This video investigates a common assumption that hand washing uses less water and energy than a dishwasher.
More information you may find helpful
This video reflects the growing water and energy efficiency of appliances which have made significant headway in innovations in this area enabling people to reduce their running costs in the process (Professor Alan Pears’ article discusses the impact of the appliances industries efficiency product innovation on lowering power cost overall.)
A few points to remember: The higher the rating on the label of the dishwasher, the more effective this result will be and it does depend on the cycle you use (eco cycle is the best) and always wash a full dishwasher load of dishes. As with everything it’s how you use your machine and, for that matter how you personally hand wash too, that matters. It’s also important to get a machine with a long warranty and to consider the recycling of the machine at its end of life. You might like to look at the growing movement toward a circular economy which manufacturers are now being challenged to consider.
Background reading on the hand washing/dishwashing debate for you to consider
- Energy star website which refers to other research
- Guardian article (2010) which looks at the whole carbon footprint of a dishwasher
- National Resources Defence Council is the the USA’s most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.4 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals. Their post on the same debate.
- Research from 2004: A European Comparison of Cleaning Dishes by Hand
- Research from 2008: How Energy Efficient are Modern Dishwashers? This research covers how the water is heated and concludes with comments regarding hand washing
Regarding Bosch’s own research in this area.
“We base our claim that dishwashers use less water and energy than handwashing on a 2009 study by research firm, Colmar Brunton, comparing handwashing a complete dishwasher load of dishes 2.4 times a week (over the course of a year) with the equivalent water and energy use for the same load using a Bosch ActiveWater dishwasher. Colmar Brunton found that using a Bosch ActiveWater dishwasher used up to 60% less energy over the course of a year as well saving up to 8000 litres of water. Given the advances in energy efficiency in the last five years, we would anticipate that the latest dishwashers further improve on these findings. While we are unable to publish the original commercially sensitive research, we have provided Liveability with a ‘Letter of Substantiation’ which outlines the primary research findings. If you would like to see this certification, I am sure the Liveability team would be more than happy to email it through to you” Bosch Home Appliances.