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Hand washing or dishwasher – which pays off? Pros and cons

Destini Fry
Hand washing or dishwasher – which pays off? Pros and cons

What’s more profitable – handwashing or a dishwasher? The answer to this question is not at all obvious. We can come across various calculations that take into account not only water, electricity and cleaning agents, but also time spent. However, the results often differ and do not give us a clear answer. In this article we will look at the pros and cons of both options.

I guess most of us associate a dishwasher with convenience and saving time – spending it at the sink is unlikely to be our favorite activity. However, some people consider a dishwasher a superfluity, pointing to high running costs and prefer to wash their dishes by hand. In some cases, they are indeed right. Let’s consider the pros and cons of a dishwasher and hand washing.

Washing by hand – advantages and disadvantages

Washing dishes by hand can actually be more worthwhile if you live alone. The amount of dishes per day is not too large and you can wash them in just a few minutes. If we wanted to use a dishwasher in such conditions, it would probably take us several days to fill it up. During that time, the dirt on the dishes placed in it would start to emit an unpleasant smell

Or we might simply run out of dishes for the next meal before the dishwasher is full. Running the dishwasher incomplete, for just a few plates, will in this case prove to be a less cost-effective option than washing by hand

As the number of household members increases, the profitability of manual potwashing decreases. The amount of plates, pots, glasses and other utensils after a day of eating can be so large that it would take up to an hour to wash them – especially after larger dinners or parties. The amount of water and detergent used in such a case also increases considerably and in comparison with a dishwasher, it is no longer cost-effective

Dishwasher – advantages and disadvantages

With a larger number of people in the apartment, a dishwasher will definitely have an advantage. If we can fill the whole dishwasher with dishes after one meal, we can imagine how much time it will save. It’s not only time that counts here, because the amount of water and detergent used to wash the large number of dishes that goes into a dishwasher is much less than for the same amount of dishes washed by hand

The question remains, what about electricity? Most new dishwashers have a so-called eco mode, which uses a slightly lower wash temperature and thus consumes less electricity.

Considering the disadvantages of dishwashers, at first we must mention the cost of its purchase – it is not a small expense. Another issue is the possible faults that can happen and which cost money to repair

We should also mention that not all dishes can be washed in a dishwasher – hand-made paintings on plates or cups can be destroyed during washing. So you would have to limit yourself to buying dishes that can go in the dishwasher or continue to wash some of them by hand.


Depending on the conditions in which you live and your lifestyle – with fewer people who usually dine out, hand-washing may be a more cost-effective solution than a dishwasher. On the other hand, for a large family or a group of household members who like to cook at home and eat hearty meals together, a dishwasher will be more cost-effective.

Main Photo: Castorly Stock/

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