Since the first dishwasher was invented, a debate has raged on about whether hand-washing your dishes is better than using a machine. While scrubbing and drying your dirty dishes by hand takes longer, is it more sanitary? And which method is better for the environment? Below, we’ll answer both of these questions.
A Question of Cleanliness
First things first, which method of dishwashing gets your dishes the cleanest? While many people want to believe their skills surpass anything a machine could do, in this case, they are mistaken. Kitchen sponges are known to be a major source of bacteria, and hand drying your dishes with a towel spreads the germs even more.
While most people wash their dishes in lukewarm water, experts recommend a minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit for proper sterilization. Many dishwashing machines reach temperatures as high as 145 degrees, which is much hotter than your hands can withstand.
Is Pre-washing Necessary?
Once you understand the major benefit of using a dishwasher, you might wonder about the common practice of pre-washing your dishes before running them through the machine. Modern dishwashers have soil sensors and jet-spray technology designed to remove baked-on food and leave your dishes sparkling. This entirely eliminates the need to pre-wash your dishes.
Those who are concerned about taking care of the environment will be glad to know dishwashers use far less water and electricity than hand-washing. In fact, multiple tests have shown that it’s virtually impossible to use less water while washing a comparable load by hand. According to Consumer Reports, even just pre-washing your dishes can waste as much as 6,000 gallons of water each year.
Give Yourself the Gift of Time
A study by Energy Star found that hand-washing your dishes can take up to 230 hours every year. That’s the equivalent of 10 days! Giving up your dishwashing duties isn’t just a smart move for the environment, it’s a great way for you to give yourself more time.
Get more home maintenance tips by reading these blog posts:
- Step-by-Step Guide to Keep a Sparkling Clean Kitchen
- How to Declutter Your Entire Home in 4 Simple Steps
- Proactive Tips to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home