Does Dishwasher Use More Water: The Great Debate

You know you’re at your limit when there’s only so much cream can do for your poor hands; at this point, they’re so cracked they look like more like dried up husks than appendages. But while logically you know that it would be more efficient to use a dishwasher, the “Does dishwasher use more water?” question might haunt you each time you almost purchase that brand-new dishwasher. Because let’s face it, the last thing you need is for your water bill to skyrocket.

So, you’re on the fence about whether or not you should bite the bullet and order the appliance of your soft hand dreams. Maybe there were several factors stopping you from making that purchase, like how you would go about installing it or where you would even put it, but you’ve managed to resolve all those issues except for one.

You see adverts for this brand or that brand, all proclaiming that “x dishwasher makes everything easier!” and you can honestly see the benefits—no more back pains from hunching over the sink, no more anxiety about whether or not you really got all that oil off of that pan, and no more prune-y hands. Sure, x dishwasher seems like it makes everything easier, but again does dishwasher use more water?

Surely, you think to yourself; it must! It’s constantly shooting water how could it not use more water when even at your most tired you’ve got the mind to turn the tap off every now and then when you’re washing.

Well, my friend, if that’s all that was stopping you from making that purchase, then you can rest assured that you’ve got it backwards.

Does Dishwasher Use More Water: The Facts

According to many studies, such as that from the University of Bonn aptly entitled the “Determination and Verification of Possible Resource Savings in Manual Dishwashing”, the average amount of water a person uses to wash their own dishes by hand every day is 10.5 litres, while a modern dishwasher stacked to capacity consumes 15 litres during a full cycle.

It may not seem like such a big difference; however, many other sources including the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), state that using a dishwasher will save more water in both the long and short run.

So there you have it, not only is it more efficient, but it will also save water and power. With regulations in place in many different countries that standardise the way dishwashers are made to limit the waste of water and power, your fear about your hands becoming softer at the expense of exorbitant bills can be put to rest.

The End of the Great Debate

With that burning question answered, there should be little else in the way of you making your life that much easier by purchasing a dishwasher. After all, you’ve just been assured that it not only uses a fraction of that water you use by hand, dishwashers also use much less energy, soap, and effort as well.

But wait, you cry, surely these number all depend on the make of the dishwasher? Could this level of efficiency be achieved by an older model?

Honestly, the answer is, it definitely depends. But while you could potentially be just as efficient and save water with an older machine as you could be wasteful, this does not mean you could save as much with handwashing.

Even if you were particularly blessed with an abundance of time and concentration and could wash a soiled dinner plate with just a bit over a cup of water, a study done by states the following:

“If you can keep the water use low, equal to an efficient machine, you’ll require less energy, but doing an entire load of dishes in 4 gallons of water is roughly equivalent to doing them all in the same amount of water you use in 96 seconds of showering (using a showerhead that emits 2.5 gallons per minute)” which makes the point moot.

So, does dishwasher use more water? No, it doesn’t. You really only have to find the best dishwasher for your space, budget, and needs and remember to check whether it is governed by regulations that alleviate water and power waste.

With your fears assuaged, you can now buy that dishwasher you’ve been eyeing and sleep peacefully knowing that not only will the environment thank you but your hands will as well.

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