectedly got called out to the field for a week.

dadoes: Sounds like it might be exactly what we're looking for. How loud is it when running? A normal day for us usually generates 6-12 coffee mugs, 5 or so glasses, 3-5 plates. Maybe a bowl or two. All of the models I've been seeing online look a lot alike. To the point that I'm wondering if only one company truly makes them and everyone else slaps a different door/controls on them.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 10:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All of what you outline would not fit in one load, but most of it might ... depends how many mugs, size of the glasses (juice? tea tumblers?) and size of the plates (saucer? dessert? dinner?). Four 'regular'-size mugs fit on the upper side-shelf, more can go in the rack depending on what else is in the load. There's one spray arm below the rack, so must avoid blocking spray (between other items) to the shelf.

I had to do a modification on mine to prevent plates from protruding below the rack and blocking the arm rotation ... added a couple zip-ties in the plate area to hold them up a little higher.

Noise levels are subjective to the individual person and environ. It's surely not *silent* but I don't find it objectionable by any means. Louder than my DishDrawer, but much less (of course) than a blender or mixer.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 12:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For the amount of dishes you are talking about, a standard DW would be a better choice. It would also be less of a learning curve to load for whomever the chore fell on. You just need a 24" space next to the sink and the services of an electrician and plumber.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 4:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have one of those Bosch countertop dishwashers and it awesome - clean and dry pots and pans in 50 minutes. But I live in Europe and, as antss said, these can't be had in the US. Can't comment on the American offering but they sure look very much alike.

A couple of clickable images of some loads I did in there. A great little unit.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 6:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

dadoes: Mostly smaller plates. We do have large plates but they're rarely used. Usually just something for people to make a quick small salad on or to present cookies/doughnuts/crackers/cheese to clients.

GreenDesigns: I don't have room for a 18" let alone a 24", hence the inquiry into countertop models. Someone else designed the kitchen and it was built-out before I got here, otherwise there would have been quite a few changes made to it.

Alex: That looks A LOT like the ones I've seen. I do wish Bosch would sell one here -- they'd make a killing with their reputation in the US + a real name-brand having a countertop. The only name-brand smaller dishwashers here are the 18" models.
Here's what a couple of the manuals have shown for an interior:

Looks very similar to what Alex posted. Seeing his photos, I can easily see our daily amount of dirty cups/dishes fitting.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 7:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Some more pictures I just took.

All coffee pots and glasses

And plates: from dinner plates down to saucers.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 10:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wish Bosch would sell their countertop models in the US.

I can't fit a standard machine under the counter without a remodel. The previous owner added hardwood floors after installing kitchen counters and the dishwasher, thus narrowing the opening for installation by 0.75" or more.

We could barely get the old one out and most current ones are too tall to get through without lifting the counter itself or cutting into the hardwood floor. So we are going creative -- a countertop in the space with a pull out drawer for pots/pan storage below.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 11:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How much room do you have from the top of floor to the underside of the counter - EXACTLY ?

.Some DW are a bit shorter.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 12:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

33.20 is what I have and reading the manufacturer drawings only one would fit (a Whirlpool), from our local supplier (who would also do the servicing, should we need it). I thought about a single drawer dishwasher (love the idea as it takes days to fill a full sized dishwasher) but the service record of the F&P is a show stopper.

We're fine with the work around -- a full size dishwasher is never full and I'd much rather have the storage drawer underneath.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 3:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

but the service record of the F&P is a show stopper. Just to say for the "record," I have an F&P DD603 that's now 10+ years old (August 2003) and never had an operating failure.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 7:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your opening wasn't sized correctly to begin with it seems. You should have closer to 33 3/4" after the 3/4" floor was added.

I too have a single DD, and it's had no issues either. Ditto for a working model we had in a showroom and sold on 9-10 years ago.

I'd do that over one of those countertop models.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 1:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When are "new" office got a DW groups of 3 or 4 people where assigned DW duty for a period of one week. EVERYONE was supposed to put in their dirty dishes. People would see if you didn't. Plus everyone has their own favorite coffee mug so if yours was sitting in the sink it was obvious you were not following the rules.

When it was your turn for DW duty your team had to go in the kitchen at the end of the work day and make sure everything was in the DW and run it. The next morning your team had to unload it putting things away. With 3 or 4 people it was no big deal.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 1:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@dadoes @xedos

Well, it's good to hear that people have had good experiences with them. When the countertop dies or I tire of it - whichever comes first - I'll do some shopping for a DD. I live far enough from a metro area that an appliance that is out of the ordinary would be an expensive fix.

Example: Our new house came with a vintage Wedgewood stove. As we moved in we could smell propane. The gas company red-tagged it (evidently the previous owners were immune to the odor). To get a professional to fix it, I paid 4 hours travel time for the service call. They did a wonderful job (Apple Stoves - all they do is vintage restore/repair).

No one in my county sells F&P -- so it could be an adventure should we need service.

This post was edited by xeres on Sun, Mar 23, 14 at 23:54

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 11:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And that countertop unit ? Who repairs it ?

Are you sure ?

I suppose they are cheap enough to be disposable to some people.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 7:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There's lots of service info online. F&P even has a channel on Vimeo. Currently at least three online sources for parts, not counting eBay.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 8:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

FWIW, we ended up buying an SPT SD-2201W countertop dishwasher back in 2012. It's become one of the better office purchases we've made in some time.

For an office of ~10-12 people using real plates, real mugs, real glasses, and real silverware, it's the perfect size. We do ~1 load a day, sometimes two if we're doing catering, parties, or something which generates a lot of plates.

Some observations:
1) It's MUCH quieter than a regular-size dishwasher.
2) It's cleans much better than my GE dishwasher, about par with my Bosch.
3) The internal water heater works very well, and this particular dishwasher's condensation drying feature works very well. Just like the Bosch, only a little bit of dew on plastics. Glass and china and metal are absolutely dry.
4) It handles food wastes rather well. We just throw dirty dishes with food still on them in there and it scrubs it right off.

Some ~500 loads later, it's still going strong. If it were to fail, I'd order another one in a heartbeat. Everyone has learned to throw their dirties in there rather than the sink.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:41PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Fhiaba column refrigerator freezer anyone?
Has anyone seen these in person or have in their kitchen?...
DCS double wall oven--reviews?
I'm in the market for a double wall oven and saw a...
New Bluestar elec wall oven vs New Viking french door wall oven
Has anyone had a chance to use either the New BlueStar...
Dishwasher with cutlery tray and heated dry?
I seem to be coming up fairly empty handed with these...
How to decide on refrigeration? High versus low end.
We are a family of 4 with growing kids; cook almost...
Sponsored Products
Five-Piece Carafe Set
$12.99 | zulily
9 Wine Bottle Tabletop Holder
The City Farm
Modern Stainless Steel Vessel Sink
Virtu KD-70090-C-ES Vanity Set in Espresso with Ceramic Countertop
Blue Bath
Waechtersbach Pure Nature Moon Oil/Vinegar Dipping Set - 41OVDP5130
$24.00 | Hayneedle
Lenox Sheer Grace Saucer - Set of 2 - LNOX1686
$33.60 | Hayneedle
Soho Pet Feeder
$249.00 | FRONTGATE
Berry & Thread Appetizer Platter - WHITEWASH
$95.00 | Horchow
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™