Dishwasher or hand wash?
November 7, 2012 10:11 AM Subscribe
Dishwasher vs hand washing -- which is more efficient in this scenario?
posted by buckaroo_benzai to home & garden (43 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(Yes I saw the previous AskMefi answers and the linked articles, but it still doesn't answer my question)
I live in a house of 4 roommates. We've always hand washed dishes even though there is a (fairly modern) dishwasher installed. But now two of the roommates want to try switching to the dishwasher. I'm against it. We discussed how this would be done, what the rules would be, and so forth. I'm not convinced the dishwasher is more efficient, and they aren't against hand washing (in fact we are all great about not leaving dishes in the sink, ever).
Here are our caveats. These are their ideas, not mine.
- Dishwasher would be for individual plates, bowls, silverware, and glasses only. Pots, pans, cutlery, and other prep items would still be hand washed because there's simply not enough of it to go around and the dishwasher may damage some of these types of items anyway.
- Dishes and bowls would be pre-rinsed before going into the dishwasher because we only use enough dishes to run the dishwasher at most every 3 days and don't want food scraps to get moldy, attract bugs, etc.
Here are my arguments:
1) Our method of hand washing is very efficient. Basically we soap up the sponge with a little bit of water, and scrub all the plates etc immediately after a meal. Once they are all soaped and clean, they get rinsed individually under a small stream of water. I estimate that it takes maybe a liter to rinse 4 glasses, 4 bowls, 4 plates, silverware, and a couple pots and pans. We do not let the water run continuously.
2) Even if the dishwasher is more efficient with water use, we are only talking a difference of at most 100 gallons over the course of a month. That's like each of us taking 2 fewer showers a month, if that. It's super minimal and would save us perhaps $2 in utility costs.
3) The dish drying rack would still be used for pots, pans, and other items excluded from the dishwasher, so why not just spend the extra 30 seconds to wash your plate and glass while you're at it?
4) Putting away an entire load of dishes from the dishwasher is a much more demanding task than putting away a few dishes at a time from the drying rack. Plus it's like "out of sight out of mind" and I don't have confidence that the dishes will get put away.
5) We could take out the dishwasher and use the space for additional storage (it's a small kitchen so we need every bit we can get).
What do you guys think? Is there really a benefit when you're already efficient at hand washing, when you don't use enough dishes to fill up the dishwasher except twice a week anyway? I totally see the point with families who have 3 kids, and use a lot of dishes, and don't have the time, and run the dishwasher every night... but for our situation, it makes no sense to me.