If you want to save water and money when washing dishes, then using a dishwasher is definitely more eco-friendly than hand washing your dishes.
Contrary to what some people may tell you, a large electric dishwasher is a greener choice than hand washing your dishes in the sink, especially if it is a newer model. Here are some facts to support this.
1. Water consumption
Despite the fact that dishwashers look like they are continually spraying water, you’ll be surprised to know that they use much less water than hand washing.
When cleaning dishes in a sink, you can end up using up to 27 gallons of water per load. According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a newer model Energy Star certified dishwasher can only use only 3 gallons per load.
In a year, an Energy Star certified dishwasher is capable of saving up to 5,000 gallons of water.
What type of dishwasher do you need to reach these water saving capabilities? In 2013, new standards were placed which required dishwashers to use a maximum of 5 gallons per load.
However, older units built before 1994 can end up wasting up to 10 gallons of water per load.
2. Energy saving
This is probably even more difficult to believe, but dishwashers can use less energy than hand washing. When you are hand washing, the water needs to heat up the water for you to be able to wash dishes properly by hand.
Most new dishwasher models come pre-installed with heaters inside which are capable of warming water more efficiently than the standard water heater. If a dishwasher is energy star certified, it is capable of using less than half the energy than hand washing.
3. Dishwashers are more efficient with a full load
A dishwasher is more efficient when it is loaded full of dishes. If there are days when your dishwasher does not get filled up, just use the rinse and hold feature if your dishwasher comes with it.
This will help to prevent food from drying on dishes and sticking until you get around to a full load and it also enables you to stay green.
4. Eliminates the need for rinsing by hand
It is very wasteful to rinse your dishes by hand before putting them in a dishwasher. Research by Consumer Reports found that pre-rinsing your dishes can waste up to 6,000 gallons of water in a household each year.
Most new dishwasher models are very capable of handling bits of food on a dish thereby eliminating the need for pre-rinsing. Your dishes will still be adequately washed as long as you just scrape off the big leftovers into the trash.
5. No need to physically endure hot water
For dishes to be thoroughly sanitized, water needs to be heated to about 60 – 63 degrees Celsius. Your hands are not capable of handling such temperatures for the period it requires to wash dishes correctly.
It is also wasteful to turn up the heat settings on a water heater when you only need to wash your dishes.