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PFT #6 - Personal Finance Tip: Hand Washing Your Dishes Wastes Water; Let the Dishwasher Do the Work

Updated: Mar 3, 2022

This week's topic is about why you don’t need to wash your dishes. Well, you should wash your dishes; however, you don’t need to wash them by hand.

So what are we talking about? Let’s throw out some stats.

The numbers are difficult to pin down but a common metric is that American’s households use 12,000 gallons of water per month. That’s about 400 gallons per day! That can be a costly utility bill.

That doesn’t seem right; however, when watering the lawn, doing laundry, flushing the toilet, showering, and cleaning dishes, the gallons begin to add up.

So what can we do? Notably, you can get low flush toilets and low-flow faucets and shower heads which are easy fixes with little cost on the budget.

Now as for the dishes you may already have the solution. If you have an Energy Star dishwasher it is already using less water and any dishwasher that is less than five-years old has a soil detector.

This means if you pre-rinse, the dishwasher detects that the dishes are cleaner than they are. So when it comes to rinsing, the only thing that you need to do is scrape off the excess food.

Hence, you will save a large amount of water and dish soap. In fact, most faucets use approximately two gallons a minute, meaning you could be using and wasting 20-40 gallons of water after dinner.

On the inverse, the Energy Star dishwasher can use as little as three gallons a minute and according to Cascade which makes the Platinum Actionpacs detergent, once you put eight dishes in the dishwasher you’re already saving energy and water over hand washing.

So let’s do a recap:

The bottom line is that if you have an Energy Star rated dishwasher this means that you will be using ¼ less energy than washing by hand.

So all you have to do is scrape food debris from your dishes and let Cascade and the dishwasher take care of the rest.

In addition, you can achieve several benefits:

You will be saving water which your budget likes.

You will be saving on dish soap which your budget likes.

You will be saving energy.

. . . And you will doing your part to save the environment.

In addition, there is one hidden benefit which is . . . you save time. Imagine what you can do an extra 30 minutes a day?

In fact, by skipping the “rinsing of the dishes” it allowed us to write this script and record this podcast episode.

Episode Link:

Don't hand wash dishes. The dishwasher uses less water


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