“I have to admit that I’m one of those people that thinks the dishwasher is a miracle.”
Clarence Thomas, Judge
Pros and Cons of Dishwashers vs. Hand Washing
Dishwashers have become quite popular over the past decades.
Millions of people rely on those devices to clean their dishes on a regular basis.
However, apart from the numerous upsides of dishwashers, there are also some issues with using dishwashers.
In this article, the pros and cons of dishwashers are examined.
Advantages of Dishwashers
- Using a dishwasher can save you time
- Can save you water
- Dishwashers are the social norm in many countries
- You can avoid physical work
- Can help to organize your daily life
- Your kitchen makes a cleaner impression
- Especially helpful for big families
- Straightforward and easy to use
- Dishwashers may lead to better results compared to hand-washing
- Bacteria may be removed better
Using a dishwasher can save you time
One key advantage of using a dishwasher is that it can simply save you plenty of time.
Especially if you have to wash many dishes on a regular basis, you will be quite thankful if you can just do it with your dishwasher instead of just washing every single piece by hand.
Over time, you will be able to save significant amounts of time, which you can spend on other things you enjoy more instead of washing your dishes by hand.
Can save you water
Contrary to popular beliefs, you will not spend more water by using a dishwasher compared to washing by hand, you will actually spend far less.
This has been shown by many different studies.
Especially newer dishwasher models only consume pretty low amounts of water and many people would use far more water when washing by hand.
Hence, also if you want to conserve this precious natural resource, using a dishwasher will be a good idea.
Dishwashers are the social norm in many countries
Dishwashers have also simply become standard when it comes to cleaning dishes.
In our Western world, there are not many households left that don’t have a dishwasher.
Therefore, having a dishwasher can also be regarded to be the social norm rather than the exemption and if you want to fit into our social system, getting a dishwasher may be important.
Moreover, if you are the owner of a flat or a house, you will have a much easier time when it comes to renting it out to other people since most tenants expect to have a dishwasher in their home.
You can avoid physical work
Depending on the number of plates you have to wash, dishwashing by hand can also become quite exhausting.
In fact, many people simply don’t like washing dishes by hand at all and rather want to sit on the couch while their dishwasher does the work for them.
Hence, if you are one of those people who simply don’t want to wash dishes by hand, dishwashers will make your life much better.
Can help to organize your daily life
Many people in our nowadays society have to work in demanding corporate jobs and also have to take care of their family at the same time.
For those people, dishwashers can be a great help since the overall level of flexibility increases and also your kids can help you to empty the dishwasher once it has done its work.
Therefore, getting a dishwasher can also make it easier to organize your demanding daily life and gives you more flexibility to spend your time as efficiently as possible.
Your kitchen makes a cleaner impression
While there might be many used plates and cutlery around in your kitchen if you are a hand-washer, you will not have those plates visible if you use a dishwasher instead.
Hence, getting a dishwasher may also simply let your home look nicer and tidier.
Moreover, used plates also often imply a significant smell.
However, by putting those plates into the dishwasher, you can also avoid that your whole home exhibits an unpleasant smell.
Especially helpful for big families
Another upside of using a dishwasher is that it can greatly assist you if you have many kids.
Especially in such a case, you would have to clean many dishes every day and you would have to spend plenty of time and effort on it.
Therefore, especially if you have a large family, using a dishwasher can make your life much easier.
Straightforward and easy to use
Dishwashers are also quite easy to use. You don’t need to be a genius in order to make a dishwasher work properly.
Hence, once you get a little bit of experience, using the dishwasher will not be a challenge anymore.
Therefore, dishwashers are suitable for the general public and many people all over the world could benefit from using them.
Dishwashers may lead to better results compared to hand-washing
Many dishwashers will work quite well and chances are that you would not get the same results with washing by hand.
If you get a good dishwasher, your plates and cutlery will become quite clean and you would have to put in great efforts to get your dishes that clean if you tried to wash them by hand.
Bacteria may be removed better
Also from a hygienic perspective, dishwashers will often have an edge over washing dishes by hand since they will simply heat your dishes to quite high temperatures and bacteria of many sorts can be efficiently removed due to that.
Thus, also if you want to reduce the risk for certain diseases, using the dishwasher may be better compared to doing your dishes by hand.
Disadvantages of Using a Dishwasher
- Significant costs
- Dishwashers consume plenty of energy
- Need repairs from time to time
- Still some manual work to do
- There might be a need to buy a new one
- Can lead to water damage
- Hand-washing your dishes can be faster
- You may get lazy
- You may get used to dishwashers too much
- Dishwashers significantly vary in performance
- You have to clean it on a regular basis
- Washing your dishes by hand can reduce stress
- Dishwashers may not be necessary for single-person households
- You can’t decide which detergent you want to use
- Dishwashers may be rather harmful to our environment
Apart from the many significant advantages of dishwashers, there are also some problems with using those devices.
One disadvantage of dishwashers is that they can be quite costly.
