Edgestar DWP61ES Review
If your kitchen is too small for a full size dishwasher, consider the Edgestar DWP61ES.
If your kitchen is too small for a full size dishwasher, you have two options. You could hire a staff member to help out around the house, a la Mr. Belvedere. Or you could spend around $389.99 on the Edgestar DWP61ES, an automatic dishwasher that calls to mind another '80s sitcom: Small Wonder.
Despite the EdgeStar's size, it does a very good job cleaning dishes. It's so good, in fact, that we've given it the 2012 Best of Year award for Best Compact/Portable Dishwasher. Design aficionados be warned, however: even though it has a stainless steel interior, that front panel is still made of plastic. The faux stainless is about as realistic as a TV show plotline about a robot child.
Design & Usability
Since there's only one way you can load it, it's easy to use by default.
On the website where we ordered the Edgestar DWP61ES, its exterior was described as “silver.” In the photo, it looks like it might pass for stainless. It doesn’t. It’s just a matte silver plastic panel, though it is resistant to fingerprints. The stainless inside is pretty classy for a dishwasher in this price range, though, and helps speed up the drying process. Once you start using it, you'll quickly notice this washer's many noises, from the sound of water flowing in to the hum of the pump that pushes dirty water out. Also, it's worth mentioning that the compact nature of the machine means there's only one rack.
If you have a standard kitchen faucet with a twist-off aerator, the Edgestar DWP61ES will connect to it easily. Controls are spread out across the panel; aside from a knob that’s used to select a cycle, there are four plastic membrane keys to activate the device or engage the extra options. One side note: we recommend cleaning the filter after each wash, as it ended up totally clogged after each of our tests.
The number of extra features is proportional to its compact size. In other words... there aren't many.
The Edgestar DWP61ES has five full wash cycles in addition to a ten minute rinse. We recommend running that rinse cycle if you're going to put the dishwasher in storage—it cleans off the filter and clears out the hoses. There are just two additional features on this washer: a delay wash good for up to 24 hours, and an option to customize a wash to work with all-in-one wash tablets.
Calling this the little washer that could would be an insult. This is the little washer that can and did.
Normally, compact units require lengthier time spans to do the same job as a full-sized machine. This one didn't—more or less—perhaps due to the reduced internal capacity. Even in the face of full-sized filth the Edgestar DWP61ES did an admirable job getting dishes clean: the Normal cycle did just as well as any mid-range full-sized dishwasher, while the Speed cycle is perfectly adequate for lightly soiled dishes. The tiny rack and restrictive tines means you won't be able to wash many large items at once, but at least you can take comfort in the excellent performance of the Heavy cycle.
A small price tag for a small appliance that delivers big on performance.
For when you just don't have room in the kitchen, the Edgestar DWP61ES is a portable dishwasher that, incredibly, outperforms some full-sized models. It's very good at getting the job done, and a heck of a lot cheaper than hiring a kitchen staff. Its price tag matches its diminutive size, with an MSRP of $389.99. There are sale prices that drop it down even lower, too: you can easily find an online retailer selling one for about $219.
Get Our Newsletter
Real advice from real experts. Sign up for our newsletter
Thanks for signing up!