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The Best Cheap Dishwashers (Portable Countertop & Built-In)

Buying the perfect dishwasher for you seems fairly simple right? Find the one you think looks the best, shell out the money needed, and viola!!! Your dishwasher search is complete.

To be fair. That may very well have been the case as recent as five, or even three, years ago. But with the advancements in technology and the continuing price drops of everybody’s favorite kitchen appliance, there is now an infinite number of options to choose from now.

And of course, they’ve all got differences – however subtle they may be. But, with roughly several hundred dishwashers makes and models to choose from, we will try and narrow your options down to the single digits. Oh yeah, and under $400.

Alright, we’ve got the formalities out of the way; let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the article – the best cheap dishwashers:

Best Portable Dishwasher:

EdgeStar DWP61ES Countertop Dishwasher

I have to say; for a portable tabletop dishwasher, this machine is a beauty. Typically, these dishwashers are a lot less attractive, but it seems EdgeStar figured something out this one.

I love everything from its attractive compact design to how it quickly and efficiently gets your dishes crystal clear.

The water temperature gets hot enough to kill any bacteria that remain on the dishes after you wash them off, and the led display shows you how much time you have remained on the wash cycle. You can set your wash cycles ranging from a ten-minute rinse and a 45-minute full wash.

I understand your pain if you don’t have the room or the plumbing necessary to have a built-in dishwasher and are fed up with hand washing your dishes. EdgeStar has provided you with a solution.

You’ll find the price is pocket-friendly, and you’ll save boatloads of money on takeout now that you finally have a convenient way to wash your dishes.


Runner-up for Best Countertop Dishwasher:

SPT Countertop Dishwasher

Looking for a portable dishwasher? This countertop model from STP is sure to fit your needs. You’ve got six different wash cycles (heavy, normal, light, glass, speed wash, and soak), so you’ll never need to use any more water than is necessary.

With a countertop dishwasher, you can expect it to take up minimal space and be much more cost-effective to run. Plus, the installation of the machine is as simple as it comes. The faucet adapter fits the standard size aerators.

This dishwasher is the perfect solution for city dwellers with small kitchens. At only 17.25 inches in height, it will easily rest between the countertops and the cabinets, with room to spare in between.


Best Cheap Dishwasher:

Hotpoint HDA2100HBB Built-in Dishwasher

Most of us will be looking for a more traditional dishwasher, but one that doesn’t cost a week’s salary. Suppose this sounds like you, then consider this 24-inch built-in dishwasher. It is durable, practical, reliable, and very simple to operate.

Using a dial It is on the smaller size so that it wouldn’t be recommended for larger families. But at its compact size, it is indeed a perfect fit for small homes and apartments.

This is an everyday machine. With the Piranha food disposer to get rid of stuck-on food particles, you will no longer be forced to spend extra time making sure you get your dishes spotless before putting them in the dishwasher.


Best Inexpensive Dishwasher Overall:

Amana ADB1300 Tall Tub Dishwasher

One of my favorite machines for budget shopping is the Amana ADB1300AFB, and the reason is simple.

The combination of efficiency, cleanliness, and ease of use cannot be oversold here. It easily offers the best, most powerful dishwashers you will find on the market at a price point this amazing. Sure, you’ll find better dishwashers, but you’ll also be spending nearly double the amount (but you wouldn’t be getting double the output).

As with most dishwashers that are this inexpensive, you will need to manually empty the strainer every so often – something that is not difficult to do. Unfortunately, it also does not come with its own power cord, so go ahead and swap out the cable from your older dishwasher to save you some money.


Does the material the tub is constructed of making a difference?

In short, yes. But I know the short answer isn’t enough for you, so I’ll explain. First, you should know the two different tub types. You’ve got your plastic tubs (these are typically fairly light), and you’ve got your stainless steel tubs. But what is the difference?

Stainless Steel vs. Plastic Tubs

The more durable and most reliable dishwashers utilize stainless steel tubs; these will also be more expensive than their plastic counterparts. But, of course, both tubs hold water, the difference being that stainless steel tubs aren’t porous, so they don’t retain germs and odors the way that plastic tubs will.

European vs. American Style Dishwashers

Is this a big deal? Some say no, but we say yes!!!

The difference between the two is likely to determine which style of dishwasher you are going to choose. The difference in design was initially largely due to the needs of each market.

American Dishwashers

The American market needed larger machines that could hold more dishes. Machines manufactured in the states were typically bigger and utilized food disposals to power away from food particles. They also used heating coils at the bottom of the dishwasher for more efficient drying capabilities.

Because they used so many more parts and took up so much more energy to go through a cycle, the dishwashers manufactured in America are also significantly larger than their counterparts and generally stick out past the cabinetry.

European Dishwashers

Meanwhile, in Europe, water and electricity were significantly more expensive, so using heating coils and electric disposals wasn’t an option for most consumers. This resulted in smaller (and subsequently quieter machines), which is much needed in European homes because the smaller space means loud noises are a lot more invasive than in larger areas.

One other huge difference you’ll notice in a European-designed dishwasher is its aesthetics. European-style machines sit flush with the cabinetry and have a very smooth, sleek design.

How they differ today

These days American styles and European dishwashers are more closely related to one another, with each style borrowing from the other.

American styles have become infinitely more attractive than they once were, not to mention quieter. Why? Because they adopted the European models. Their counterparts have done the same, with European models being more powerful and using heat drying technology rather than air drying.

What goes into a good dishwasher?

A good dishwasher is going to do a few things for you. Most important – It’s got to clean your dishes. But here are some other things to look into when finding the right dishwasher for you:

  • Price – this shouldn’t be a big deal for us today since we’re looking specifically at inexpensive dishwashers.
  • Wash Efficiency – Does it get your dishes clean on the first cycle. If you have to put your dishes through multiple cycles, then it doesn’t matter how much money you save on the front end of your purchase; you will be spending more in the long run.
  • Special Features – washing the dishes can’t be the only thing your new machine does. Does it have a heated drying option? Does it have an option for pots and pans? Does it have an automatic detergent dispenser?
  • Ease of Use – Is it easily operated and maintained?

Countertop vs. Built-in Dishwashers

There isn’t just one type of dishwasher that fits all; luckily, there are plenty of different styles on the market, with one sure to fit your needs. Are you looking for portability? There are tabletop dishwashers that suit that need.

Built-in dishwashers offer a lot more space but will require plumbing installation and, of course, more space to house the larger unit. However, they offer much more convenient because they’re always in one location and don’t have to be moved to the kitchen sink every time you need to use it.

So before you pick up your dishwasher, make sure you figure out what needs or constraints you have.

Wrap – Up

Finding the right dishwasher can be an exhausting task, especially if you have limited space and a limited budget.

But washing your dishes by hand is so much more exhausting than finding a dishwasher to do it for you. So take the time necessary to figure out your needs in a dishwasher; you’ll be glad you did it.

Besides, with all the money you’ll be saving on takeout now that you don’t have to worry about hand washing your dishes, this is an investment that will pay for itself in no time at all.

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