Do Dishwashers Save Water?

You might be at home, cleaning up your dishes in the sink, wondering if it will ever end.

You may have heard about dishwashers and thought about getting one, and you might be concerned if using one will use gallons of water.

Do Dishwashers Save Water

You might also be thinking about the time you’ll save so you can get on with more important things, and let’s not forget that water bill that comes along every month.

Below we have answered this question and will provide tips on how to maximize water reduction when you come to clean those dishes.

Also, below are some frequently asked questions about dishwashers that may be on your mind, so if you want to say goodbye to hand washing your dishes, then read on.

How Much Water Does A Dishwasher Save?

It may seem hard to imagine since dishwashers are constantly spraying water, but a newer model can save you a significant amount of water.

In fact, getting your dishes clean in the sink can use up to 27 gallons of water per load, compared to an energy star dishwasher that can use as little as 3 gallons per load.

In a year, you could see a water saving of almost 5,000 gallons. 

If you have a newer model of a dishwasher, then you could see this saving, as new industry standards are put in place that requires dishwashers to use as much as 5 gallons per load.

Even though some people assume that a dishwasher wastes a lot of water, you can clean a full dishwasher with the same amount of water used in just two minutes of washing dishes by hand. 

Using the sink can seem like a convenient method instead of having to pull out shelves and put in detergent, but there are ways you can get the best out of your dishwasher, which we will turn to next.

What Type Of Dishwasher Should I Get?

There are many models and sizes, such as standard, oversized, compact, and portable.

But what does any of this mean?

If you’re looking for a dishwasher, you may want to consider the following things.

  • The space in which you have to put the dishwasher. You might want to measure the space you’ve reserved for the dishwasher.
  • How often you might use the dishwasher. You might be able to downsize so you’re not constantly struggling to fill the shelves.
  • The features of your chosen dishwasher. You can find features like self-cleaning filters, touchpad controls, and even a soil sensor to make the task more efficient.

Like a washing machine, you can also set rinse and hold cycles to tackle that stubborn food mess, and many newer models come with these features as standard, so you don’t have the inconvenience of having to shop around.

How Do I Save Water When Using A Dishwasher?

If you have a dishwasher, you’re all set to go, right? If you can believe it, there are some ways you can optimize the task so you can save even more water.

One of these tips is to avoid rinsing your plates before putting them into the dishwasher as you can save thousands of gallons a year if you skip this pre-wash step.

Be aware, though, that some modern dishwashers might need some dishes to be soiled to work effectively.

This is because they have sensors determining how powerful to make the wash.

Do Dishwashers Save Water (1)

Another method is to only run the dishwasher at night. Using a dishwasher nightly instead of ten minutes of handwashing can save more than 100 gallons of water weekly, which adds up to 5,000 gallons of water annually.

This can also save you from having to use the dishwasher at various times of the day, and you can wake up ready to start the day with clean dishes, so no more arguments at the breakfast table over who has to do the dishes.

What If I Only Have To Clean A Few Plates?

If you wash your dishes the traditional way, you’ll have to change out the water and add more hot water to keep it hot.

You also rinse these dishes and tend to keep water running while you do so, especially if you’re cleaning grease and stubborn chunks.

This way can be a hard habit to break as it’s almost ingrained in your day-to-day activities, so a good tip to follow is to use the sink only if you need to and the rest of your dishes are in the dishwasher.

Of course, you don’t want to resort to using your hands at mealtimes, and if you have limited cutlery, it should be fine as long as you’re not emptying the sink and refilling it all the time.

A good habit here is to encourage family members to put their finished plates, knives, forks, or spoons in the dishwasher so you can use it on fuller loads and there aren’t piles of washing stacked up by the sink, making your kitchen look tidier as well.

The Bottom Line

You can see here that you don’t have to stop your water saving by simply getting a dishwasher and leaving it at that.

You may have to handwash certain pieces you can’t put in a dishwasher, such as thin plastic, delicate glassware, or individual pots and pans.

You might be able to cut down your use of these while preparing meals, but the main takeaway here is that you don’t want to keep filling and emptying the sink to clean them.

You also want a dishwasher model that works for your needs and can be called upon whenever you play host to unexpected guests, or you want your kitchen to be the main centerpiece of your home and isn’t always full of stacked dishes.

Nobody wants that, and with a dishwasher, you don’t have to dread meal times and you can prepare food with that piece of mind.

Mike Noren