We know there’s an end in sight but it can feel like Groundhog Day when we’re presented with, yet again, more dishes to wash up.
For many of us who live in small flats or houses, we just don’t have the space for a dishwasher in our kitchens.
Enter the smart-tech Bob mini dishwasher, which may be the answer to all our prays as it’s small enough to fit on a kitchen worktop but big enough for two people’s plates, mugs and glasses.
Said to be the world’s smallest – measuring at just 49cm high and 34cm wide – and fastest autonomous dishwasher, it comes with an integrated tank so it doesn’t need any plumbing. Plus, it uses less than four litres of water per cycle, five times less than washing by hand.
We looked at whether the mini dishwasher was actually big enough for two people’s daily washing up needs, how easy it was to use and whether it is really worth the price tag.
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Smartech daan tech Bob mini dishwasher: £349.90, Daan.tech.en
Set up and design
The Bob mini dishwasher is actually heavier than we thought it would be –weighing nearly 11kg – and once we’d heaved it up the stairs and into our kitchen, we started the set-up. The brand advises you to put the dishwasher on a sturdy service, due to its weight but it also needed to be near a plug socket, so we settled on a table next to our kitchen worktops.
We love the look of the dishwasher – with its rounded edges and silver door it looks very on trend in our kitchen and reminds us of similar gadgets designed by Smeg. It’s also very compact, meaning it can sit on a worktop or even a shelf, and it also comes in an array of 12 colours. Accessories include a slide-in tray, which has holders for plates and dishes, along with extra compartments for cutlery and cups.
If you want to connect the dishwasher to a traditional water supply the brand provides an inlet and drainage hose to get rid of the dirty water. However, it also has a built-in water tank, allowing you to add your own water. If you can’t connect the drainage hose to your pipes the only other option is to drain the dirty water into a bucket or the sink. This was one factor that disappointed us as we didn’t have room to place it near the sink, so we had to connect the drainage hose to a bucket underneath our table.
We know it's only small but a compartment for the dirty water, which can be removed and cleaned out, would make this dishwasher much more user friendly, meaning you could place it anywhere in the house without having to worry about emptying a bucket of dirty water.
Once you’ve sorted out your water supply and plugged it into the mains the small LCD display screen takes you through the set-up process, which also involves registering your device with Dann – which is quick and easy.
The set-up process also asks you to insert the washing tablets – or “Bob cassettes”. These are their own 100 per cent recycled plastic all-in-one dishwasher detergents, which last for 30 cycles. When you run out, extra cassettes cost £30 or you can use normal dishwasher tablets. We found them easy to slot into the pull-out compartment below the door.
We know it has mini in the title but we didn’t realise just how mini it would be inside. It housed quite a lot of cutlery and a maximum of five cups, as well as up to five plates. But the size was cut down considerably when we added bowls, curved plates or larger dishes. We did attempt to add in pots and pans but the space only allowed for a couple of them, so it didn’t seem worth putting the cycle on purely just for them alone.
We found that we had to put the dishwasher on twice a day if we wanted to clean all our cups and plates used and do some extra washing up on the side.
Once you’re all set up, if you’re using the integrated water tank you have to fill it up via an inlet, which has small holes on the top of the dishwasher. We found this design slightly annoying as we spent ages waiting for all the water to filter down. An open and shut inlet would work better here, allowing us to fill up the water tank faster and spend less time pouring the water in.
However, its water consumption is one of its benefits. A normal dishwasher uses around 11-13l every cycle, while the Dann Bob mini dishwasher uses a maximum of 3.8l of water – so we loved how energy efficient it was.
The dishwasher provides different cycles by clicking on the arrow buttons – a daily cycle for 50 mins, an express 20-minute option, 15 minutes just for glasses, an intensive wash and also a 90-minute eco wash. The UV-C sanitisation option can also be used to disinfect items such as keys and phones, and you can also create up to four personalised cycles.
Once we filled the water tank and chose the daily cycle, a quiet bleep was heard, meaning we could press the play button to start up the cycle. The machines LCD screen informed us of the process it was going through while also giving us a timed countdown – you can also watch the dishwasher in action through the large circular window on the door.
We loved how quiet the cycle was, we could hear that it was working but it didn’t distract us from watching the TV or conversations. When our cycle was finished there was a beep and the door opened automatically – informing us about the drying process, which takes around another 10 minutes.
The cleaning can’t be faulted at all. Some dishwashers need you to pre-rinse plates before you put them in, but the Bob dishwasher isn’t one of them. We placed crockery in the dishwasher after meals such as risotto, spaghetti and roasts, and the plates came out sparkling, cutlery was spotless and our wine glasses were the cleanest they’d ever been.
The drying process worked really well too, with only small bits of water left on cups that had been put in accidentally upside down – leaving us smug in the knowledge that we could put our plates and cutlery away without having to towel dry them first.
The verdict: Daan Tech Bob mini dishwasher
We loved how compact the Daan Tech Bob mini dishwasher was and that you didn’t necessarily have to plumb into your water supply. However, we’d love to see another built-in tank for the dirty water too. This would make it more user friendly for customers who can’t place the dishwasher next to the sink.
Cleaning wise it really did its job – our glasses were streak-free and it even cleaned off day-old porridge. However, considering that most dishwashers can house probably triple the amount of cutlery and crockery you’d have to do three cycles to compete with a traditional dishwasher.
The price is a big factor too – we know the Bob is designed for people will less space but, for around half the price you can buy a full-sized dishwasher. However, in the absence of eating out and with our plates constantly piling up, we’re very appreciative of something which can do this boring chore for us.
For more home appliance hacks read our round-up of the best slow cookers that help you rustle up stews and casseroles with minimal effort
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