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Hand Washing vs. Dishwasher

Hand Washing vs. Dishwasher

Which is better: hand washing or using a dishwasher?

There’s been a raging debate about handwashing vs. dishwasher use since the dishwasher was invented. There’s no clear answer here either way; what is best for you may depend on your specific case, what you have available to you, what your goal is, and more. That said, there are some ways of thinking about the hand washing vs. dishwasher debate that may help you determine what solution you ought to use.

Let’s do a quick comparison of hand washing vs. dishwasher use in order to give you a clearer picture, as dishwashers have changed quite a bit since they were first introduced, and you may not realize all the benefits they can offer.

Dishwashers Actually Use Less Water

Dishwashers used to be known for being absolute energy hogs. Older models would use 10 to 15 gallons of water in one cycle, but newer full-sized dishwashers only use a maximum of 5 gallons, and anything that’s Energy Star-rated will use less at 3.5 gallons.

On the other hand, hand washing a full load of dishes by hand will use up an average of 26 gallons of water. This does vary quite a bit, with some people using as low as 8 gallons of water per load while others use up to a whopping 116!

So, when it comes to saving water and hand washing vs. dishwasher, it’s clear that a dishwasher is much more efficient. 

Some Items Have to be Hand Washed

A dishwasher might be more efficient, but some items can’t be put in them anyways. There are various items you have in your kitchen that aren’t dishwasher-friendly, including everything from wood cutting boards to sterling silver flatware and castiron cookware to chef’s knives and beyond. You may also want to clean any fine china or hand-made ceramic kitchenware by hand.

Dishwashers can be quite abrasive as well, so if you have any items that hold sentimental value, you may want to take the extra time and water to wash those off by hand.

Hand Washing Lets You Get Tough Spots

Another exception to why you may want to use a dishwasher is that hand washing helps you get all those tough, hard-to-clean spots. If there’s any grime stuck onto a pot or pan, you’re going to need to get in there with your hands anyway. While dishwashing is generally the better route to go (especially for full loads of dishes), hand washing definitely has its place in your kitchen.

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