May 2, 2016

Most Efficient Dishwasher Ever

In recent years the appliance industry has greenwashed their dishwashers quite successfully. It is now commonly understood that a human could never do dishes as efficiently as that magical mechanical servant under your counter. I am skeptical. 

But then, I am a fan of hand washing my dishes. It is one of my simple pleasures.

I don't want to ever be too busy to do dishes, or to cook my own food, or grow a garden, or write a letter, or simply do nothing. Maybe dishwashers make us feel more stressed, rather than less, in that they give us more time to do things less healthy and stress-relieving as a good session of hand washing dishes.

While I may use more water than an ultra-efficient dishwasher (or do I?), I do not use any additional electricity in the washing or the drying. 

Another irritant for me is the noise dishwashers make. Doosh, doosh, doosh, doosh,, whirr... How am I supposed to hear the birds singing, or wind blowing with all that mechanically malevolent mumbo jumbo?

Today's dishwashers sure have cleaned up their reputation as energy hogs. Now they are the green way to go, so if you don't have time, or don't like to hand wash, you can use your under counter dishwasher without guilt. 

I'm still skeptical. I think the most efficient dishwasher ever is the one you don't use. Super efficient and green, just like hand washing. 

That is why my dishwasher is more of a closet than a mechanical kitchen "aide". It is very efficient in keeping the clutter off my counter tops.


  1. Hi Gregg,

    I laughed out loud when I saw the photo of your dishwasher! Yes, I agree about it all being a greenwash. Whether you can save a few drops of water or not with a dishwasher, the thing is there is the embodied energy in the dishwasher to consider, and the fact that it will one day break and have to be disposed of somehow. A sink, on the other hand, can last a lifetime.

    Also, most people are using toxic chemicals in their dishwasher and sending them into the water ways - and what about the plastic the dishwasher tabs come in? There's a huge price we pay for that convenience. And as you mentioned, the electricity, the noise etc..

    It seems to me that hand washing dishes wins hands down!


    1. I like things that last a lifetime. Some things, like my cast iron frying pan (or maybe my hiking boots) will outlast me. Such items take on a life of their own. If they could talk!

  2. There is a space for a dishwasher in our kitchen (the people before us had one and were going to leave it for us but it broke before we moved in). We've been here six years and not felt like we needed to buy one. With only two of us I doubt we'd fill a dishwasher every day anyway, and some items seem to get damaged if you dish washer then (glasses, for example). So you end up washing up (or pre washing really dirty stuff) anyway!
    Plus, washing up, even if you leave stuff to drip dry, is way faster than the dishwasher! Plus the sink came with the house, so has worked out much cheaper than buying a new dishwasher...

    1. Good decision - makes sense to me, and a lot of other people too. There is so much of the technological world that we would actually be better off without. It is healthy to question these things rather than automatically accept them. Any you are right - homes usually come with kitchen sinks already. It is all you need.

    2. I handwash my dishes as well for a number of reasons. Handwashing gets them cleaner than my older dishwasher, it would take me at least four days to fill up the dishwasher and I tend to use the same dishes day after day, washing and drying dishes is great thinking time, I enjoy the scent of my dishwashing soap (Mrs. Meyers lilac right now), and living in a top story condo it is one less water thing to worry about that may leak below. I haven't used my dishwasher in years and will likely only replace it when it comes time to sell the condo.

  3. My partner and I do not have a dishwasher & the dishes get done even though we are out all week working. So it's not really a matter of time, I think it's more what one gets used to. My friend recently moved house and was panicking that their seller would not leave the dishwasher behind. They ended up taking their one with them just in case, so they now have two!!

    While doing dishes by hand can be a pain it can also be quite meditative and satisfying. Nothing gets glasses as clean as a good hand wash (in my opinion).

    1. The only way a dishwasher could be meditative would be if it had a glass front and you sat in front of it watching water go whir, splish, splash, hum. It would at least be mesmerizing.

  4. Ah fellow hand dish washers! Love, love, love to wash my dishes! I wash dry and put away my dishes after every meal usually. Task complete.

    Using an automatic dishwasher seems like the task is always in progress. There's loading which would take me days to fill. I'll likely need something in there that isn't clean, so I'd have to wash it. Then there's running it, mine takes about 45 mins to complete the cycle. Then it would be a day or two before I get around to unloading it. Now we're back to loading. When I used to use it sometimes, I invariably wanted a dish or a knife that was somewhere in the cycle. This is way too much energy expended!!

    Washing after using keeps them ready to go when I need them next. It's just easier for me as a single person. I like a lower electric bill too. I'm skeptic let about the greenwash notion too.

    I know someone who just bought a new dishwasher, paid $900 USD for it. There is no way a dishwasher is worth that much to me!

    1. $900 dollars could buy a lot of dish soap and hot water (with some left over for rubber gloves if needed).

  5. Anonymous5/04/2016

    Since we quit cookong with processed oils washing up is really easy by hand due to a lack of grease. When it's warmer you don't even need hot water or washing up liquid. Ps oil is toxic to consume due to removal pf all the nutrients. Alex.

  6. The cost of dishwasher will never be cheaper if you don't use big amounts of water when hand washing dishes. I wash my dishes with hands quickly after I finish cooking or eating so it is very easy to clean. The more you wait the harder it is to clean. Also I would never fill dishwasher living alone haha. I don't even have that much dishes...


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