Household appliances help us to accomplish basic tasks and thus give us the opportunity to pursue other tasks in the household, in the family or at work, in short, they relieve us of tasks that are time-consuming.
After the washing machine was introduced to the market at the beginning of the 1950s, freeing housewives, even in UK, from the task of doing the family’s laundry, which took a long time, more and more household appliances were added – and by the end of the 1960s, dishwashers were also affordable for ordinary households.
Since then, the technology of dishwashers has continued to develop, and the latest appliances even have heat exchangers to save electricity in addition to the ever-improving dishwashing results.
1. Time management
In our modern western world we have everything in abundance – except time, which is often lacking at every turn. Washing dirty dishes by hand is a time-consuming task: First we have to prepare the rinse water, then let the dishes soak, wash them with the brush, rinse them, let the water drip off and finally dry the dishes. And during the whole time we have to be present, because it is us who do each and every one of these jobs.
This time is recovered by the dishwasher, because it takes care of all these tasks. If we put our dishes in the dishwasher right after use and don’t “park” them on our kitchen countertop first, the only time component left is cleaning out the dishwasher and putting the dishes away – and we would have had to do that when washing dishes by hand.
Modern dishwashers can be programmed and start the washing programme at a specific time. This gives us full control over the timing and allows us to control how we want the energy load to affect our household environment.
Also of interest: Best Fully Integrated Dishwashers
2. Energy saving
The arguments are well known: If we do the dishes by hand, we don’t use any energy at all – so it is more energy-saving in any case. This is certainly true, but washing dishes by hand is by no means free of energy consumption.
Quite the opposite: heating 20 litres of water, the average capacity of a sink, requires about 1kWh of energy. This is also where an average dishwasher is when we select the standard programme.
If we have only lightly soiled dishes, however, we can use the eco programme, which every modern dishwasher has, and now only use half as much – the sink, on the other hand, still has to be filled normally. In the case of heavy soiling, the standard programme is usually sufficient, whereas we may have to fill the sink with fresh water a second time, thus doubling the energy consumption.
And the fact that we need hot water again after rinsing to clean the sink, the worktop and the mop has not even been considered in this calculation – not to mention the higher consumption of
detergent, which also consumes energy in its production.
So when we look at it soberly, we come to the conclusion: using a dishwasher is more energy-efficient than washing dishes by hand.
Also of interest: Best Freestanding Dishwashers
3. Water consumption
As we just mentioned, we need about 20 litres of water to fill a standard sink. A modern dishwasher takes about 12 litres. We could stop there, but let’s take a closer look.
If we assume that we do the dishes about 280 times a year – we have to deduct holidays, visits to friends and relatives, etc. – then that’s a lot of water. If we only fill the sink and dishwasher once a year (which can be more for birthdays and other celebrations), that’s 5600 litres for hand washing and 3360 litres for the dishwasher.
But we have already noticed that only lightly soiled dishes can also be washed in the eco programme – not to mention that modern dishwashers have a detection programme that automatically detects the degree of soiling (these programmes work amazingly well) – and we therefore use less water right away. This can save up to 20% water. Assuming that we save 20% water with every 10th cycle (hand washing doesn’t, as we already found out), that’s 67.20 litres, so our annual consumption is reduced to 3292.8 litres.
With an average water price of 3.90 £ per cubic metre of water, that is 12.85 £ water costs per year. With 21.84 £ water costs, hand washing is almost twice as expensive and if we add the electricity costs from just now, we save up to 40,- £ per year by using a modern dishwasher.
Also of interest: Best Semi Integrated Dishwashers
4. Protect the environment
Protecting the environment is firstly necessary and secondly it gives you a good feeling when you do it. Modern dishwashers protect the environment. With their many setting options and high-quality sensors, these appliances are able – in addition to saving energy and water – to use detergents, salts and rinse aids sparingly. In addition, modern dishwashing detergents use fewer environmentally harmful chemicals.
It is best to adapt a new dishwasher to the conditions of its new environment. By entering the water hardness, the automatic system can recognise which cleaning processes require how much salt to soften the water. In this way, we prevent too much salt from being needed and excess residual salt from being flushed out through the drain.
Nowadays, modern sensor technology detects the degree of soiling of the dishes extremely effectively and helps to save water, electricity and rinse aid. If you do without tabs and fill the dishwasher detergent in powder form or as a liquid detergent, you can also dose it precisely and thus use less if the degree of soiling is only slight.
Speaking of dishwasher tabs: If we have a modern dishwasher and can fill it with salt and rinse aid, then we can do without the expensive tabs with these very technologies, because, apart from the fact that they cannot time the use of the agents correctly, these agents are already present in the dishwasher and the effect is cancelled out or simply the excess additives are released via the sink – into the environment.
Also of interest: Best Table Top Dishwashers
Dishwashers have stainless steel interiors. This not only looks good and prevents the material from tarnishing as a result of frequent contact with water, but also has a hygienic component. Stainless steel kills germs and thus has an antibacterial effect; the die-off rate of damp bacteria and fungi is over 99%. This means that our dishes are not only freed from dirt in the dishwasher, but also from all bacteria and fungi that can form from food residues.
A dishwasher also maintains constant temperatures and raises them to over 75° Celsius during the drying process. This also means that bacteria and fungi do not have much chance of survival. When washing dishes by hand, such temperatures are unthinkable even when wearing gloves. We would simply scald our hands.
So we can leave our dishes in the dishwasher for a day longer without fear of bacterial infestation and only use it when it has reached its optimum load. And thus save additional energy, water and costs.
All in all, the advantages of a dishwasher outweigh the disadvantages, which is why no good household should be without one.