Handwashing Vs Dishwasher

If your house isn’t equipped with a dishwasher, then washing dishes by hand is your only option. But if you own a dishwasher, then you need to listen up! Your attempts to use less water and energy by hand washing is likely costing you time and money. In this side-by-side comparison of the dishwasher versus hand washing, we reveal why the dishwasher wins.

The Pros and Cons of Dishwasher v. Handwashing Dishes.

handwashing v. dishwasher

Many people believe that handwashing dishes is the “green” method, but the reality is that you’re probably using more resources (water, electricity, and time) than you would with the dishwasher method. There are a few advantages to handwashing, however you will have to make a couple adjustments to how you typically wash a load to reap the benefits.

Wash Tub and Drying Rack

For the most efficient results, purchase a dish wash tub and a drying rack. Fill your tub up with very hot water and dishwashing soap, and then turn off the water immediately. When you’re ready to rinse, fill the tub with clean water and dip the dishes in the tub. Do not leave the water running! Air dry the dishes on a dish rack to save on laundering towels.

Water Use

You do have to be extremely diligent in your water use since the kitchen sink faucet will use 3 to 5 gallons of water per minute! Think about that the next time you are hand washing the pile of dishes in your sink. Not to mention when it’s cold outside you tend to let the water run until it’s hot enough to wash dishes. This wastes a lot of water.

It’s Good for the Kids (Research Suggests)

According to a recent study by Swedish researchers, children from families that hand washed dishes are 40 percent less likely to develop allergies compared to those from families that use dishwashers. Handwashing leaves more bacteria behind, and this theory points out that this bacteria can make kids more resistant to allergies.

Not as Clean as You Think

In order to make dishes bacteria free, you’ll need to get the water to at least 140° F, and our hands definitely can’t take that heat. When handwashing, use dishwashing gloves so you can get the water as hot as possible (just be sure hot water doesn’t seep in through the opening!). And make sure to frequently replace the sponge. It’s the item in your household with the most germs!

The dishwasher is a clear winner when it comes to washing dishes. We’ll let you decide for yourself, as there are cons to every decision, but using a dishwasher is the best way to go if you’re thinking about saving money, energy, water, and time.

Water Usage

Energy Star-certified dishwashers are required to use less than 5.8 gallons per cycle, so your water usage is drastically cut down. The water inside a dishwasher can also get hot enough to clean and disinfect your dishes, which will get rid of more bacteria than handwashing could ever achieve.

The Best Way to Use Your Dishwasher

It’s a myth that you should rinse your dishes before you put them into your dishwasher. In fact, it’s completely false! Scrape off large chunks of food into the trash—but leave the stuck on food and grime. Dishwasher soap actually has an enzyme that is activated by food, meaning that your dishwasher soap won’t be as effective if you rinse the dishes before placing them in the dishwasher.

Dishwasher Detergent

Modern day detergents are extremely effective at washing dishes when used properly. Detergents like Cascade Complete has Clorox stain fighting power that gets rid of the darkest of stains. If you drink a lot of coffee, wine, or other foods that stain dishes, then select a detergent with both food-eating enzymes and bleach. Otherwise, a standard detergent will do. Do not use too much soap. More is not better! If you are having a problem with your machine, then it could be because you’re using too much soap.

Energy Saver

Energy Star claims that using an efficient dishwasher will cut your utilities by more than $40 per year. Compared to hand washing, dishwashers use half the energy, one-sixth the water, and half of the soap. If your dishwasher doesn’t have the Energy Star logo, select a light wash and turn off the heated drying feature to save on water and energy.