Dishwasher vs hand washing

Which one scrubs up?

Are you a Dishwasher Diva who switches the dishwasher on when it’s only half empty? Or are you a serious Tap Runner who happily washes up whilst the water continues to flow?


Whatever type of ‘dish washer’ you are, there has always been an on-going debate as to whether cleaning your pots and pans by hand or in the dishwasher causes the most harm to the environment. 


So, take your rubber gloves off or switch your washing machine on and read on…as it’s finally time to put this one to bed!



The facts

  • A dishwasher uses approximately 130g of CO2e per cycle 
  • You can get a decent dishwasher for around £200
  • Hand washing creates 400 times more bacteria left on plates than if they were used in the dishwasher
  • It takes 4 times as long to wash up than loading the dishwasher 
  • You use more water washing up than a dishwasher


Good clean evidence

Scientists at the University of Bonn in Germany took a look at the difference between dishwashing and hand washing an identical set of dishes. They discovered that the dishwasher used only half the energy, less soap, one 6th of the water and excelled in cleanliness. Even the most sparing and careful washers could not beat the modern dishwasher. 


The conclusion

You can hang your rubber gloves up, as dishwashers are more efficient! They’re quicker, more hygienic and save water, energy and time. By ensuring they’re completely full, not rinsing the plates beforehand and trying to use the economy setting as often as you can, you can help cut down the impact on the environment. 


Make a pledge for a cleaner, greener Britain

If you’re looking for other ways to be more eco-friendly around the home, Enviropledge are encouraging the nation to join in with their pledges to help create a better future for everyone. Simply make a pledge (or 2!), give a small donation to one of their charities, tell your friends and help do your bit to save the planet.

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Further reading

CO2 emissions

A Serious Message

Enviropledge are committed to looking at climate change differently. We hope to provide practical life tips to reduce your carbon footprint and to encourage you to share with your friends and family. 

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