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!

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10 Comments

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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