Dishwasher Vs Hand Washing: Save electricity, water and time?

We have an energy efficient dishwasher that we use efficiently and it only consume 0,15 euro in electricity and 0,024 euro in water per load.

Note that here the most important keyword it is EFFICIENT. Our dishwasher it is an ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCE that we have learnt to USE EFFICIENTLY by learning what cycle consumes less energy and water.

For us it is a much better option to use the dishwasher rather than washing the dishes by hand because we are saving a considerable amount of time by using the dishwasher while saving water and not significantly increase the electricity cost.

Still, every case is different so we are going to show how you can find out if you are saving money, time and effort by using the dishwasher or if it makes more sense for you to clean your dishes by hand.

Dishwasher Vs Hand Washing

Dishwasher Vs Hand Washing: Electricity consumption

– Dishwasher –

Our dishwasher, like any other dishwasher, has several cycle options. We have measured every cycle power consumption using a plug in power meter so we can know what cycle is the most economic. The results are displayed on the table below.

CyclePower consumptionTotal cost
70 degrees1,21 kWh0,31 euro
Auto0,80 - 1,10 kWh0,20 - 0,28 euro
Auto + Vario Speed1 kWh0,28 euro
Eco0,60 kWh0,15 euro

If you would also like to measure the power consumption of your dishwasher, have a look to the article where we show how to use a plug in power meter.

Since we came to know that the most economic it is the ‘Eco’ cycle, we are using this cycle every single time. It takes 3,5 hours to complete the cycle, but we leave it working overnight so this is not an issue for us.

– Hand washing –

But, how much electricity would we be consuming by heating the amount of water needed to clean the plates by hand? 

Well, first we need to know how much water we are using for cleaning the plates by hand and then calculate how much energy in kWh our boiler uses to heat that amount of water.

By washing the dishes by hand and measuring the water consumption, we know that we use 14 liters of hot water to clean by hand the same amount of dishes that we can fit on our dishwasher. 

It is difficult to find out how much does it cost to heat up 1 liter of water but out of doing some research we estimate that it takes 0,05 kWh.

As we are paying 0,217 euro per kWh, that means that it does cost us 0.1519 euro to heat up 14 liters of water.

Power consumptionTotal cost
Dishwasher0,60 kWh0,15 euro
Hand Washing0,7 kWh0,1519 euro

RESULT

Energy wise, it does cost us the same to clean the dishes by hand or by using out dishwasher. 

Even assuming that we are using the dishwasher 20 times a month (this estimation takes in consideration vacations) we are saving a meager 0,5 cents a year by using the dishwasher.

Dishwasher Vs Hand Washing: Water consumption

– Dishwasher –

We have measured the amount of water needed by our dishwasher to complete a cycle. For this, we just started a cycle and checked on the water meter the amount of water consumed from start to finish. 

As we know that we are paying 2 euro per cubic meter of water, we can easily calculate the water cost. The results are shown on the table below.

CycleWater consumptionTotal cost (per load)
Standard Cycle15 liters0.3 euro
Eco cycle12 liters0,024 euro

We have an efficient dishwasher so it consumes very little water. If you would also like to measure how much water your dishwasher is using, have a look to this article where we show how to read a water meter.

Also, if you want to calculate the water cost but you are not sure how, start by having a look to this article where we explain what a cubic meter of water is.

– Hand washing –

Now we need to know how much water, hot an cold, we would be using to clean by hand the same amount of dishes that we are able to fit in our dishwasher. For that, we will also check on our water meter the amount of water consumed from start to finish.

The results are that we are consuming 12 liters of cold water and 14 liters of hot water to hand wash the dishes. Let’s not that we have tried to use as little water as possible.

Water consumptionTotal cost (per load)
Dishwasher12 liters0.024 euro
Hand Washing26 liters0,052 euro

Water wise, it does cost us just an extra 3 cents more to clean the dished by hand.

Assuming that we are using the dishwasher 20 times a month (this estimation takes in consideration vacations) we are saving 7,2 euro a year on water by using the dishwasher.

Also, from the environmental point of view, we are saving 220 liters of water per month, or 2640 liters of water per year.

RESULT

Water wise, we are saving water and money by using the dishwasher rather than washing the dishes by hand

Dishwasher Vs Hand Washing: Time consumption

– Dishwasher –

It takes us around 5 min to load the dirty dishes to the dishwasher and another 5 minutes to unload then dishwasher. This is, a total of 10 minutes per load.

– Hand washing –

To clean that same load by hand and then put back all the dishes to their place it takes us 30 minutes.

RESULT

As we are using the dishwasher almost once a day, that means that by using the dishwasher we are saving a total of 20 minutes per day that we can use for other activities. 

By estimating that we use the dishwasher 20 times per month (this estimation takes in consideration vacations), we can calculate a total saving of 400 minutes (or 6,6 hours) per month by using the dishwasher instead of cleaning the dishes by hand.

This is 6,6 hours per month or 80 hours SAVED per year, well over three full days, by using the dishwasher.

Time consumed (per month)
Dishwasher3,3 hours
Hand Washing10 hours

Just note that it takes over 3 hours for the ECO cycle to finalize. Those three hours in any calculations because our time it is not being consumed.

Dishwasher Vs Hand Washing: Supplies consumption

– Dishwasher –

For washing the dished at the dishwasher, we use one dishwasher tablet per load that costs around 0,13 euro per unit. Also, every month we need to use some dishwasher care liquid to clean the dishwasher and each bottle does cost us around 2,5 euro in supplies.

– Hand washing –

By washing the dished by hand, we need to have some dish washing liquid that it cost us around 2,5 euro per liter. Also we need a dish washing sponge that it cost us around 0,3 euro per unit. 

Assuming that we are using 2 sponges per month and 1 liter of dish washing liquid, washing the dished by hand does cost us around 3 euro a month.

Assuming that we use the dishwasher 20 times per month (this estimation takes in consideration vacations), using the dishwasher does cost us around 5 euro in supplies.

RESULT

From the supplies perspective, the difference between hand washing or using the dishwasher it is nearly negligible.

Supplies cost (per month)
Dishwasher5 euro
Hand Washing3 euro

Conclusion

From the direct costs perspective (water and electricity), it is nearly cost us he same to wash the dishes by hand or using the dishwasher.

ElectricityWaterSuppliesTotal cost (per month)
Dishwasher3 euro0,48 euro5 euro8,48 euro
Hand Washing3,03 euro1,04 euro3 euro7,1 euro

Still, two other major factors they need to be taken in consideration:

– The cost of having to purchase an energy efficient dishwasher, which is approximately 700 euro

– The time saved by not washing the dishes by hand, which is approximately 6,5 hours a month.

Even though 700 euro seems like a big cost, if we assume that the dishwasher will last us for 5 years, using the dishwasher is taking out of our budget only around 12 euro per month.

ALL IN ALL

Using the dishwasher does cost us more money than if we would be washing the dishes by hand. Approximately an extra 13,5 euros per month.

Still, we consider that in our case, those 6,5 hours that we save every month by using the dishwasher are worth more to us than those 13,5 euro per month that we would be saving by washing the dishes by hand. That time is better spent playing with our children, relaxing or writing this article.

______________________________________________________________

Still, every case it is different as you may need to clean the dishes more or less often than us. 

We hope that this article has provided you with the knowledge that you require to find out if you are saving money and time by cleaning the dishes by hand or if it is worthy for you to buy an efficient dishwasher.

Let us know what is your opinion.

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