How to Run a Portable Dishwasher

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Things You'll Need

  • Faucet adapter kit

  • Pliers or small wrench (optional)

A portable dishwasher saves you time.

A portable dishwasher might be your choice because of little kitchen space, or an older home that does not lend itself to an installed unit. A portable dishwasher will have to be moved and attached to the sink faucet, then unplugged and stored after each use. An additional drawback is that the kitchen sink is unusable while the machine runs its cycle. Benefits outweigh inconveniences, though, especially when compared to hand-washing a stack of dishes. The savings in washing time alone makes up for the few additional steps in running a portable.


Step 1

Move the unit near the kitchen sink. Portable dishwashers have wheels underneath to facilitate movement.

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Step 2

Load the dishwasher and add the detergent and rinse aid, if used. Each brand is slightly different, so consult your manual for the correct amount of dishwashing detergent and settings. Be sure the door is securely latched.

Step 3

Pull the power cord and set of double hoses from the back of the machine. Your power outlet needs to be supplied with 120 volts and have a 3-prong receptacle to match the 3-prong plug for the machine to be properly grounded. Plug in the machine.

Step 4

Install your faucet adapter, if you haven't already done so. Unscrew your faucet aerator. It usually turns easily by hand, but if needed, you can use a pair of pliers or a small wrench. Insert the washer and adapter, and tighten.


Step 5

Turn on the hot water for a few moments, then turn it off. Push down the collar on the hose connector and push onto the adapter. It should click into place. Turn on the hot water fully, then turn the knob on the front of the unit to your desired setting. Allow the cycle to run.

Step 6

Turn off the hot water when the cycle finishes. There should be a button on the side of the hose assembly to release water pressure. Press the button and pull down on the collar to remove the hose from the adapter. Shake out any excess water and shove the hose back into the compartment. Unplug the machine. You can now unload the dishwasher and return it to storage.


A faucet adapter kit is usually included with a new unit. For a used unit, adapter kits are available at most hardware stores.

The adapter is to be left on the faucet. Run water as you normally would.

You may need to tighten the adapter or add another washer if water leaks during use.


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