Hand washing vs using the dishwasher

Most of the time I hand wash my dishes

Most of the time I hand wash my dishes

One of the best things about moving into my own place is that it has a dishwasher. However, I rarely use it. If I have a dinner party or am feeling particularly lazy I will stack it up over a few days and turn it on occasionally. Most of the time I wash my dishes in the sink and let them dry in the dish rack.

Somehow I feel that I am saving water and electricity by hand-washing my dishes. I am not at all sure that this is true. I think I’ve been told that a dishwasher uses the same amount of water as washing dishes in the sink, but I really can’t believe it. A dishwasher must use more electricity though, surely?

My empty dishwasher

My empty dishwasher

One thing about washing dishes by hand is that I feel virtuous when I have all the dishes stacked up and drying. A load in the dishwasher doesn’t give nearly the same sense of completion. And the fact that I live alone means that dishes sit in the dishwasher for ages before I have a full load, so it must be more hygienic to wash my dishes in the sink, right? When I was a kid in a family of six we couldn’t live without a dishwasher. When it broke down it caused all sorts of sibling angst. When it’s just me, it seems a bit decadent running a dishwasher.

So if washing up in the sink feels good, I’ll just continue, with the hope that I am saving a little bit of money, electricity and water by not turning the dishwasher on!



Filed under Budget, Frugal, Saving money

10 responses to “Hand washing vs using the dishwasher

  1. This is a very well-written article!

    Now it costed about $50 8 years ago every time you ran the dishwasher and I can only imagine how much it costs now to do it. How much would you say? Maybe $75-$80?

  2. hi, glad to find your blog and see someone else doing what i do and i am not the only one.
    about washing dishes by hand, u might save even more by rinsing them in cold water instead of hot. maybe u do it allready, but i noticed those of us who do are a very selected bunch esp if u live in a cold country.

    • Yeah, you are definitely not the only one out there!

      I generally rinse the dishes in hot water, but when researching a little I read that you can save more by washing under cold water.

      Thing is, I rinse the dishes under the tap as I go, so the hot water in the sink gets used anyway – so I’m not sure it would be such a good idea!

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