Water conservation is an important topic in today’s eco-friendly world, one that demands serious consideration by global homeowners. Household water use – and waste – accounts for a large portion of many environmental concerns, spurring the argument as to whether washing dishes by hand or using a dishwasher is actually more water conservative. According to experienced dishwasher repair shops, both methods can be the best choice depending on the situation as long as the dishwasher is used correctly.
Hand Washing vs. Machine Washing
Running water from the tap while washing dishes is wasteful; it sends water right into the sewer. Yet is a dishwasher really more efficient? There are many details to consider and there is no definite answer. It all depends upon the individual consumer and their personal usage patterns.
Inefficient dishwashers use six to nine gallons of water per wash, while energy-efficient models use only four to six gallons, a substantial one-third savings of water. Hand washing has been found to use between nine and twenty gallons of water per load of dishes, which is considerable. The savings provided by a dishwasher is remarkable and it is hard to argue with such results.
The question is whether or not it is possible for those who do not have a dishwasher to be more efficient. Can dishwashers themselves be more efficient? By improving habits and being sure appliances are running well and not in need of any dishwasher repair, this can be accomplished to some extent.
Factors to Consider
There is more to efficiency when washing dishes than just reducing water usage, all of trickles down to environmental costs. Hand washing requires less outside energy but uses more water, although energy is still used as water must be heated – unless the water is solar heated.
Conversely, a dishwasher uses electricity but less water. Electricity is created in a number of different ways, including hydro power. There is also the manufacturing process to consider, how resources and energy are used to build the dishwasher. All adds up to greater environmental cost than when only considering water used.
The best way to improve both methods is to use them as efficiently as possible. When hand washing dishes, don’t let water flow openly, which uses up to two gallons per minute. Soak dishes first, then use a container for cleaning and another for rinsing. This can save water, especially if using a detergent made for efficiency.
To get the most from a dishwasher as efficiently as possible, run only full loads and properly load the machine for the best reach of water sprays for the best results. Using the right detergent and additives can reduce rinsing. Most importantly, be sure the appliance is working as it should as most water is wasted by poorly running dishwashers.
Saving water and conserving energy is done differently by everyone. In a best-case scenario, using a dishwasher seems to be a more “green” method than washing dishes by hand. Yet any energy savings will be lost if it is not operating properly. Contact a local dishwasher repair service for any questions about how well your appliance is working and what can be done to increase its efficiency and keep it operating in the green!