I previously owned a Danby Countertop dishwasher and I loved it. My kitchen was tiny and I had very little space, and Danby allowed me to own a dishwasher that was just as tough on dirty dishes as a full sized one. I had it for over five years, and it still worked like new. I was amazed at how many dishes I could fit in it. So when I got a bigger place, I upgraded to this model. I could have installed an under the counter model, but it was too much trouble because the height of my countertops was all wrong. So I opted for a stand-alone portable unit. I shopped around looking at other brands, including Frigidaire and Maytag, but I always came back to Danby knowing what a great little machine the Countertop version was. So I made the commitment and ordered it online. After shipping and handling I ended up giving around $450.00 for the unit. Shop around a little,...you should be able to beat this price. Several stores carry this brand now. Our local Best Buy had it on sale not too long ago.
The dishwasher looks really nice, and has a nice top that adds countertop space to your kitchen. At first I was leery about my purchase, because the cups I own didn't fit in the top cup rack. The top rack is adjustable and can be lowered, but once lowered, my plates didn't fit in the bottom rack. So, I was a little worried at first glance. Then once I started loading it for the first time, I realized there was much more space than I assumed. I could fit as many dishes in this portable 18" unit as my friends fit in their 24" under-the-counter dishwasher. The dish tines on this Danby unit are much closer together, allowing you to fit more dishes in the bottom rack than most other brands. Even though the dishes are closer together, they still come out clean. Even on the dirtiest of loads, I only use the Short Cycle and they come out spotless (using a good brand dish detergent helps). The other cycles are far too long. Regardless of which cycle you use, I'm always amazed at how little water consumption this machine has.
Dishwasher Details: Even though they call this an 18" unit, the actual measurements are: 36 inches tall, 17.7 inches Wide, 25.5 inches Long (When the Door is open the unit is 47.6 inches Long). The Instruction Booklet is thorough for the most part, however some sections are vague and left open for interpretation. The unit rolls on 4 wheels and comes with a quick connect faucet adapter that has to be installed on the faucet in order to connect the dishwasher. This may affect your normal water flow, and may not work on certain types of faucets. I would advise researching this a little if you have never used a quick-connect adapter before. If you don't like the sounds of having to use the adapter, Danby makes an identical installed version of this dishwasher.
The Power Cord to plug the unit in is a 3-prong and is approx. 6 feet long. The hose connector is approx 3 feet long and both store away nicely in the back of the unit.
This dishwasher has 7 cycles: Some are 90 min to 1.5 hrs
Normal (Pre-rinse, Wash,Rinse,Rinse,Drying)
Intensive (Pre-rinse, Wash,Rinse,Rinse,Rinse,Drying)
Glassware (Wash,Rinse,Drying) 40 Minute Cycle
Rapid (Rinse,Rinse,Drying) 20 Minute Cycle
It also has a Pre-Soak Cycle for soaking loads you plan to wash later in the day. This is a 5 Minute Cycle.
I almost always use the Glassware cycle, the others take too long, and this cycle gets even my dirtiest dishes clean.
Other Features: There are Two Button Options you can use. One is a "Plus Button" - this is used with the Normal Cycle that adds a heated Pre-Rinse and a third Rinse Cycle making it "Intensive". There is also a "Rapid Button" that can be used with the Glassware cycle that causes its Wash Cycle to run at a slightly lower temperature and eliminates most of the drying phase. A Rinse Aid Dispenser, a Salt Dispenser, and a Detergent Dispenser are also equipped. I have never used the Salt Dispenser, but this is a Water Softener Feature. I don't have very hard water, so a good Detergent does the trick for me. Danby claims their dishwashers are designed to use less detergent and rinse aid than conventional dishwashers. I believe them. I typically only use about a teaspoon full of detergent for each load. You can also interrupt a cycle by opening the door to add a forgotten dish without a problem. The unit just picks back up where it left off as soon as you shut the door. The Bottom Basket holds a lot of large dishes and its versatile. I've used it to hold 16 of my large plates and several smaller plates. Half of the Tine-Rows fold down in the bottom basket to make room for large pots or dishes. The Silverware basket is removable and has a nice handle on it for easier use. The upper rack has tines on one side for glassware and is open on the other for larger dishes and bowls. I don't use the cupracks for cups, because mine are tall and don't fit, so I use these racks for my larger serving spoons and spatulas. Strategic dish placement can maximize the load capacity, something that you learn with practice and experience with any dishwasher.
The Filter is comprised of 3 pieces: The Main Filter catches food and soil and "pulverizes" according to the owners manual with a special jet on the lower spray arm. There is a Coarse Filter that catches larger items (like bone). And lastly a Fine Filter that catches smaller food residue and prevents it from being redeposited onto the dishes. The Filter may have to be cleaned periodically, but I've done this several times, and it's easy. You just lift the filter out, the three pieces come apart easily and can be rinsed under the tap and put back together and slapped back in in seconds.
There are spray arms on both the bottom basket and upper basket. Some other brand's portable units only have a spray arm on the bottom. This was a major determining factor when I was choosing a dishwasher.
Overall, I'm just as pleased with this 18" portable dishwasher as I was with my Danby Countertop dishwasher. I've had it for a little over a year, and its working perfectly.
Update: Its April 2008, and I've had ZERO Issues with this wonderful dishwasher. Its still working great and saving me money on my water bill and more importantly, saving me from dish-pan hands. The machine is also very quite compared to many other models I've experienced. I can actually stand over it and talk on the phone without any difficulty hearing the conversation. It seems to be just as durable as my previous countertop Danby Dishwasher.
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Amount Paid (US$): $450.00