Which consumes less water, the dishwasher or handwashing? Which choice is the most environmentally friendly?
While you and I were carrying on with our daily tasks of cooking and cleaning, researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany performed a study to definitively answer this issue.
What is the solution?
It is debatable.
According to the study, hand-washing a set of dishes (12 place settings) used around 103 liters of water on average (and an average of 2.5Wh of energy for hot water heating).
The way each person cleaned their hands made a huge difference. Many washers only used 30 liters of water, while others used up to 450 liters!
The individuals’ water intake, technique, proficiency, and hygiene were all different.
In contrast, a mechanical dishwasher consumes between 15 and 30 liters of water each load (and 1 – 2kWh of electricity), based on its performance [source].
A decent dishwasher outperforms all but the most strongly contributed washer in the research.
So, is doing the dishes by hand a thing of the past?
For 35 years, we cleaned dishes by hand. However, we bought a dishwasher a few years ago, and while I’m not certain it uses less water than I do, it does make life simpler.
However, there is still the question of water.
And water security is a major concern. Australia has already had two catastrophic floods this century, and the situation is expected to worsen.
Unlike what the research claims, hand washing the dishes does not require a large amount of water.
In reality, I believe that hand washers can perform just as well as 15 liters each load, if not better.
About 20 liters of water is held in the average sink. You can do your dishes in a partial sink while only consuming about 10 liters of water. You can do the dishes with 12 liters of water or less if you add a little additional water for washing.
Even if you wash your dishes twice a day, you’ll only use 22 liters of water, which is equal to a conventional dishwasher.
Here are a few suggestions for conserving water while cleaning your dishes.
How to Save Water When Washing Dishes?
Washing dishes was a skill I acquired in Brownies at camp when it was only tank water so we had to wash in basins when I was a youngster.
If you use a water tank, you’ll understand the importance of conserving water almost as much as I do.
Whenever it comes to hand washing dishes, I’ve discovered that these procedures are the most liquid.
1. Even before food dries, scrape the plates with a silicone spatula
In the home, a silicone spatula is one of your greatest inexpensive friends. Take the last of the jam from the jars, the last of the mashed potatoes from the pot, and the last small bit of pancake batter (mmm, crispy dribbly pieces) off the dishes after each meal.
To be truthful, I’ve also been the kind to eat every last bite of food on my platter (and there may be a genetic trait of secret plate-licking, passed down from mother to daughter).
However, the children do not always complete all of the tasks assigned to them. And hubby has a tendency of leaving something on his plate at all times. There is only one pea. Just a smidgeon of chicken. On the fork, there’s a smear of mash…
Scrape off before it becomes crusty and validates on, and dishwashing will be a breeze.
Unless the food on your dishes becomes crusty and dry before you have an opportunity to attend to everything, immerse them in post water for a few minutes or two…
2. Run a few millimeters of water over the plates to pre-rinse them
Dishes require clean water to be thoroughly cleaned, therefore pre-rinsing them is a smart idea.
Conserve water by adding only a few millimeters of hot water in the sink or basin and giving the dishes a swirl with the dish brush to scour off any residual food.
This water may become soiled by the conclusion of the rinse, but that’s fine because this is simply the pre-rinse step.
Drain the cleanest items first, just like you would with the dishes.
You may pour the water out into the garden if you use a basin or container rather than the sink.
3. Wash cookware in advance to remove persistent stains
While this isn’t exactly a water-saving measure, it does save time because cooked-on food is difficult to remove.
Make it simple by putting a little washing soda (the same as in homemade laundry detergent) on the base of your cookie sheet or fry pan and pouring just enough boiling water to cover the base. Allow soaking for at least one night.
Give the pan a quick once-over with a dish brush the next morning, dump off the dirty water, and you’re ready to wash the pan with your next load of dishes without the scrubbing.
4. When washing dishes, don’t overfill the sink
To begin washing the dishes, all you need is a couple of millimeters of hot water in the sink’s base and a few bubbles.
The water should be as hot as possible. Use gloves to avoid having to use anything but the hot water to clean your dishes.
Don’t let water flow down the sink while you’re waiting for the tap to heat up! It may be stored in a pot or container and used for cooking or drinking. Simply place it in the refrigerator to chill.
Also, only use a small amount of suds to clean the dishes. More water is required to rinse the dishes if there are too many suds.
Next, wash the clean and tiny items, and then…
5. Wash in the same basin with warm water
Wash the soap suds away with hot water in the sink or basin where you’re doing your dishes.
In this manner, rather than a few centimeters of water, you’ll have half a sink of water by the time you get to the pots and bigger things, plenty of water for the bigger items.
Instead, if you have a dual bowl sink, you may fill the second bowl with water and then use it to rinse the utensils.
Alternatively, pour a jug full of water over the dish drainer once you’ve finished washing the suds off all of the plates at once as my mother did.
6. Pour the dirty dishwater into the garden
If you wash your dishes in a large soup pot or basin, you may pour the water out into the yard or grass.
This allows you to keep your plants alive without having to use a hose, which is sometimes prohibited during water restrictions.
If you’re going to utilize your greywater to irrigate your lawn, make sure you use a sewage washing-up detergent.
Also Check: How To Protect Nails When Washing Dishes?
So these are the tips on how you can conserve water while washing dishes. Hope they will help you!