Countertop dishwashers work just the same as any conventional-sized dishwasher. Water is heated then pumped in to the main cavity. After that, it is then sprayed through a rotating spray arm to clean your dishes. That’s the sweet and short version. Below is a more detailed explanation.
The washing process starts by drawing in cold water from its inlet hose. With most countertop dishwashers, a faucet adapter is provided so that you can hook up your inlet and return lines to your kitchen sink. Refer to the specific manufacturer instructions for proper setup.
If you wish to install the washer under the counter, you can do so, but it will require a little ingenuity on your part. You’ll have to reconfigure some of the plumbing below by adding a T- fitting to the hot water line and another to the drain pipe. Don’t worry, some brands sell conversion kits or you can buy the necessary parts at any online or brick and mortar plumbing supply store.
Once the water is drawn, it is heated up by a heating element. The heating element is located at the bottom of unit. When it reaches the prescribed temperature, it is then pumped to a spray arm. Once again, you will have to make a few modifications if you are going to install the washer under your counter.
The spray arm contains small ports (jets) where the water is forced through. As the water enters the spray arm rotates to build up pressure before the water exits. This pressurized hot water shoots up into the cavity where it mixes with detergent. The detergent is released from a dispenser and begins cleaning your plates.
After the washer has completed the wash cycle, the dirty water is drained through the drain line and clean water is pumped back in to rinse the dishes. Depending on the particular model, the rinse cycle may go through more than once. This ensures a more thorough cleaning.
Unfortunately, many countertop dishwashers do not have a drying cycle. Most models require that you open the door to facilitate drying. On the SPT countertop dishwashers, a rinse aid feature is incorporated so that you can add a chemical product such as Cascade or Jet-Dry. Using either of these will help your dishes dry faster. If you have ever use RainX for your windshield, it’s the same concept.
As we have noted previously, the model that you purchase may vary in the amount of features offered, but overall, they will all operate as we have described in this short guide. You can find out more about the different countertop dishwashers in our review section of the site.