Skip to Content


Dishwasher or Hand Washing – which is better?

Washing the dishes by hand is better and less harmful to the environment than using the dishwasher, right? We take a closer look.

Spoiler alert: the opposite is the case. Washing dishes in the dishwasher is better for the environment than washing them by hand. We've done the comparison for you and explain how you can best save water and energy.

Dishwasher vs. Hand Washing

We all know the obvious advantages of a dishwasher. It saves time and effort and makes it easier to keep the kitchen clean.

The results of independent research have clearly shown that the dishwasher is the most economical way to wash dishes. It consumes less water and electricity than washing up by hand, even if you include the energy used to make the machine itself.

Which dishwasher program has the lowest energy use?

Which program on your dishwasher uses the least water or electricity? You'd think the answer would be the Eco program, but is that really true? Most manufacturers program the Eco setting to use a lower temperature and less water. But it may be useful to refer to your dishwasher's operating instructions to see what water and energy savings you can actually achieve with other programs (e.g. short rinse cycle, water saving setting). These alternatives may even be more economical than using the Eco program.

Dad and child dishwasher

How can you save energy and water with your dishwasher?

  • Always load your dishwasher as fully as possible before switching it on.
  • Always keep your dishwasher running at the lowest possible temperature. While really dirty dishes need higher washing temperatures to kill bacteria, for everyday cups, tumblers and plates, however, a lower temperature is sufficient.
  • To save even more energy, try adjusting the interior drying temperature (if possible), or stop after the rinse cycle and let the dishes air dry.
  • Avoid keeping the dishwasher on standby when not in use.
  • Run your dishwasher at night. Electricity rates are often cheaper during off-peak hours, making it the best time to run a load or two.
  • Do not rinse your dishes under running water before putting them in the dishwasher. Simply scrape or wipe them off into the trash can. That way you save water.

Dishwashers save energy, water and time. So, for your next dish load, the message is clear – hands off!

Team Clean