Especially if you want to buy a good one, you can spend many hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Therefore, be prepared to spend some money if you really want to get a dishwasher.
Dishwashers consume plenty of energy
Another downside of dishwashers is that they also need plenty of energy to operate properly.
While you put in your own energy if you clean your dishes by hand, you have to use plenty of electricity for your dishwasher.
Thus, chances are that also your electricity bill will be higher in case you use a dishwasher compared to just washing your dishes by hand.
Need repairs from time to time
Like many other electronic devices, dishwashers will need repairs from time to time.
Those repairs do not only cost additional money, they also require you to spend some time waiting for the handyman.
Consequently, also factor in that you will have to spend some time and money on repairs of your dishwasher sooner or later.
Still some manual work to do
Even if you get a dishwasher, you will still have to clean big pots by hand.
Hence, don’t expect that your dishwasher will do all the work for you.
You will also have to empty your dishwasher once it has done its work, which implies further work.
There might be a need to buy a new one
Your dishwasher will not last forever and in the long run, be prepared that you have to get a new one sooner or later.
This may not only be due to the fact that your old model may no longer work, but also since you might want to get a more energy-efficient one over time.
Therefore, prepare yourself that you also have to spend some money to replace your old dishwasher sooner or later.
Can lead to water damage
If dishwashers are not installed properly, they can also lead to serious water damages in the property.
Water damages can be quite expensive to fix and you should factor this in or get an insurance that protects you against those potential costs.
Hand-washing your dishes can be faster
If you are in a hurry for some reason and want to get your dishes cleaned as soon as possible, chances are that you will also be faster compared to using a dishwasher.
Sure, you will have more manual work to do, but you can still save plenty of time, especially if you only have to wash a few plates.
You may get lazy
Another problem of using a dishwasher is that you might get lazy over time.
Since you don’t have to do too much manual work anymore for cleaning your dishes, your overall level of laziness may increase substantially, which may also lead to a drop in your overall fitness level in the long run.
You may get used to dishwashers too much
Some people have also never learned how to wash their dishes by hand.
In such a case, those people will have serious difficulties in case their dishwasher breaks down or they move to a country where dishwashers are not common at all.
Therefore, it might not be a good idea to get used to dishwashers too much since you will become dependent on them at one point in time.
Dishwashers significantly vary in performance
While there are many good ones out there, dishwashers often greatly vary in performance and you should make sure to get a good one, even though it might be a little bit more expensive in order to make sure that you get the full benefits out of having a dishwasher.
You have to clean it on a regular basis
Another disadvantage of dishwashers is that you will also have to clean them from time to time.
While some models will do this automatically for you, others require more manual work from your side.
Washing your dishes by hand can reduce stress
Physical activity is known to be able to reduce our overall stress level.
Hence, if you are a person who gets stressed quite easily, chances are that you will benefit by washing your dishes by hand since it allows you to exercise a little bit instead of just lying on the couch and waiting for the dishwasher to do its work.
Dishwashers may not be necessary for single-person households
Especially if you are currently living alone, chances are that you will not urgently need a dishwasher.
You will often have only a few plates to clean and this can be done by hand in just a few minutes.
Thus, if you live on your own, make sure that the juice is worth the squeeze when it comes to buying a dishwasher.
You can’t decide which detergent you want to use
If you use a dishwasher, the detergent tabs that you will use are rather standardized and often contain pretty similar ingredients.
Yet, if you want to use eco-friendly detergents for dishwashing, you may have to wash your dishes by hand.
Dishwashers may be rather harmful to our environment
Even though you can save some water by using a dishwasher, you will also have to use more energy at the same time.
Hence, it is rather questionable whether dishwashers are good for the environment or not.
Top 10 Dishwasher Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Dishwasher Pros||Dishwasher Cons|
|Dishwashers can save you plenty of time||Dishwashers can be energy-intensive|
|Can be quite convenient||High purchase price|
|Can help you organize your day||You have to invest in repairs|
|Dishwashers can save plenty of water||You have to get a new one from time to time|
|You will have a cleaner kitchen||Washing your dishes by hand can be faster|
|Helpful for big families with many children||Hand washing can give you some exercise|
|Dishwashers are easy to use||You have to clean your dishwasher|
|Can lead to better cleaning results||You still have to do some work|
|Good to remove bacteria||Harmful detergents in dishwashers|
|Dishwashers are a must-have for many people||May not be necessary if you live alone|
Should You Use A Dishwasher Or Wash Your Dishes By Hand?
It became clear from the previous discussion that there are many advantages and disadvantages related to dishwashers.
In the end, you have to evaluate all the pros and cons of using a dishwasher by yourself in order to decide whether it makes sense for you to get a dishwasher or if you rather want to continue to wash your dishes by hand.
If you are not sure yet whether you want to get a conventional dishwasher or not, you can also use a mobile dishwasher first.
You will just be more flexible since you can change the location of your mobile dishwasher anytime you want.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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