Are Dishwashers Useless? (Solved and Explained)

Many kitchen accessories that weren’t an integral part of the kitchen set up a few decades ago have made their way into our lives in the 21st century.

And naturally, now we can’t imagine our lives without them, opting for a better version every chance we get.

One such device is a dishwasher (1), an electricity-powered tool that automatically washes dirty dishes and utensils.

So, Are Dishwashers Useless?

Dishwashers are not worthless because they clean and eliminate germs on dishes and utensils, saving you time and effort that you would otherwise spend washing by hand. If you are pressed for time or have a large family, a dishwasher will save you the time and work of hand-washing your dishes. A dishwasher is a must-have for a large family or an office situation. 

Having said this, the answer to this question depends on the type of your purchase.

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There is a common misconception that many dishwashers don’t work as you have to clean the dishes before or after the process manually. And this statement does hold some truth.

If you purchase an old dishwasher from your local vendor, you will most likely have a hundred things to complain about (practically making the dishwasher useless).

Contrarily, investing your money in a modern, expensive dishwasher can make your life much easier.

And if you’re interested, you can look into the concept of dishwasher cuisine (2), an appalling yet exciting endeavor making a comeback after years.

Is better To Have A Dishwasher Or Wash By Hand?

Now let’s address the elephant in the room; is it better to wash dishes with a dishwasher or hand?

To answer this question, we will discuss the many aspects and make comparisons to decide in real time.

If you’re curious, stick with us to find out.

The following factors primarily affect the reliability of the two dishwashing processes:

Dishwasher Vs Hand Water Consumption:

First, we need to discuss the direst issue, i.e., water consumption. You may think that washing the dishes in the sink can use less water, as you’re in control.

So rather than the 13 liters that a typical dishwasher uses, you can cut it down to ten liters or even less. But you may be wrong.

Suppose you have a sink full of dirty dishes, and since you want to cut the water cost, you try to wash them by pooling the water, so the tap isn’t running.

But a standard sink in America holds about 15 liters of water, already surpassing the volume a dishwasher would have used.

Not to mention the time you’ll keep the tap running for the cold water to make way for the warm water.

If you have two sinks, you can divide the load into two parts, which means the water consumption would go through the roof.

So in a case when you have lots of dishes to clean, it can be a good idea to use a dishwasher. But what happens when you need to clean only a few items?

Do you stick them in the dishwasher and let it use 13 liters for a couple of plates?

Well, no. If you have fewer items, washing by hand takes precedence over the dishwasher.

You can rinse the item under running water, squeeze some detergent and start scrubbing. Once you’re done, you can rinse it again, and voila.

Verdict: Dishwashers are ideal when you fill them to the max as it’s going to use that much water anyway.

But if you have only a few items to wash, it is ideal to use your hands, so you have better control over the water used.

Dishwasher Vs Hand Price:

The next important thing on this brief list is the price. Before purchasing a dishwasher, you may be wondering whether spending an enormous amount of money is worth the hassle.

Or whether the product will bring enough value to your home or commercial unit to justify the price.

Dishwashers are expensive, yes. A handy unit with all the desired features may cost you more than 700 dollars.

But the practicality they offer, especially for large families, is unmatched.

The relief of putting everything dirty in a magical cabinet to come out clean with a whistle is a joy well worth the money you’ll spend on the product.

Not to mention the lack of post-cleaning tasks such as catering to a dirty sink or cleaning bits of food that splashed around the counter during the cleaning process.

However, there are some items that you never put into a dishwasher, e.g., chef’s knives, wooden cutting boards, etc.

To clean such kitchen tools, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and do the old-school hand washing.

Verdict: Dishwashers are well worth the price if you invest in one that’s reliable, efficient, and makes your everyday tasks easier.

If you’re living alone, buying a dishwasher may not be a great idea as it’ll strain your budget and increase the cost of living while giving you minimum benefits.

However, if you have a family or live in a restricted dorm room with a few more people, this investment can pay off big time.

Dishwasher Vs Hand Number Of People:

As we hinted in the above headings, the number of people using the dishwasher will affect the efficiency of the product. For example, suppose you live in a three-bedroom apartment, and each room has an occupant.

You all pitch together and buy a dishwasher, but everyone cleans their dishes separately.

Since the device will be running a dozen times a day, you’ll receive an eye-watering water and electricity bill, making your purchase a liability instead of a helpful tool.

Hence it is vital to make schedules if multiple people use the dishwasher.

You can clean everything at once to save resources and make the dishwasher well worth the investment.

Similarly, if you’re living alone, you probably don’t have tons of cutlery.

The most you use would be a few items, i.e., plates, cups, and spoons. Even if you cook yourself, the number won’t exceed six or seven items.

So investing in a dishwasher won’t be a bright idea.

Verdict: A dishwasher is ideal for a big family or multiple people if they schedule and use it to wash their items collectively.

On the other hand, a dishwasher for an individual user doesn’t necessarily bring enough value to the table.

Conclusion

Although dishwashers have immense practicality in modern kitchen solutions, hand washing will always have its place.

Non-stick pans are usually unsafe to put in the dishwasher, and we use them every day. So naturally, you’ll have to wash them by hand.

Additionally, dishwashers also require maintenance and only fare well in the long term if you use them appropriately.

End of the day, Dishwashers are useful because they clean, sanitize, and dry dishes while using less water, electricity, and detergent than hand-washing a full load of dishes, pots and pans, glasses, and tableware.

References:

  • (1) https://www.cleaninginstitute.org/cleaning-tips/dishes/understanding-dishwashers
  • (2) https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/08/25/214799882/dishwasher-cooking-make-your-dinner-while-cleaning-the-plates

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