Small dishwashers are convenient little things. They add a certain amount of efficiency to a living space, and they provide the time to do more productive, relaxing and enjoyable things. However, in a living space where there is limited room, is a compact dishwasher actually small and efficient enough to make having one worthwhile?
A mini dishwasher is typically half the size of a standard dishwasher. They are often bulky appliances that are designed to sit on the counter top and connect to the sink’s water supply. Instead of using counter space, there are other designs that sit on the floor. Some are portable and can be rolled around to serve as a moving counter top, or at least they can be rolled somewhere out of the way.
The only way to prevent too much counter or floor space from being taken up is to install a small dishwasher directly into the cabinetry next to the sink. This way, it replaces a cabinet, but it can still leave some extra storage space beneath it. One extra benefit to this is extra counter space since there’s no need for a drying rack.
There are other relevant questions to consider when thinking about small dishwashers:
- How much do they cost?
- Does the amount of time it takes to regularly hand wash dishes make having a mini dishwasher worth it?
- Is the amount of water and energy substantially different?
A compact dishwasher can range in price from $200 to $600 dollars. The lower end ones are typically sufficient for small scale dish washing on the counter top. Try not to stuff them with pot and pans. The higher ends are the mobile ones with extra features and more dependability when it comes to energy consumption.
Hand washing dishes can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes out of the day. There are efficient methods for cleaning and drying dishes, but sometimes this isn’t something that most people look forward to. Especially when the house is one prone to entertaining guests, and the aftermath is always lots of dishes, the time to clean can take much longer. Having a mini dishwasher to wash some plates, bowls and utensils is very helpful.
As for the amount of energy and water saved, it is usually negligible. All dishwashers use electricity, so there is that added expense, but a small dishwasher uses less than 3 gallons of hot water per batch. Hand washing typically doesn’t use electricity, but the amount of water used is totally variable from house to house. With the most efficient hand washing method, it has been estimated that each batch of hand washed dishes saves about $0.63.
The Determining Factor
More than likely, the reason for even considering a small dishwasher is because of space issues. This appliance is essentially a luxury and isn’t completely necessary. It is important to prioritize which appliances are the most needed. Many people who live in tiny houses, small apartments or efficiencies would forgo the compact dishwasher if that meant they could have a clothes washer and dryer appliance instead.
Sometimes an extra appliance that uses practical space isn’t worth the hassle of storage and set up. Other times, if there happens to be extra floor space, counter space or a spot in the cabinetry, it can actually be a very appreciated convenience.