Is A Dishwasher More Efficient Than Handwashing?

Everyone’s least favorite chore is washing the dishes, especially after a big gathering or holiday dinner. We all know dishwashers save time, but are they more efficient than handwashing? Let’s take a closer look.

Water Usage

One of the biggest myths about dishwashers is that they use more water than washing a sink full of dishes, when in reality, the opposite is true. According to, when you handwash a sink full of dishes, you’re using about 3.5 times the amount of water the dishwasher uses in one load. A load, by the way, is usually twice the amount of a full sink of dishes. This is not including the amount of energy it takes to heat the water, or the amount of time you’re wasting washing those dishes, which don’t always get as clean as they do in the dishwasher.

Energy Usage

Modern dishwashers are designed to use a small amount of energy to do a lot of work. Studies have shown that running a load of dishes through the dishwasher uses about half the energy it would to handwash the same amount. Every time you turn your faucet off during handwashing, which you would presumably do to save water, it requires energy to heat it back up. A dishwasher is designed to have a very hot stream of water filtered through the machine quickly; it is not constantly using a fresh stream of water.

Soap Usage

Speaking of efficiency, what about the soap you use to handwash a sink full of dishes? An extra greasy pot or casserole dish could easily use several pumps of dish soap. A dishwasher is designed to work with a small amount of detergent, no matter the amount of grease on the dishes, whereas with handwashing you might need more.

If you are concerned with the efficiency of your dish washing experience, a dishwasher is a wise choice. For questions about dishwasher or repairs, contact Express Appliance Service.