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Built-in vs. Portable Dishwashers

When you've just finished enjoying a delicious meal with the people who matter most, the last thing you want to do is wash the dishes. The dishwasher is a favorite kitchen appliance because you can easily load dirty tableware in your dishwasher, and after the touch of a button, continue enjoying your guests instead of hand washing every dish. If you're looking for a new dishwasher, you'll need to decide whether you want a built-in or portable model. Today’s portable dishwasher models have virtually the same bells and whistles, but there are still some obvious advantages and limitations with both options.

  Built-in Dishwashers Portable Dishwashers
Space Save floor space by fitting permanently into your cabinetry Takes up space but can be easily moved out of the way or into another room
Mobility Permanent kitchen fixture Free-standing and equipped with wheels for easy mobility
Plumbing Needs to be connected to home plumbing Connects directly to your faucet for a shared water line
Cost $280-$1800 $240-$700

Advantages of built-in dishwashers

  • Convenient operation – You don't have to move these models around before and after use because they're permanently installed under your counter.
  • More multitasking – Built-in models have an independent water line, so you'll still be able to use the sink when the dishwasher is in use.

Limitations of built-in dishwashers

  • Initial setup – Because they need to be connected to your home plumbing to run automatically without needing to be plugged in, the initial installation is more complicated.
Built-in Dishwasher

Portable Dishwasher

Advantages of portable dishwashers

  • Ease of use – Free-standing units with wheels can be easily moved around your kitchen and stowed away when it's not in use.
  • Lower price – It's not a permanent fixture, so you can find one of these at a lower price and rest assured that the quality is just as great.
  • Transferrable – If you're a renter or someone who moves frequently, these units are easy to take with you.

Limitations of portable dishwashers

  • Limited sink access – They work only when connected directly to the sink faucet, so you won’t be able to utilize your sink while the dishwasher is running.

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