Dishwashers have made all of our lives quite easy in the last few decades. Even though the first dishwasher was manufactured by Joel Houghton in the U.S.A way back in 1850, they became popular only after the Second World War in the 1950s. Let’s take a look at whether these popular devices use a lot of electricity.
Electricity consumption data of dishwashers
A study was done by the University of Bonn, Germany in 2011 shows that the average American uses 3.5 kWh (Kilowatt Hours) of electricity in a handwashing session. This amount of electricity is about three times of what a dishwasher uses.
According to Bosch, who is famous for manufacturing world-class dishwashers, modern dishwashers are extremely energy efficient. A 5-star rated dishwasher uses around 0.8 kWh per load. You could Microwave about 21 frozen burritos with this energy.
Some cheaper dishwashers are less efficient though. This is the total power consumption for heating water, pumping through the cycles, and recycling the water in the equipment. This indicates that running a dishwasher will save you on water and electricity if you do it correctly. We have to keep in mind that bigger models can use more electricity.
We have to keep in mind that this is data from a manufacturer of dishwashers so they might have done a test in optimal situations. If your dishwasher is dirty, it is possible that it needs more electricity to clean the dishes. We have discussed how you can clean your dishwasher before here. This can save you on your electric bill.
Amount of dishwasher and impact on electricity consumption
Most U.S households have a dishwasher, however, again data shows that they use it once a week or so. More than 68% of American households own a dishwasher in the kitchen primarily because it comes along with the apartment. This means that a lot of electricity is being used to run them given that most people run them multiple times per week.
Newer models have become more energy efficient. The heating element is able to warm up the water without too much energy. In the past, a lot of dishwashers needed a hot water supply but more recently dishwashers tend to heat the water themselves. This uses some electricity but given that the dishwashers have become more efficient, it doesn’t affect the total usage of electricity too much.
In Japan only about 31% of households use dishwashers. As per the last data available for 2020, only 12% of households use dishwashers in Russia. Most of the Asian countries including China and Singapore which are developed nations consider dishwashers as extravagant gadgets. Japan and Russia in spite of being advanced countries, do not use dishwashers on a large scale.
Amongst the European countries, as per the latest data provided by statista, 72% of households own dishwashers. Sweden, Portugal, Netherland, Belgium, and all the other European nations have a high rate of usage of dishwashers.
Other benefits of using a dishwasher
Apart from saving electricity, there are many other benefits that a dishwasher has. Let’s explore each of them and debunk the myths.
1. Became more energy efficient over the years
As discussed above, Joel Houghton submitted his patent for dishwashers way back in 1850. Back then the dishwashers didn’t use electricity but you had to turn them around by hand. People didn’t have electricity in their homes back in the day.
German manufacturer Miele manufactured the first domestic dishwasher in Europe in 1929. However, before them a British engineer William Howard Livens had manufactured a functional dishwasher in 1924 in the U.K. Even though this was not a commercial success, it had a design that the modern-day dishwashers follow even now.
In 1964 Bosch released their first dishwasher, and even though rich people could afford it in the 60s, this gadget started gaining popularity. Hence, when you are using your dishwasher, remember that you are using a machine that has a history of more than 150 years behind it. It has evolved a lot over time and has become more energy efficient in recent years. This is also one of the reasons why dishwashers work so slow.
2. Saves water-
Contrary to the prevailing myth, a modern dishwasher uses around 9.5 liters of water per wash. Hand-washing the utensils for the same load uses up to 60 liters. Hence you can save up to 18,000 liters which will conserve nature positively.
3. Cleans dishes better-
When you wash dishes with your hands, you use a sponge and scrub pads. Bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella love those places as their breeding ground.
If you use hot water to wash the dishes, you will again end up wasting more energy than a dishwasher. If you use cold water, naturally there will be some microorganisms left on the pots and pans.
Hence dishwasher does a better cleaning than hand wash which is again not a myth. Many educated homemakers in spite of reading all the data believe that hand-washed dishes are better than the ones washed in a dishwasher.
4. You do not need a pre-wash-
Many people to date follow the old habit of pre-washing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. The new technology is well-equipped to handle small scraps of food. Just do not let big chunks get into the washer. Just scrape off leftover food in the dustbin and put the dishes in the dishwasher. Sit back and let the machine do its work.
5. Saves time
In today’s world, we are always pressed for time. Along with all the above-mentioned benefits, dishwashers save time and manual effort. You can use that time to watch a movie with your family or read a bedtime story to your kids.
If you live alone, you can finish that PowerPoint presentation you were working on that day. You can use that extra time to plan for lunch for your children for the next day. Or you can plan out your outfit and matching jewelry that you will wear to work.
We all do not like wasting time on mundane things which do not require our cognitive skills. Washing dishes, clothes, and sweeping the floor all fall in that category. They are monotonous time-consuming work that most people hate to do.
However, since they are essential for daily living, we need to do that. Hence, smart brains came up with machines to complete those chores for us. All we need to do is to erase the myths and make use of those machines to their fullest potential.
Now since you are aware that dishwashers do not use much electricity, you should start using the dishwasher more frequently if you own one. They also save more water than if you would wash by hand.
If you do not own a dishwasher, and you have the necessary infrastructure (space, water inlets, etc.) in your kitchen, you should plan to buy one if you want to save electricity. It will not only save your utility bills, but it will also give you a lot of free time. You can spend that time with your family after the chit-chats during dinner are over.