How Much Water Does My Dishwasher Use?
How much water does my dishwasher use? It’s quite possibly a question you’ve asked yourself as you’ve stacked up one of the most appreciated modern machines in the kitchen after dinner.
Even the most efficient dishwashers might even be seen as a luxury item by some, given that you’ve got hot water and a perfectly good kitchen sink at your disposal. But while the average dishwasher might not be as crucial as an oven or a fridge, it is actually one of the handiest and most important appliances in your kitchen.
Water is one of our most precious natural resources. In a time where water conservation and energy consumption are crucial, it’s worth asking certain questions.
- How much water does a dishwasher use?
- Do dishwashers save water and money?
- Are you better off to hand wash dishes instead?
Let’s explore them further!
Does Your Dishwasher Save You Money?
First of all, you definitely save water and money when you use your dishwasher compared to hand washing. In fact, you use way less water with a dishwasher than splashing around in the suds manually washing your pots, pans, glasses, mugs, utensils and dishes.
Washing the equivalent of a dishwasher load of dishes takes anywhere from 49.2 litres (L) (13 gallons) to 102.2L (27 gallons) of water. Old dishwashers may have wasted that much water, but modern, more efficient dishwashers have vastly improved their water efficiency by a considerable amount.
Dishwashers do use electricity, of course, which is somewhere between 0.88kW per hour to 1.58kW/h per wash cycle. But running hot water into your sink also uses power (and detergent), and more than one sinkful will be needed for the equivalent of a full dishwasher.
Many dishwashers feature a built-in heater which is more efficient at heating water than an average household hot water system. However, this will depend on the model, so be sure to choose an eco-friendly dishwasher if you’re in the market for a new one.
How Efficient is My Dishwasher?
There are a number of factors that influence the overall efficiency of most dishwashers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key factors that influence dishwasher water and energy usage.
- Dishwasher age – Modern dishwashers are far more water and energy efficient than older models (built before 1994), which used anywhere from 34L (nine gallons) up to 60.5L (14 gallons) of water per cycle. Newer models will use an average of 12.2L (3.22 gallons) per cycle.
- Appliance size – The size of your dishwasher can make a significant difference. Large machines use more water than smaller, compact models, so remember that when selecting a dishwasher. What’s the size of your household and how many people will be using it?
- Machine condition – If your dishwashing machine has leaks or any other electrical or technical problems, it may be running inefficiently.
- Dishwasher usage – The amount of usage you put your dishwasher through will determine how much water it uses per cycle. For example, if you run some dishes through more than one cycle, you’ve obviously doubled your water usage to clean those items.
- Appliance brand – The dishwasher brand and model are another factor. There are hundreds of makes and models to choose from. We’ll examine some of the major brands in this article.
- The Energy Star Rating – Energy Star-certified dishwashers are more water efficient. A standard-size appliance uses about 12.2L (3.2 gallons) of water per load. Compact Energy Star-rated models typically use about 10.2L (2.7 gallons) per cycle.
What’s in a Brand Name?
Most reputable brands aim to be economical when it comes to dishwasher water usage. However, it’s important to note that they all differ. There are too many dishwasher brands to cover in this article, but you can compare a wide range of brands here at The Appliance Nerd.
For a quick comparison, here’s a cross-section of some of the best-known makes and how much water they use in an average dishwashing cycle.
- Bosch (Standard) – 10.7L (2.9 gallons)
- Frigidaire (Standard) – 9.99L (2.7 gallons)
- GE (Standard) – 12.95L (3.5 gallons)
- Kenmore (Standard) – 10.73L (2.9 gallons)
- LG (Standard) – 10.73L (2.9 gallons)
- Samsung (Standard) – 12.95L (3.5 gallons)
- Whirlpool (Standard) – 11.47L (3.1 gallons)
- Electrolux (Standard) – 9.99L (2.7 gallons)
- Fisher & Paykel (Compact) – 6.66L (1.8 gallons)
Keep in mind there are many factors that can influence the performance of any machine during a washing cycle, including the age of the machine, quality of the detergent, temperature of the water, dirtiness of the dishes, water pressure and other factors.
How to Minimise Dishwasher Water Consumption
There’s no question that using a modern dishwasher is more efficient than washing dishes manually, but there are still extra ways you can minimise dishwasher water usage.
Always wait until you have a full load of washing before running your dishwasher through a cycle. However, make sure the dishwasher is stacked properly and not overfilled, because the dishes won’t be properly washed if the water can’t circulate around all of them.
To Pre Rinse or Not?
Another way to save on water is to avoid pre rinsing dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. It’s not necessary – trust your dishwasher to clean them.
You can avoid the need for extra cycles by keeping the inside of the dishwasher clean and making sure the arm sprayer isn’t obstructed by poorly stacked dishes. It’s also recommended to use a high-quality detergent, which will help to get the job done more efficiently.
In the Wash Up
It won’t take much in the way of arm-twisting to convince most people that, in terms of water consumption, dishwasher use is better than manually hand washing dishes.
Don’t just think about how you’re reducing average water consumption and saving money. Think of the time you’ll save by simply packing the dishwasher and pushing a button. When you’re saving water and time and reducing your energy bills, that’s a deal too good to refuse.