Tag Archives: energy efficiency

My Way or the Highway

Is there any household disagreement more common than, “Is it better to wash dishes by hand, or use the dishwasher?” (Well, maybe, “Does the toilet paper roll go paper side over or under?” As it happens, the patented tp holder was designed to be paper side over. Now you know!)

Being curious, as saving water is a topic around our house, I did some research.

In this fun, independent test, the participants compared using the dishwasher (a popular Bosch model) vs. soaking everything in hot, soapy water vs. handwashing each item one at a time.

The results confirmed what I suspected.

Regardless of method, when you hand wash, you use 3.5-5 times more water than a dishwasher. Not to mention the energy used to heat that water, or how much time you waste standing at the sink.

The more dishes you wash, the more water you waste.

person washing his hand

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

You might think that dishwashers fill up to the top with water, or spray a constant stream of fresh water. They don’t.

Modern dishwashers reuse water throughout the cleaning process, utilizing a system of pumps, sprays and jets. Clean water is only used at the very beginning and for the final rinse. During the rest of the cycle, the water is filtered and heated for maximum cleaning.

If you’re a dishwasher fan, now you have some science to back you up when the subject gets, er, heated.