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USB Dishwasher Review: Does it Work?

James White Jul 11

Today I’m reviewing a mini USB dishwasher that attaches to the side of a sink and can supposedly clean dishes via agitation and “vibratory sound waves.” I managed to find one and put it to the test.

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Where to Purchase

This has been one of the more difficult items to find. There are numerous listings for these on Amazon (such as this one), but I didn’t see any on Amazon that were available before late August or early September 2020. I did find one on Walmart’s website, although that came from a third party vendor and it was shipped directly from China.

The price on these ranges from about $28-$37. I have not seen a single review online for these as of this writing.

This is purely a guess, but I believe that this could be a case of numerous online vendors who all found this (new?) item on a site like Alibaba, then posted listings for it, even before receiving their inventory.

About the USB Dishwasher

I haven’t determined if one company makes these for vendors to re-brand, or if they are all being marketed under the same name. The instructions I have list the name as “Wave Maker Super Shock Wave Dishwasher.” The model is WV-181. Most of the packaging is in Chinese, although poorly-worded English instructions were also included.

Claims & Features

  • Alternates agitation and “vibratory sound waves” to clean dishes
  • Attaches to side of most sinks
  • DC 5V, micro USB powered
  • Output power 10W
  • Size: 100x100x72mm
  • Packaging also includes charging cube, double-sided suction, and instructions.

Wave Maker Dishwasher Review

When I first saw this item, as suggested in an Instagram message, I was immediately curious if it would actually work or not, so I managed to find one after extensive digging around for it. I was under the assumption that it would be about double the size of the unit that actually arrived, but size doesn’t matter as long as it works, right?

After unboxing the unit, I wanted to give it a preliminary test to see how it worked before actually attempting to wash dirty dishes with it.

The first challenge I encountered placing the dishes in the sink in order to optimize them for cleaning. Photos of this product show dishes arranged in a row facing the Wave Maker. I attempted to recreate this by carefully alternating bowls and saucers, and holding them in place with a mug.

It took some effort to arrange dishes for optimal coverage.

The next challenge was to fill the sink sufficiently to cover the dishes, while also allowing the USB unit to be placed so that it doesn’t spray water outside of the sink. After a little trial and error, I was able to find an optimal placement, which submerges the fan almost completely.

I should point out that by now I realized that the electrical cord attached to the main unit was only an inch or two away from the water, which made me take pause. The poorly-worded instructions state, “Product integration design, ip67 grade waterproof, it can be immersed in 1 meter underwater for a long time, and the performance is not affected. It will not leak electricity, the use of USB power supply, human safety voltage range (5v-12v), and the product does not contain batteries to ensure absolute safety.” I can’t say that was alleviated my worries much.

The instructions also state to “put in a small amount of detergent” which took me a couple of tries to get right. The first time I put in far too much, and my sink was overflowing with bubbles.

When I first activated the unit (there is no on/off button – you just plug it in to turn it on), the fan was not deep enough in the water and began spraying soapy water everywhere. Adjusting the unit to be more fully submerged resulted in a less messy operation.

Once in operation, the unit runs for two minutes in a “wave making type clean” cycle and then it emits “vibratory sound waves” for one minute. It does this five times for a total of 15 minutes. The abrupt changes in sound between these two cycles made me believe something was wrong with it at first.

This wave mode uses the USB-powered fan to agitate the water. This cycle runs for 2 minutes.

Closeup of the “vibratory sound waves” which supposedly aid in cleaning. This cycle runs for 1 minute.

After my preliminary test, I decided to try a batch of silverware that had been waiting to be washed in my regular dishwasher. This allowed me to place the unit further down in the sink, and use much less soap than my first test.

I give the unit credit for alternating through its cycles five times and shutting off after 15 minutes as expected, but the dishes didn’t seem any cleaner than if they had just soaked in water the entire time.

For my next (and final) test, I tried another set of dishes. Getting all of them to stand properly in the sink was a bit of a challenge, but using a cup to hold them in place did seem to help.

After running through its cycles, I once again didn’t feel like there was an improvement over soaking and wiping the dishes off by hand. In fact, I could have cleaned them by hand in a much shorter time than 15 minutes, which doesn’t include the time it takes to fill the sink with water.

In the end, I don’t feel like this product did anything that soaking dishes in warm soapy water wouldn’t also do. The gimmick level feels high, while the usefulness level feels almost nonexistent.

Below is my full video review of this unusual item!

About the Water Level

After posting this on YouTube, several comments suggested I had used it improperly and that the unit should be fully submerged. In response to that claim, I submit the graphic below. The top photo comes from an Amazon listing of the product, showing it partially submerged, while the bottom shows the instructions, which also show it partially submerged in two different places.

Alternatives

If you are looking for a true portable dishwasher, that will unfortunately take you into a significantly higher price range. This $390 Farberware countertop dishwasher is one of the better-rated units in this category.

Your Wave Maker Super Shock Reviews

What do you think about an item like this? Tell me what you think in the comments below.

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James White

James White is based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has been reviewing strange gadgets since 2011. He also runs the successful "Freakin' Reviews" YouTube channel.

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Martin Pedersen
Martin Pedersen
28 days ago

first that crossed my mind “dishwasher tabs”?
will add some flow for the enzymes and such to move around.

L88
L88
28 days ago

I don’t know if it’ll get lost in the Youtube comments so I’ll repost it here. Bigclive tore down a similar device marketed for laundry:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugVRY-Cv7Ng
The waterproofing is suspect so I don’t really recommend further testing on this version of the device.