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Your view: how to save money on your dishwasher

Hand washing in a sink

Our debate on money-saving dishwasher tips took an interesting turn. Rather than dishwasher detergent tips, your top tip was to ditch the dishwasher altogether. Can you really get away without one?

I don’t have a dishwasher. I moved into a new place last year and I have to confess, when I noticed there wasn’t one, I was actually concerned.

That wasn’t because of the convenience of it but, more because I have heard dishwashers are cheaper than hand-washing. But is this really true?

The cheapest way to wash the dishes

Wavechange was the first to speak out against this apparent rumour:

‘My way of saving is by not having a dishwasher.’

This was reinforced by Chris C:

‘My money-saving dishwasher tips? Don’t use one. I get by very economically using the good old fashion way of washing up. Just a bowl of hot water and some washing up liquid.’

But it was NFH who challenged this assumption:

‘Actually that’s a false economy. I’ve definitely read somewhere that washing up by hand uses more water and costs more in energy than a dishwasher. It’s also considerably more effort.’

Chris C wasn’t convinced:

‘NFH, wrong, dishwashers being more economical with energy is a myth. It is based on some Euro standard which assumes that hot water is produced using a standard rate electricity tariff for both a dishwasher and when hand washing dishes.’

Despite this, Rarrar hasn’t been put off:

‘Whatever the real life relative energy and water consumption I am quite happy with the 1kWh and 13 litres of water used by our dishwaher most nights.’

Getting the best value out of a dishwasher

But it’s important to remember, if you already invested in a dishwasher, you need to find away to get the best value out of it. Nick D made this point:

‘Saying “don’t have a dishwasher” may be amusing but it is beside the point. If you are going to have a dishwasher you’ve already bought into paying the the costs of using it.

‘The most obvious advice for running it economically isn’t cutting tablets in two or faffing around with lemons. Simply don’t run the machine until it’s completely full, and use the coolest, quickest possible program for what you are doing.’

So if you already have a dishwasher, how to you get the best value out of it? Do you do more than just using alternatives to detergent?

How do you wash your dishes?

I stick to hand-washing (38%, 418 Votes)

I mix and match (36%, 394 Votes)

I always use the dishwasher (26%, 289 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,101

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We have four adults (family) in the household not eating the same time and cooking their own food, dishwasher is full at the end of the day. So I think its worth it to have a dishwasher. If only 2 or 1 of you maybe not.

A dishwasher is fine if you have a virtually endless supply of cutlery and crockery. I actually find it more convenient to hand-wash. On the rare occasions that I’ve used my dishwasher, in order to make it economical I waited until it was full, and while it was washing I wanted to make another cup of tea, only to find that all my cups were in the dishwasher and I had to wait nearly three hours for it to finish!

Jane Heydecker says:
27 December 2014

I have solar thermal panels that heat my water for most of the summer; so I wash by hand during this time, and use the dishwasher on economy 7 during the winter.

leaf says:
4 April 2015

A dishwasher keeps all the dirty crocks out of sight during the day; but best use of all is when preparing a meal for a large number of people. I put all the plates and veg dishes etc in there BEFORE we need them, run a hot wash, and – hey presto – everything is squeaky clean, and hot: its the best ‘warming drawer’ I have ever used.