I had never heard of this brand before but after reading numerous positive reviews I decided to take a chance, and have not been disappointed. I bought a countertop unit because I was tired of spending almost an hour a day doing dishes for our family of four but wasn't ready to tear up my kitchen cabinets (and lose precious storage space in our tiny kitchen) to install a built-in model. I come from a family where the tradition has been to rinse the dishes almost clean before putting them in the dishwasher, but you really don't need to waste time, water and energy on rinsing with this machine - just scrape off the largest chunks and load. The unit takes hot water from the tap and heats it up further to get the job done effectively, meaning that properly loaded items come out sparkling, with only an occasional bit of food residue. A few tips/caveats:
1) You'll need to designate a decent amount of counter space (about the size of a large microwave - see photo) within five feet of the sink. I've also heard that some folks use a rolling cart.
2) I have been using Cascade gel detergent, getting best results by filling both the 15 and 25 ml dispenser cups (they're smaller than a regular dishwasher). You can also use powdered detergent or tablets (it even comes with a little clip-on basket for tablets) but I personally have not tried these yet.
3) Proper loading is key - it's a compact space, so you need to load mindfully so as to maximize what you can put in while leaving enough space for the water spray to reach everything. However, once you get the hang of this you should achieve excellent results. Small and medium-sized pots and pans fit in just fine, but if your plates and bowls have a raised "lip" on the edge you'll need to space them so that the water spray can get between.
4) The plastic "quick connector" assembly (which has the water supply and drain hoses attached to it - see photo) is easy to use but you do have to keep the little metal adaptor that it clips to attached to your faucet. Depending on what kind of faucet you have this may look a little weird, but it's a good tradeoff.
5) Like all portable units that connect to a faucet, you can't use the faucet when the unit is running (normal wash cycle is about an hour and a half). Again, I think it's a good tradeoff and if there was no other way to do it I could have happily lived with this, but in the end I decided to plumb the unit to the hot water supply, which is actually quite easy. This involved replacing the rubber water supply hose with a stronger braided steel 6' hose (comes as part of a universal dishwasher hookup kit) that attaches to a brass T-connector that I installed in the kitchen faucet water line - total extra cost about $25. I haven't gotten around to plumbing the drain hose, so for now it's routed into the sink (see photo). Bottom line: For less than $300 you can get a machine that's efficient, effective and easy to set up and use. Worth every penny, and then some!
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