Dishwasher Vs Hand Washing
We have an energy-efficient dishwasher that we use efficiently and only consumes 0,15 euros in electricity and 0,024 euros in water per load.
Note that the most crucial keyword is EFFICIENTLY.
Our dishwasher is an ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCE that we use USE EFFICIENTLY by learning what cycle consumes less energy and water.
For us, it is a much better option to use the dishwasher rather than washing the dishes by hand because:
> We are saving a considerable amount of time every month.
> We are also saving water.
> Using the dishwasher is not significantly increasing our electricity costs.
Still, every case is different so we are going to show how you can find out if you are saving money, time, and effort by using the dishwasher or if it makes more sense for you to clean your dishes by hand.
TABLE OF CONTENTS – QUICK NAVIGATION
What uses more electricity, dishwasher or hand washing
Dishwasher electricity usage
Our dishwasher, like any other dishwasher, has several cycle options.
We measured the electricity usage of each cycle using a plug-in power meter. This way we have found out what cycle is the most economic. The results are displayed in the table below.
If you would also like to measure the power consumption of your dishwasher, have a look at the article where we show how to use a plug-in power meter.
Since we learned that the most economic it is the ‘Eco’ cycle, we are using this cycle every single time.
It takes 3,5 hours to complete the cycle, but we leave it working overnight so this is not an issue for us.
Hand washing electricity usage
But, how much electricity would we be consumed by heating the water needed to wash our dishes by hand?
Well, first we need to know how much water we are using for cleaning the dishes by hand and then calculate how much energy in kWh our boiler uses to heat that amount of water.
By washing the dishes by hand and measuring the water consumption, we know that we use 14 liters of hot water to clean the same amount of dishes that we can fit in our dishwasher.
It is difficult to find out how much it costs to heat up 1 liter of water but out of doing some research, we estimate that it takes 0,05 kWh.
As we are paying 0,217 euro per kWh, that means that it does cost us 0.1519 euro to heat up 14 liters of water.
Energy-wise, it does cost us the same to clean the dishes by hand or by using our dishwasher.
Even assuming that we are using the dishwasher 20 times a month (this estimation takes into consideration vacations) we are saving only 0,5 cents a year by using the dishwasher.
What uses more water, dishwasher or hand washing
Dishwasher water usage
We measured the amount of water needed by our dishwasher to complete a cycle.
To find out this information, we just started a cycle and on our water meter, we have checked the amount of water consumed by the dishwasher from start to finish.
As we know that we are paying 2 euros per cubic meter of water use, we can easily calculate the water cost. The results are shown in the table below.
We have an efficient dishwasher that uses very little water.
If you would also like to measure how much water your dishwasher is using, have a look at this article where we show how to read a water meter.
Also, if you want to calculate the water cost but you are not sure how to start by having a look at this article where we explain what a cubic meter of water is.
Hand washing water usage
Now we need to know how much water, hot and cold, we are using to clean by hand the same amount of dishes.
For that, we will also check on our water meter the amount of water consumed from start to finish.
The results are that we are consuming 12 liters of cold water and 14 liters of hot water to hand wash the dishes. Let’s not that we have tried to use as little water as possible.
Water-wise, it does cost us just an extra 3 cents to clean the dishes by hand.
Assuming that we are using the dishwasher 20 times a month (this estimation takes into consideration vacations) we are saving 7,2 euros a year on the water by using the dishwasher.
Most importantly, from the environmental point of view, we are saving 220 liters of water per month or 2640 liters of water per year.
Water-wise, we are saving water and money by using the dishwasher rather than washing the dishes by hand.
What uses more time, dishwasher or hand washing
Dishwasher time usage
It takes us around 5 min to load the dirty dishes into the dishwasher and another 5 minutes to unload them. This is a total of 10 minutes per load.
Hand washing time usage
To clean that same load of dishes by hand, and then put them back in their place, takes us around 30 minutes.
As we are using the dishwasher almost once a day, that means that by using the dishwasher we are saving a total of 20 minutes per day that we can use for other activities.
By estimating that we use the dishwasher 20 times per month (this estimation takes into consideration vacations), we can calculate a total saving of 400 minutes (or 6,6 hours) per month by using the dishwasher instead of cleaning the dishes by hand.
– We are saving 6,6 hours per month or,…
– We are saving 80 hours per year, well over three full days, by using the dishwasher.
What uses more supplies, dishwasher or hand washing
Dishwasher supplies cost
We use one dishwasher tablet per load which costs around 0,13 euros per unit.
Also, every month we need to use some dishwasher care liquid to clean the dishwasher and each bottle does cost us around 2,5 euros.
Hand washing supplies cost
The dishwashing liquid does cost us around 2,5 euros per liter. Also, we need a dishwashing sponge that it cost us around 0,3 euros per unit.
Assuming that we are using 2 sponges per month and 1 liter of didishwashingiquid, washing the dishes by hand does cost us around 3 euros a month.
Assuming that we use the dishwasher 20 times per month (this estimation takes into consideration vacations), using the dishwasher does cost us around 5 euros in supplies.
From the supplies perspective, the difference between hand washing or using the dishwasher is nearly negligible.
Conclusions sum up
From the direct costs perspective (water and electricity), it does nearly cost us the same to wash the dishes by hand or using the dishwasher.
Still, two other major factors need to be taken into consideration:
– The cost of purchasing an energy-efficient dishwasher, which is approximately 700 euro
– The time saved by not washing the dishes by hand, which is approximately 6,5 hours a month.
Even though 700 euros seems like a big cost if we assume that the dishwasher will last us for 5 years, using the dishwasher is taking out of our budget only around 12 euros per month.
ALL IN ALL
Using the dishwasher does cost us more money than if we would be washing the dishes by hand. Approximately an extra 13,5 euros per month.
Still, we consider that in our case, those 6,5 hours that we save every month by using the dishwasher are worth more to us than those 13,5 euros per month that we would be saved by washing the dishes by hand.
That time is better spent playing with our children, relaxing or writing this article.
Ways to conserve water
Water conservation can be defined as the decision and the act of using less water
Water conservation both benefits you and the environment
The act of saving and conserving water does benefit you because you will be paying less for your water bills.
And it also does benefit the environment because conserving water prevents any unnecessary waste of natural resources.
Now, at the individual level, it may not look worth trying to save a few liters or gallons here or there.
Still, every little count and if hundreds or thousands of us do save a little every time, it will make an important contribution towards conserving our natural resources.
For example, if 9000 households would manage to save as little as 5 liters of water per day:
> Collectively, we would be saving over 16,000,000 liters of water per year!
> Collectively, assuming a cost of 2 euros per cubic meter of water, we would be saving nearly 33,000 euros per year!
Proven ways to save water at home
If you are looking for ideas to save water at home, have a look at this YouTube video where we show some useful tips to reduce water usage at home and decrease the water bill.
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