Do Countertop Dishwashers Heat The Water?

If you live in an apartment or other home with very little space, a countertop dishwasher can make your life easier. As such, you are likely wondering if countertop dishwashers heat the water. We set out to find the best answer to this question, scouring the internet for reputable sources. See our findings below.

All countertop dishwashers are not made the same. Although some heat their own water, others require access to an outside hot water source such as your kitchen faucet.

You have the simple answer to this question, but there is still more to learn. Keep reading to discover the best portable dishwashers, how much water countertop dishwashers use, if they can go under the sink, and more.

Dishes in modern dishwasher in the kitchen, Do Countertop Dishwashers Heat The Water?

Do Countertop Dishwashers Heat the Water?

Traditional dishwashers have built-in access to both hot and cold water. However, countertop dishwashers do not. Instead, some are equipped to heat the water internally, while others rely on an outside hot water source such as your kitchen faucet.

Since hot water is required to sanitize dishes, it is important to understand how your particular dishwasher gets its hot water supply.

How Do Countertop Dishwashers Get Water?

Not all portable dishwashers are created the same, and there are a couple of methods in which they receive water. Most countertop dishwashers hook to the kitchen faucet, using that water supply to run through its cycles. Depending on your particular model, you may need to have access to hot water in addition to cold.

For individuals who need even more portability, some countertop dishwashers allow you to pour water directly into a reservoir, eliminating the need for a running water source. For this setup, the machine features an internal water heater and holds approximately one gallon of water.

How Much Water Does a Portable Dishwasher Use?

It's no secret that washing dishes uses a lot of water. However, according to Consumer Reports, dishwashers use less than half the water they did in the past.

Portable dishwashers use less water than both hand washing and conventional dishwashers. While handwashing wastes the most water at approximately 27 gallons per load, conventional dishwashers use roughly six gallons.

However, with a countertop model, you'll only use around two to three gallons of water. Even more, countertop dishwashers save space and use less energy. However, these portable units are typically not as strong as their permanent counterparts. Therefore, many are unable to remove tough stains, stuck-on food, and nasty grease residue.

Who Can Benefit from a Countertop Dishwasher?

Countertop dishwashers can be useful for several groups of people. If you live in a small apartment or townhouse, you may not have access to a full-size dishwasher. College students living in dorms can also greatly benefit from them.

Even if you have a large home with a built-in dishwasher, you can utilize a portable unit in your RV or take it on vacation for use in your hotel room.

Countertop Dishwasher VS. Portable Dishwasher

Although the two terms are used interchangeably, they are not the same. Countertop dishwashers, as the name implies, are small and fit on your kitchen counter.

Some feature built-in water reservoirs and water heaters, while others can only be used if you have an available water supply. Most countertop models only hold approximately two place settings; however, some can fit up to six.

Portable dishwashers are actually not as portable as countertop dishwashers. Portable washers are pretty large. Some are almost the size of built-in models.

However, unlike conventional dishwashers, portable units have wheels on the bottom and connect to your kitchen faucet. You can wash a wide array of dishes at a time, and most will even hold pots and pans.

What's the Point?

Once learning this, the question often arises of why you would need a large dishwasher that is not permanently attached to your plumbing. If you live in an apartment complex that does not have a dishwasher, you don't want to waste money installing one into a home that is not yours.

If you have enough room to store it, a portable dishwasher will save you time and effort, and you can take it with you when you move.

Top Five Countertop Dishwashers

To help you choose the best countertop dishwasher for your needs, we have listed the top five products that include their own internal water heaters.

1. SPT ENERGY STAR Compact Countertop Dishwasher with Delay Start

If you need a compact dishwasher and prefer a little extra luxury, the Energy Star countertop dishwasher is the thing for you. You'll enjoy the convenience of a delay start feature, choosing between two, four, six, or eight hours.

