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The Tetra countertop dishwasher could change the way you clean up dinner

It can even wash your fruit.

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The Tetra dishwasher from Heatworks can clean dishes, baby bottles and even fruit. 

Heatworks

We've been keeping up with the Tetra countertop dishwasher from Heatworks since CES 2018 and it's finally gone from eye-catching concept to actual appliance. Set to ship next year, the Tetra's asking price rings in at $499, with an early-bird discount for anyone willing to order it right now. 

The Tetra is a compact dishwasher designed to save water and offer a dishwashing option for small spaces like studio apartments or RVs. This self-contained dishwasher doesn't need any plumbing hookups; a standard electrical outlet is all you need. Heatworks advertises the Tetra as a convenient way to wash plastics like baby toys and bottles that might melt in a regular dishwasher and delicate glass stemware. It can even clean fruit.

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A look inside the Tetra countertop dishwasher. 

Heatworks

How does it work? 

Tetra needs an electrical outlet for power, but doesn't require any fill or drain hoses like your standard dishwasher. Instead, users pour three liters of water into the water reservoir and load their dirty dishes. The Tetra can clean and dry three full place settings (three dinner plates, three bread plates, three glasses, three forks, three spoons and three butter knives). It fits neatly on a countertop and only needs an electrical outlet. 

There are five cleaning cycles to choose from, including standard, eco, gentle, plastic and yes, fruit. The shortest cycle is the eco cycle, clocking in at less than 30 minutes to wash and under one hour if you add drying. The longest cycle is the standard cycle at under one hour to wash and just over one hour to dry.

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The Tetra dishwasher can wash three place settings. 

Heatworks

Cycles with detergent are fueled by a special detergent cartridge. Similar to printer cartridges, Tetra's detergent cartridge system dispenses custom formulas with prewash, enzymes, spot removal and rinse aids. Each cartridge supplies approximately 20 loads. Pricing for cartridges and cartridge packs isn't finalized yet, but is expected to be in line with standard detergent pods. That fruit cycle washes without detergent for a simple, contained rinse. 

Once the cleaning cycle is complete, the dirty water needs to be removed. Users will detach the graywater tank from the base of the unit, unscrew its top and pour out the wash water. 

Sustainability 

Heatworks claims that using the Tetra to clean dishes from just one meal per day would save a consumer over 15,000 liters of water in a year. The proprietary cartridges are designed to eliminate "overdosing" (using too much detergent) and promote less plastic consumption since users won't need the pods or packaging of regular detergent.  

There's still quite a bit of time until the Tetra hits shelves, and with any startup there is always the possibility of delays in production or shipping. However, Heatworks has one successfully launch under its belt, a $999 tankless water heater

Preorders for the Heatworks Tetra dishwasher begin today on the Heatworks website for $399 ($100 off the regular $499 MSRP), and preordered units are expected to ship in May 2022.