When I was looking for a new apartment in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago, I saw many options at many different price points, based primarily on size and amenities. I consider a dishwasher a non-negotiable, must-have item, though, because I absolutely hate to do the dishes, and I hate having them clutter up the sink or counter. I had previously rented a beautiful vintage apartment that came without a dishwasher, and on that occasion, I solved the problem by purchasing a full-size roll-away dishwasher. I later sold it on Craiglist for almost what I had paid for it, when I moved to an apartment that came with a built-in dishwasher.
My favorite apartment, and the one I ended up renting, was not only the largest apartment I looked at, it was also the cheapest, mainly because it was vintage. Although it had an updated kitchen and bath, it did NOT have a diswasher. However, it was approximately $400 per month CHEAPER than the other options I had viewed, and I knew from previous experience that roll-away dishwashers work very well. Because the kitchen was somewhat small, though, I decided to go with a smaller, counter-top dishwasher. I chose the white SPT Countertop Dishwasher from Amazon (I paid the very cheap price of $219–it was definitely worth it to save $400 per month in rent)! I had a few doubts about the thing, related to its quality and its size, but I have had it for six months now, and I can say without a doubt that I am very happy with it. The wash function works perfectly, just like a full-size dishwasher. It is about half the size of a normal dishwasher because it has only one level instead of two, but I live alone, so I really don’t need a full-size dishwasher (and if you have the space and think you would need a larger dishwasher, I still recommend the larger one that I had before).
If you are unfamiliar with this type of dishwasher, it works by attaching to the faucet in your kitchen sink. There are two attached hoses, one that takes clean water from your faucet, and one that drains the dirty dishwater into the sink so that it can go down the drain. There is an included faucet attachment that fits any standard faucet–simply screw off the aerator on the faucet, and screw on the fitting, and when you are ready to wash the dishes, it is as simple as pushing down a small collar to secure the water supply/drain line onto the fitting. There are four tension bearings in the collar, and when you release it, the tension creates a watertight seal to the fitting. After you have attached the hose, just turn on the water and you are ready to go!
It did take some practice to learn how to load the dishwasher most efficiently, but the instructions include a handy guide that does work if you follow it. The only thing this dishwasher cannot handle is a very large charger plate or platter. I regularly wash my 13″ by 9″ baking dish in it.
The one thing that I discovered after getting the dishwasher is that I did not like using it on my countertop. I hated giving up that space permanently. I searched around and found a cart that works perfectly with the size and shape of the base of this dishwasher (most carts are too narrow to support it levelly, which is important for the drainage)! The cart I chose is the Seville Classics Stainless Steel cart. It works perfectly with the SPT dishwasher, and I am very happy with having my counter back. The cart also comes in a sturdier medium size version with a bamboo top, and that would have been my choice if my kitchen were just a little bit bigger, since it has solid shelves and looks nicer.
NOTE: Please be aware that Amazon sells a “silver” version of this same item. It does NOT have a Stainless Steel finish–it is simply silver in color, in the same way that this one is white.