Since the first dishwasher was invented, a debate has raged on about whether hand washing your dishes is better than using a machine. While scrubbing and drying your dirty dishes by hand takes longer, is it more sanitary? And which method is better for the environment? Below, we’ll answer both of these questions.
A Question of Cleanliness
First things first, which method of dishwashing gets your dishes the cleanest? While many people want to believe their skills surpass anything a machine could do, in this case, they are mistaken. Kitchen sponges are known to be a major source of bacteria, and hand drying your dishes with a towel spreads the germs even more.
While most people wash their dishes in lukewarm water, experts recommend a minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit for proper sterilization. Many dishwashing machines reach temperatures as high as 145 degrees, which is hotter than your hands can withstand.
Is Pre-washing Necessary?
Once you understand the major benefit of using a dishwasher, you might wonder about the common practice of pre-washing your dishes before running them through the machine. Modern dishwashers have soil sensors and jet-spray technology that’s designed to remove baked-on food and leave your dishes sparkling. This entirely eliminates the need to pre-wash your dishes.
Those who are concerned about taking care of the environment will be glad to know that dishwashers use far less water and electricity than hand-washing. In fact, multiple tests have shown that it’s virtually impossible to use less water while washing a comparable load by hand. According to Consumer Reports, even just pre-washing your dishes can waste as much as 6,000 gallons of water each year.
Give Yourself the Gift of Time
A study by Energy Star found that hand-washing your dishes can take up to 230 hours every year. That’s the equivalent of 10 days! Giving up your dishwashing duties isn’t just a smart move for the environment, it’s a great way for you to give yourself more time.
Learn More About Energy-Efficient Home Improvements
Now that you’ve learned you can energy save by using your automatic dishwasher, you may be wondering what else you can do to make your home more energy-efficient. Check out these blog posts for more tips:
- How Attic Insulation Can Save You Money on Your Energy Bill This Winter
- It's Time to Think Seriously About Solar Energy in Las Vegas