The dishwasher has become a must-have in the modern home: many couldn’t imagine life without it. For those that live in small-sized houses, though, a full-size dishwasher isn’t an option. Then there’s the issue of a direct water hookup, sometimes equally impossible for those living in older homes. This is what makes the Farberware Countertop Dishwasher so compelling.
Rather than rely on a water connection to work, you fill the dishwasher’s built-in water tank with water from the faucet. This is one of a few countertop dishwashers able to do this: most require a water hookup to work. Just a little over a gallon of water washes two place settings, approximately a fifth of the water you’d use to clean these same dishes by hand.
- No water hookup needed
- Surprisingly good performance
- Cleans very dirty dishes well
- Small size
- Easy to overfill (which reduces clean quality)
We had been looking for a countertop dishwasher for years, but everyone we saw required a direct water hookup. We couldn’t resist trying this out after discovering the Farberware Professional Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher (that’s a mouthful!) in a TikTok video. Unfortunately, most of the reviews online didn’t seem to be from people who had purchased the device, so that didn’t help much. We decided to test it out for ourselves.
We have owned the Farberware Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher (specifically the FDW05ASBWHA) for almost a year and love it. Is it temperamental sometimes? Sure, but there are no regrets, and we’ve used it heavily, and it’s still washing our dirty dishes as well as it did on the first run.
Setting Up the Dishwasher
We’ll not lie to you: the Farberware Portable Countertop Dishwasher isn’t very portable and is on the beastly side, especially in weight. Weighing nearly 50 pounds and requiring a foot and a half of depth, width, and about two feet of clearance off the top, you’ll need some space for this thing.
But the washer is ready to go otherwise. All you need to do is remove it from the box, empty the basket (you’ll also get a fruit wash basket), attach the included hose, feed it to a drain, plug it in, and fill it up. An included 1.3L water pitcher helps you do this: it will take just a bit over three full pitchers before you hear a series of beeps indicating the water tank is full, or you can use the included faucet adapter.
That’s all you need to do. The most challenging part was getting this beastly dishwasher out of the box. You might notice some water in the machine itself: this is normal as every dishwasher is tested before leaving the factory. While not Energy Star compliant, you will use less energy than a full-size dishwasher.
Operating the Faberware Countertop Dishwasher
The Farberware Countertop Dishwasher includes five washing programs. The Normal wash cycle takes over two hours to complete and runs through several wash and rinse cycles, including a drying function at the end. The rapid cycle completes in only 40 minutes by taking out one of the rise cycles and forgoing drying, while a baby setting uses higher temperatures to sterilize bottles and toys.
Newer versions of the Farberware Countertop Dishwasher, such as the FCDMGDWH, may also include UV or a “hygiene” setting, similar to the Sanitize mode on the FDW05ASBWHA. If you have delicate glass, you can use a lower temperature glass setting, and there’s even a fruit wash setting, which allows you to wash and sterilize fruit with the included fruit basket.
We’ve found ourselves sticking with the “rapid” cycle more often than not. We found the two-hour “normal” took too long, leaving dishes cloudy if we used lower quality detergent. We ended up just drying ours or leaving the door open to allow them to air dry. You can even watch it do its work through a glass window: it’s a bit strange for a dishwasher but fun to watch.
Surprising Performance and Cleaning Power
We were ready for the Farberware Countertop Dishwasher to disappoint us somehow. After all, a built-in dishwasher has much more real estate to work with, uses a stainless steel interior rather than the Farberware’s plastic, and can work with oversized pots and pans.
Yes, this dishwasher is small. But it essentially works using the same concepts as a full-size dishwasher would. It uses the same detergent, although we’d recommend a higher-end liquid detergent like Cascade Complete or Cascade with Oxi for streak-free deep cleaning. You can’t use powder detergent or rinse aids, as they may damage the dishwasher.
There weren’t many dishes we couldn’t figure out how to fit, except for our oversized plates. And over time, we gave it more challenging food residue to work with, and in just about every case, the Farberware Countertop Dishwasher could get our dishes clean.
We only experienced issues on heavy loads, especially with the silverware rack. If you’ve jammed the basket of dishes below, the water jets don’t make it to your silverware, and the “rotating” water jet on the top doesn’t adequately get the water to all the silverware. It’s one of the few issues we experienced.
How many dishes can the Farberware Countertop Dishwasher handle?
In our experience, we’ve successfully cleaned about 10 pieces of silverware, four cereal bowls, and at least four to six cups (and even a spatula or two). Remember that too many dishes on the bottom row might result in a less than optimal clean for any silverware above it. It takes some experimenting, but you’ll quickly determine what works best for your needs.
If you need to wash more dishes, we recommend the FCD06ASWWHC since it can support up to six place settings and can use any dishwasher detergent, including powder and pods.. However, you can only fit dishes 10″ in diameter or less: with the model we tested, you can find dishes up to 12″ on an angle.
How do you clean a Farberware Countertop Dishwasher?
You’ll need to regularly maintain your dishwasher after wash cycles, especially when dealing with soiled dishware. While it gets your dishes super clean, we’ve found a build-up of residue on the bottom front of the inside of the dishwasher around the door seal.
You’ll also want to clean the metal tray and attached filter regularly. While it does an excellent job of pulverizing residue enough to flush it out during a draining cycle, this will also get a build-up. Again, not a major issue but something to keep in mind.
The bottom line: This Dishwasher works
We hoped that the Farberware Countertop Dishwasher would be the answer to our dishwashing prayers but were ready to accept some compromises. Surprisingly, there weren’t many. This is cleaning dishes as well as full-size dishwashers we’ve had in the past, even if its cleaning cycle might be on the long side. We happily recommend this to our readers — you won’t be disappointed.