Think Twice Before Trying The WashPod TikTok Trick As A Dishwasher Alternative

For most people, manually washing the dishes is far from a fun experience. However, not everyone has space for a dishwasher or the budget to have one installed. Enter the USB mini dishwasher device you may have seen on TikTok. These nifty gadgets promise to do the work of a dishwasher for you, saving not just money, but your time. However, we're not so sure it's a particularly good alternative to manual washing.

On the off chance you haven't seen this gadget, the premise is simple. Plug the USB washer into your power source, fill your washing basin with water and some detergent, and place the dirty items inside. Then, switch it on, and watch as the gadget's various modes do the cleaning work for you. 

There's no denying the idea behind it is clever. For starters, it's a super low-cost option. There are a variety of options on the market starting at around $12 on Amazon. Plus, thanks to how small they are, these devices could be a great option for anyone with limited space, like college students living in dorms or anyone in a small studio apartment. Having said that, as a number of reviewers have pointed out, there are some definite drawbacks. From the fact that their efficacy seems to be hit and miss to the messy situations they can create, this is one TikTok trend you'll definitely want to approach with trepidation.

These portable mini dishwashers don't always do the job

The whole point of a USB dishwasher is to clean dirty items without any manual washing, so it's no surprise that some reviewers have expressed frustration at having to go over some pieces again, post-wash. As YouTuber James White of "Freakin' Reviews" demonstrated in his video, while some of the items placed in the wash basin came out clean, a number of them did not and had to be cleaned manually. 

In addition to pointing out that the USB dishwasher was pretty unreliable, White noted that its impact on dishes seemed to be equivalent to a pre-wash soaking — and he wasn't the only reviewer to have said so. In another video, YouTuber, "MAN the House" did a side-by-side comparison of dishes soaked in regular water versus dishes in a bucket including the device. Though some of the food on the plates seemed to have softened slightly, for the most part, there was no difference. He concluded, "I'll use it as a pre-wash, you know, but it doesn't do much."

In other words, while it could be put to use if you've already purchased one, this trending item is a gimmick more than anything. After all, even with its low cost compared to a regular dishwasher, it's $12 or more you could spend elsewhere. Give this one a miss.

The devices can also make a ton of mess

On top of USB dishwashers not helping to clean your items, there's another drawback to the devices. As observed by "Freakin' Reviews," they can actually add more time to your kitchen cleaning routine. And no, we're not just referring to re-washing the dishes. 

During his first attempt at using the device, James White noticed that the amount of detergent he put into the sink contributed to a very messy situation in which he had to remove bubbles throughout the washing cycle. In order to avoid that happening a second time, he used less water and less detergent during his next wash. However, the water nevertheless shot out of the basin and onto the kitchen walls. 

Of course, there is a chance a deeper basin would have yielded a less messy result. In fact, the instructions for another USB dishwasher available on Amazon recommend using a bucket. Even so, it seems like a lot of effort for something that doesn't do much more than a good old soak. At the end of the day, if a dishwasher machine is out of your budget, washing by hand is probably still your best bet.