Dishwashers or Hand Washing? Which is Greener?

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Our first home did not have a dishwasher. We lived there five long years and everyday I wished for one. I will never take them for granted again!

One area of debate and something to think about: Is it more eco-friendly to use dishwashers or hand washing? Before I started researching this topic I would have guessed that washing them by hand was, but I have learned that was not the case in most instances. Here are 8 reasons why dishwashers are greener.

Dishwasher or hand washing? Which is greener?

Why is a Dishwasher Greener? And Better.

The bottom line of dishwasher or hand washing is that is uses less energy (hot water), approximately one-sixth of the water (wow!), and much less soap per dish.

Less Energy

It takes a dishwasher less time to heat up hot water than it does running til its hot in the sink. In fact, according to a new ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher uses less than half of the energy used when washing dishes by hand.

Less Water

On average people use 26 gallons of water when washing their dishes by hand. A full ENERGY STAR dishwasher uses 3.5 gallons per load.

Let’s talk about rinsing. This is a hot topic at my house. Hubby believes in rinsing the dishes well before placing them in the dishwasher. That is a waste and extra water used. When you do rinse off the crud, don’t leave the water continuously running. Shut it off when placing the dish down and turn it on again once the next item is in your hand. Or better yet don’t rinse at all. Pre-rinsing your dishes can waste as much as 6,000 gallons of water each year!

Less Soap

Less detergent in a full dishwasher than a full sink with dish soap.

Full Loads

Be sure to load your dishwasher so that it is full. Don’t waste that space!

Saves Time

I can think of one million things I’d rather be doing than washing dishes by hand.

Kills Germs

Incredibly hot water kills germs and viruses.

Air Dry

Save even more by turning off the heat-dry setting.


No I’m not promoting ENERGY STAR, but when you go out to buy a new dishwasher be sure to read all the reviews and find one that has this rating. Results will vary with different models and you only want the best, right? Remember less energy = saving money.

Dishwashers or Hand Washing? Which is Greener?

I’ve laid out the facts. What do you think? Dishwasher or Hand washing?

I’m so glad that Dishwashers are greener because I don’t know what I would do if the tests showed that I needed to hand wash. I’d make Hubby do it for sure.

Visit my post to see the 15 Best Non Toxic Dishwasher Soaps to use.

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