Most helpful positive review
71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
Bring it on dinner parties!!!
on January 17, 2013
Never again. This was what I said after having 8 people over to my house for enchiladas one night, having used just about every single dish, pan, and utensil in my kitchen. The week following the party I let them sit in the sink and collect a mixture of questionable colors and smells before I broke down for a 2 hour hand-washing session on Saturday morning.
This just can't be. I had to find a solution to avoid housework and automate this in my tiny appliance-less San Francisco kitchen, and this one came in the form of the Koldfront Portable Countertop Dishwasher.
Now I'll start the review of how and why we ended up with this. I first began my search process on craigslist and found a number of way over-priced used options. After doing my reviews online (mostly amazon), I decided that the best option was this one after reading many reviews and it has a solid 5/5 stars which is a great place to start. I soon discovered that there is another brand that is basically the exact same to this one, called "Edgestar 6" which is the slightly more upscale model as it has a LED screen on the unit. We didn't think we needed this, and in our current 4 months of use with the Koldfront one we have never once changed the setting to anything besides "normal" so that's up to you to decide if it's worth paying more for.
To start, most of the used versions were going for around $100-$150 on craigslist and this new one we got was $189- thus making the purchase totally worth buying new for us. There is a shipping charge (something Prime-ers are averse to), but the overall price made sense and it was worth the wait.
Compact Appliance is a pretty cool site that also sells these washers, and has a video review, but we ended buying on Amazon since it (was) tax free. Word of warning: I did sign up for email offers from Compact Appliance to see if there was any kind of a discount and since then have unsubscribed from their list probably 7 times and still keep getting emails. I just sent a plea to their customer support asking to somehow get me off of this list as its a pretty frequent mailer.
Fits on our counter-top and is very stable due to its weight
Works perfectly--- dishes are spotless and clean
Easy open top so dishes can completely dry in the machine when you tilt the top open
Durable on top so you can use the counter space for recycling (Just bought these Ikea neat organizers that fit perfectly top of the machine.
The connector for our sink is the same doodad as the washing machine so there are no issues using them both without changing anything
The hose from the machine has a de-pressurizer which is the red button and lets out the water so there is no excess water to spray out when you unhook the faucet (definitely nicer than the hose on our washer)
The water goes in/out through the same hose so it enables you to let some water out into the sink when you are running the washer without having to un-hook everything if you need to rinse something off or wet a sponge, etc.
The rack rolls out easily onto the door and functions just like a normal dishwasher that you'd have at home, just 1/3 the height of a regular one.
The hose is longer than we'd like. The unit is right next to the sink and the hose is meant for a longer reach so it coils around with some excess. We can probably fix this at home depot if we really want to.
The hose that connects everything attaches from the back of the machine (see rear photo), meaning that it is a bit larger than the actual dimensions it gives you. Our countertop was the exact size as the machine depth, but when we put the hose in the back, it now sticks out about a 1/2 inch off the front since the hose needs space.
Dish height- the unit says that it washes 6 place settings, but I'll say that those place settings should be the smaller end size plates. We have this set of ikea plates and since getting the washer tend to use the smaller size, versus the larger plates, since its so much easier to load. The larger plates will fit, however it's just easier to load the washer in the back when the plates in the front are smaller
The instructions recommend that you load the utensils upside down- which can be dangerous when you have knives, etc. Makes me a little paranoid, but not a big deal.
The unit beeps when it is done and keeps beeping once ever 5 minutes-ish. Doesn't quit for a few hours so that can get annoying on a lazy sunday :)
Detergent: We use the cascade all-in-one detergent capsules because it's really just easier. As for cost it comes out to about $0.50/load with the all-in-one and about $0.20/load with the powder detergent. Obviously changing based on where you buy your supplies, but we don't cook much so its worth it to make life easier with the ActionPacs.
Overall a great buy. Totally worth it's price in the amount of hand dishes I have saved. I no longer try and eat on paper plates or order take-out to avoid doing the dishes. Absolutely love it and highly recommend this one.