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RCA RDW3208 review

The RCA RDW3208 portable dishwasher offers basic convenience at your fingertips.

RCA RDW3208 review
(Image: © Home Depot)

Our Verdict

This affordable but basic machine does everything you need to get your dishes sparkling, and it’s roomy too. A few more programs would have been welcome though.

For

  • Affordable
  • Energy efficient

Against

  • No tank
  • Only three wash programs

The RCA RDW3208 offers three programs, Heavy, Normal, and Quick Wash. And that might be enough, especially if you’re buying this affordable appliance as a back-up or don’t mind washing some items by hand. If you’re after more programs such as a glassware cycle or even a fruit wash, you might want to check out the hOmeLabs’ Compact Countertop or the other options in our guide to the best countertop dishwashers. 

RCA RDW3208 review: What you need to know

  •  Width: 21.9 inches 
  •  Height: 19.8 inches 
  •  Depth: 23.8 inches  

The RCA RDW3208 is a fairly large option but it works quietly and is efficient to power. Energy Star rated, this portable appliance uses a faucet water supply and features easy-to-use controls along its front panel. It’s not the most stylish countertop model we’ve seen but it’s up there with the most affordable, and it holds up to six place settings. 

For added peace of mind, the RCA RDW3208 is covered by a one-year warranty. 

RCA RDW3208 review: Features 

Standard features include a water sensor flow meter that allows for the correct amount of water to be dispensed during each cycle. This also guarantees an economical wash too. Meanwhile, the dispenser system will release just the correct amount of detergent and rinse aid, with an indicator alerting you when it’s time to top up on rinse aid. There is also an anti-device flood fitted to ensure the machine doesn’t overfill.

The RCA RDW3208 countertop dishwasher gets its water supply via your faucet and heats the water to effectively clean your dishes. Because there’s no tank with this appliance, you will need to place it near your sink. Connecting is easy enough with the supplied quick-connect assembly, which includes hoses, adapters, and connectors to fit your faucet. If you would prefer a model with a tank, check out the Farberware FDW05ASBWHA.

Lastly, one handy extra we appreciated was a pause button – handy if you need to dip in and grab back a plate or add in an extra spoon you’d left behind. 

RCA RDW3208 review: Design  

The design of the RCA RDW3208 is straightforward, functional, and – as a standard-looking white appliance – it should easily fit in with most kitchen decors. At 21.9 x 19.8 x 23.8 inches it sits a little on the larger side of countertop dishwashers though, so make sure you measure up before committing to a purchase. 

The buttons are nicely chunky and responsive and are laid out clearly for intuitive operation; they also light up to show which program has been selected when in use.

Inside, this countertop dishwasher is roomy and also includes a cup shelf and cutlery basket, which are always welcome to help ensure a thorough clean. We also like that the plate racks can be flipped down to lay flat if you wanted to accommodate pots and pans in the cycle. This makes the RCA RDW3208 just that little bit more convenient for everyday use.

Like many of the best dishwashers, the inside of the appliance is stainless steel, making it easy to clean. There is also a removable filter inside, which should be regularly cleaned of food debris to keep the dishwasher in tip-top working condition. Meanwhile, the detergent and rinse aid dispensers are easy to get to on the inside of the door.

RCA RDW3208 review

(Image credit: Home Depot)

RCA RDW3208 review: Performance & efficiency 

The RCA RDW3208 countertop dishwasher performs each of its programs well and fairly economically. The Heavy program runs for 100 minutes and uses up 0.424 kWh of electricity and 14.5 liters of water, while the Standard wash runs for 85 minutes and needs just 0.361 kWh of electricity and 12 liters of water. Meanwhile, the 45-minute Speed program uses 0.233 kWh of electricity, but still uses 12 liters of water. 

Models such as the hOmeLabs’ Compact Countertop are slightly more economical, but you are still saving a considerable amount of water (and time) when compared to washing the dishes by hand.

According to the manufacturer, the RCA RDW3208 costs around $27 a year to power. This figure will vary slightly depending on the energy rates where you live. 

RCA RDW3208 review: User reviews

On Home Depot's website there are plenty of satisfied customers and the RCA RDW3208 scores an average of 4.2 out of five stars. Many have commented on the quiet volume of the machine, while others are impressed by its efficiency. Users added comments on how this model is easy to install and that it can even accommodate pots and pans.

There were some concerns about how much counter space this dishwasher uses. Some users also added that they wished the dishwasher was just a couple of inches taller so that they could fit plates in without slanting them to one side. Others added that it takes a fair bit of practice to get used to stacking this model. 

Should you buy the RCA RDW3208?

The RCA RDW3208 dishwasher is solid, efficient, and nicely priced model. If you’re looking for something very straightforward with minimum fuss, then it might well be the appliance for you. Just make sure you have enough room next to your sink, and you’ll be good to go at the push of a button.