Washing dishes: is it more environmentally friendly with the dishwasher?
7 June 2022
How much does a dishwasher consume? At first glance, less than hand washing. But not everything is so simple… What is better for the environment, wash dishes by hand or use the dishwasher?
Try to launch the debate during a family meal… you will see that this seemingly harmless question will take you very far! We have taken this issue seriously, with great study and expert support, to bring you solid arguments.
Dishwasher yes or no: what consumes more water?
The new dishwashers consume less than 10 liters of water to wash 12 covers, while if you leave the tap open for a minute you already consume 12 liters of water. So, in general, the dishwasher consumes less water, because many people leave running water when washing dishes. Hand washing the dishes of 12 people consumes from 42.10 to 104.60 liters of warm water.
On average, the use of a dishwasher saves 70% of water, or 35 liters compared to hand washing (washing tank or running water intermittently). This saving can reach over 87%, or 90 liters, if the water is allowed to flow permanently. Note that the savings made, both in water and energy consumption, allow you to recover the purchase of the appliance in 5 years! In addition, the dishwasher saves 70 hours of free time per year.
What consumes more energy?
Then there is the question of the energy spent on heating water, which represents 80% of the energy spent by a dishwasher. A dishwasher consumes 0.84 kWh to wash 12 covers, when it takes 0.75 to 2.70 kWh to wash the same amount of dishes by hand (depending on whether or not hot water is run). So, again, it is better to use the dishwasher.
So, should you buy a dishwasher? At first glance, then, it would seem appropriate to invest in a dishwasher. If you have a large family and your budget allows it, do not hesitate! You will save so much time for cleaning.
But if you have a few dishes to wash every day, maybe it’s not the best choice. More seriously, it will be more environmentally friendly, if you live alone or in pairs, without children, wash dishes by hand, using as little water as possible. Buying a mini dishwasher with 6 lids to escape work is not necessarily a good idea. Performance is less good for small machines. These small dishwashers still consume 8 liters of water per cycle. You can do better, with a little elbow grease, following our advice.
How to be environmentally friendly washing dishes by hand?
Are you finally giving up the dishwasher? To wash dishes by hand in the most environmentally friendly way possible, soak the dishes in a bowl, starting with the least dirty ones (glasses, cutlery, dishes and crockery). Rinse quickly under a trickle of water, or better yet, in another basin, with warm or even cold water. And by the way, use eco labeled dish detergents or tablets, which are more environmentally friendly!