Washing Dishes By Hand Can Use Less Water Than A Dishwasher

Permaculture author Paul Wheaton demonstrates how hand washing a standard load of dishes can use just three litres of water. In comparison, a standard dishwasher uses 57 litres of water per load and energy-efficient dishwasher use around 34 litres per load.Video by Paul Wheaton.

It is said that using a dishwasher saves more water than doing a similarly-sized load of dishes by hand, but that is assuming you fill an entire sink with water before starting and running your tap to rinse throughout the process. If you instead start with your smallest items and use rinsing water to fill the washbasin you can wash dishes more efficiently by hand as shown above.

A side benefit of washing by hand is that you never have to rewash food items that a dishwasher was unable to remove.

Washing Dishes By Hand Vs. a Dishwasher [Permies.com]


    Yeah, but the point is you have to wash them by hand in the chance that you MIGHT save water... I will stick with the dishwasher and save myself 30mins a day.. heck I MIGHT even save water

    I never understood the point in washing machines. Collect you dishes. Scrap food leftovers off them. Spend half an hour trying to load dishwasher (hate hate hate this). Then wait at least an hour for dishwasher to do its business. Then another half an hour to unload dishes from dishwasher. I'd rather wash everything by hand - quick and easy.

      If you're taking half an hour to load/unload the dishwasher, you're doing it wrong. I honestly can't see how it could possibly take more than about 5 mins *at the most*.

      Load the dishwasher as you soil dishes and it takes a sum total of a few seconds... a 2 minutes at most and that's 2 minutes over the course of a few days!
      Unloading the dishwasher takes 5 minutes and once again, that's only every few days.

        I've personally yet to encounter a dishwasher that didn't require at least some items to be hand-dried on removal, which definitely increases the time and the nuisance factor.

          You know what the worst thing ever is? Realising you put a mug into the top tray with the opening facing up, and having it splosh over you in a spectacular explosion of slightly-opaque icy water as you flip it to place it back in the cupboard.

          Use more rinse aid and/or a higher temperature setting. Nothing should come out wet.

    Dishwashers produce beautiful shiny and clean and dry plates glasses and cutlery.

    The question is not water but electricity. I am sure the dishwasher is more efficient at that.
    But you need to load the washer through the day and then turn on after 10pm ie whenever the lower cost smart meter rate comes in.

      Washing by hand undoubtedly uses less electricity than a dishwasher, I have to say.

        Depends, whose hands are you talking about?

        I don't particularly enjoy hand-washing dishes in cold water in the middle of winter, I have to say.

    Amazed on why there's no health-freak that comments that dishwasher is healthier than hand wash, as yet.

    Back when I lived in London I had a mate with the ultimate batchelor pad including TWO DISH WASHERS. He gradually filled one up as he used his plates and used it only when full. He then took dishes for daily used from this machine as he needed them, putting them in the other ready for when it was full and to be used.

    He claimed it meant he never had to really load or unload a dishwasher!! His plates never saw the inside of a cupboard as his last-used dishwasher was the only place they'd be before heading into the other one for washing.

    More money than sense that guy, but after a few beers in his flat, it always kind of made perfect sense...

    Wow, what old school dishwashers were these guys using, our 3 year old Bosch only uses 13L for a full wash.

    Load it up during the day and after dinner, set it to come on during the night (it's really quiet so don't event hear it), and wake up to clean dishes.

    For a bit more depth than a youtube clip



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