What Is a Benchtop Dishwasher?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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A benchtop dishwasher is a very compact dishwasher designed to fit on a countertop or in another small space. Most models can accommodate four to six place settings. The compact size and portability of a benchtop dishwasher make it a good choice for those with limited living space, for renters who cannot install a permanent dishwasher, and for home bars and entertainment rooms. Among the negative qualities of this type of dishwasher are its inability to hold larger dishes and its energy inefficiency.

Generally, a benchtop dishwasher is roughly comparable in size to a large microwave oven. It can be placed on a countertop, or can be built into one’s kitchen cabinetry. Some benchtop dishwashers are permanently connected to a kitchen water supply, while others feature a removable tap connection that can be detached between uses. It should be noted that removable connections are generally applicable only to dishwashers which are not built into cabinetry.

When loaded carefully, a benchtop dishwasher can accommodate four to six place settings. In other words, it can fit four to six of each of the following: dinner plates, side plates, bowls, cups or mugs, and sets of silverware. This capacity may be best suited to use by a household of one or two people.


The compact size of a benchtop dishwasher may make it a good choice for individuals with limited living space, such as those with a very small kitchen or those residing in studio apartments. It may also be useful to those with a dedicated entertaining space such as a wet bar in their homes, as it can allow them to wash dirty glassware and dishes without transporting them to the kitchen. The portability of benchtop dishwashers can make them a good choice for those renting a home that lacks a dishwasher. A benchtop model can be used without the need to alter a rental property’s structure, and can be easily taken along at the end of a lease term.

On the downside, a benchtop dishwasher can generally hold only plates and trays with a diameter of 10 inches (25.4 cm) or less. Therefore, those with larger dishes may need to replace them if they wish to use this type of dishwasher. Further, many benchtop dishwashers have low energy efficiency ratings compared to full-size models. These low ratings can translate to high utility bill costs for compact dishwasher users.


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