You'll also get extra space for up to six place settings per load. This little unit heats its own water, but the dry cycle is not heated. It is, however, a bit on the heavy side and a bit noisy at 43 pounds and 55 decibels.

You can view this on Amazon.

2. Farberware Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher 

This is another countertop dishwasher that takes portability to the next level. It holds up to two place settings per load and comes with a built-in 1.32-gallon water reservoir, making it easy to take camping or for use in dorm rooms.

You'll also enjoy the steam cleaning feature that sanitizes baby bottles. To top it off, you can have clean dishes in as little as 40 minutes. At 62 decibels, however, it gets rather loud.

Check this out on Amazon.

3. COSTWAY Portable Countertop Dishwasher

This mini dishwasher holds dishes for two place settings, but you'll get a large, 2-gallon water reservoir. It also comes with hoses to connect it directly to your kitchen faucet. You'll enjoy water temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit and an air-drying temperature of 142 degrees, ensuring the best in disinfecting.

To top it all off, you won't have to worry about your children getting burned because this portable dishwasher features a child safety lock.

You can check this out on Amazon.

4. RCA Countertop Dishwasher

Although this dishwasher does not offer a built-in water reservoir, you'll enjoy its large, 6-place setting capacity. It is lightweight at only 35 pounds, and at 34 decibels, you won't have to worry about a lot of noise. It can be easily stored under most standard cabinets, or you can leave it on the counter.

View this on Amazon.

5. COMFEE Mini Portable Countertop Dishwasher

You will get ultimate portability with the COMFEE Mini Portable Countertop Dishwasher.

Whether you're going camping with no access to water or using it at home, this dishwasher is a perfect time and space-saving unit, holding up to two place settings at a time. Fill the built-in water reservoir with up to 1.32 gallons of water, or hook the hose to your kitchen faucet.

The internal water heater heats the water to 162 degrees Fahrenheit, and at only 30 pounds, it's easy to take with you anywhere you go. Let's not forget the easy-to-use LED screen and fruit washing basket which accompanies the fruit and vegetable sanitizing feature. On the downside, it's pretty noisy at 58 decibels.

You can view this on Amazon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put a countertop dishwasher under the sink?

Dishwasher with tableware inside and out of it

Countertop dishwashers are not designed to connect to your main water line. For this reason, it is not usually plausible for them to be installed under the sink. However, you can easily store the unit under there to get it out of the way until you're ready to use it again.

That being said, if the dishwasher is equipped with a pump and the hose is long enough to reach the faucet, it can be hooked up under the sink. However, it is not recommended that you connect it directly to your plumbing.

Does a portable dishwasher need a garbage disposal?

Portable dishwashers do not require garbage disposals. However, you will need to ensure you are not loading dishes into your machine with stuck-on chunks of food. Although, some portable dishwashers feature filtration systems that prevent food from clogging the hose.

When should I turn the water off on my portable dishwasher?

When your dishwasher has finished its cycle, you can turn the water off at any time. You do not have to turn it off immediately. Countertop dishwashers use a hose to pull water from your faucet.

The dirty water is then discharged into the sink from the outgoing hose. When the cycle is over, your dishwasher hose will block the water from pouring out of the kitchen faucet, so you don't have to rush to turn the water off.


Countertop dishwashers come in a variety of shapes and sizes with varying degrees of features. Many countertop models feature built-in water heaters, but this is not the case for all of them. Make sure to check the speculations before purchasing your new appliance.

For more information regarding dishwashers, check out these other posts on our blog:

Do Freestanding Dishwashers Need To Be Plumbed In?

How To Mount A Dishwasher To A Quartz Countertop

Can Dishwasher Pods And Tablets Expire?

One comment

  1. Some countertop dishwashers do dry dishes but not all the way. It uses residual heating. During the final rinse, the water is heated for a spotless shine. Instead of draining the water, it saves it to dry dishes. When the water is no longer needed, it drains. This type of heating uses no outside air or power.

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