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Which is Greener ~ Dishwashers or Hand Washing?

dishwasherOur 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 though ~ is it more eco-friendly to wash dishes by hand? Or to use an automatic dishwasher? Many years ago when I first researched this topic, I would have guessed that washing them by hand was. I learned that was not the case in most instances. A Dishwasher usually wins over in the green department.

Why is a dishwasher better?

The bottom line is that is uses less energy (hot water), only a sixth of the water (wow!), and much less soap per dish.

Now don’t blow the statistics out of the water. 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 to me 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.

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

When you go out to buy a new dishwasher be sure to read all the dishwasher reviews and find one that is Energy Star. Results will vary with different models and you only want the best, right? Remember less energy = saving money.

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. 🙂

Do you still hand wash?




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  • I use the dishwasher about once a day, but yes I fill it up each time. I only hand wash items that I have too but I do remember growing up a few times that our dishwasher broke or while we were waiting for a new one to be delivered, I had to help my mom wash/dry/put away dishes for a family of five! I guess because I'm such germ, clean freak I prefer the dishwasher, like our new one has a sanitize option-yes! Lol
  • Yes, I hand wash. Our apartment does not have a dishwasher, nor do we have space in our kitchen for even a portable one. I really would lovemto have one!
  • I grew up hand-washing dishes for our family of 13 and although I wouldn't go back and change things I do admit I enjoy having a dishwasher now that I'm married. Seriously though, hand-washing isn't that bad and I still do it hand wash items that I just don't want to go through a dishwasher, like expensive chef knives. :-)

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