Free Delivery Over £25*Free Delivery Over £25*
Buy Now On FinanceBuy Now On Finance
Spread the Cost
Buying Big? Ask about our finance offers for life's bigger buys.
Multi Buy DealsMulti Buy Deals

Dishwashers Vs Washing Up By Hand - How To Save Money!

Posted by Lorraine on 20th Mar 2023

Dishwashers save time, but do dishwashers save money on your bills? Is it cheaper to hand wash dirty dishes or pop them in the dishwasher? We answer these questions and offer more advice about choosing a low running cost dishwasher below, so keep reading!

How much does it cost to run a dishwasher?

Currently, based on Ofgem figures, standard electricity tariffs are 34p per kWh per load. Dishwasher running costs do vary depending on a number of factors but for now, we'll work on averages!

The average 600mm wide dishwasher consumes around 1.2kWh per load (we have lots that are lower than this!) which works out at 40p per cycle. Using your dishwasher everyday, once a week equates to £2.80/week and £146/year.

600mm Dishwasher (1.2kWh) 450mm Slim Dishwasher (0.76kWh)
Cost Per Cycle 40p 26p
Cost Per Week (1 X 7 Days) £2.80 £1.81
Cost Per Year (1 x 365 Days) £146 £94.32

Average running costs of slim and full size dishwashers based on eco cycle.

New energy labels now provide energy consumption per 100 cycles. To find out the kWh per load figure simply divide it by 100. To work out how much your dishwasher at home costs to run you'll need to find the price you pay for your electricity (varies depending on energy provider.)

Workout Dishwasher Running Costs (based on costs above): kWh per load x 0.34

Is it more energy efficient to wash pots in the dishwasher or wash by hand?

The top things to consider here are how many place settings can you wash in one go and how much water does each wash use. The energy label on all new dishwashers clearly states all this information so you can make an informed decision.

One place setting includes the following items; 1 x dinner plate, 1 x dessert plate, 1 x soup bowl, 1 x glass, 1 x tea cup and saucer, and a set of cutlery.

Dishwashers can wash more in a single wash using less water, so they are more energy efficient when compared to hand washing as the study below confirms.

According to tests undertaken at Which, washing dishes in a bowl in the sink uses around 9L of water. On average, you can wash up to two places settings before the water is ready to be changed.

Dishwashers can wash a lot more than 2 place settings in one go! Modern dishwashers offer room for around 7 place settings in a slimline dishwasher and up to 13 place settings in full sized dishwasher.

Many full size dishwashers in our collection at Appliance House use around 9.5L of water per wash.

Lets's do a quick comparison of washing capabilities of a slimline dishwasher, full size dishwasher Vs hand washing.

Whirlpool WIO3033PLESUK Full Size Dishwasher Whirlpool WSIC3M27CUKN Slimline Dishwasher Hand Washing
Place Settings 14 10 2
Water Consumption (Based on Eco Setting) 9.5L 9L 9L
Dishwasher Vs Handwashing - Which Is Better?

It's clear to see a full size dishwasher uses less water to tackle big loads. It would take 63L of water to clean 14 place settings with hand washing alone! Thats' a considerable difference. You could change the water less frequently but this would result in poorer cleaning results.

When hand washing, many need to run the water for a while before hot water flows. Modern dishwashers use cold water which is heated internally helping to lower water consumption.

Dishwasher cycles sanitise dishes and cups whereas sponges and scrubbing brushes used to wash by hand have a tendency to harbour germs making a dishwasher a more hygienic cleaning method.

Things To Consider Before You Buy A Dishwasher

  • Budget - Consider your budget then look for the most energy efficient model within your budget.
  • Place Settings - Think about your situation. Families, the more place settings the better!
  • Check Energy Rating - Dishwashers are rated A-G. A is the most energy efficient*. Drying efficiency is also rated A-G and worth consideration.
  • Check Energy Use - You can find this on the energy rating label. A lower kWh = less energy used = more energy efficient model.
  • Water Consumption - It's on the energy label too! Look how much water the model uses per cycle.
  • Flexible Storage Options - Can the upper baskets be lowered to accommodate large pans? Foldable tines etc are handy features offering better loading flexibility.
  • Noise Output - This can be found on the energy label, 44dBA or lower is considered to be quiet.
  • Integrated Or Stand Alone - Do you want your dishwasher to be hidden (integrated with kitchen door) or on show?

Top Tips On How To Use Your Dishwasher To Save Energy & Money

Once you have a dishwasher here are some ways you can keep it working efficiently;

  • Use Eco Mode - This setting may have longer running times but it uses much less water and is more energy efficient. It can save up to 20% energy compared to the normal setting!
  • Load Correctly - Keep large items on the bottom rack and delicate items such as glasses and cups on the top rack. Incorrect loading can result in poor washing results so you'll have to wash some items again!
  • Fully Load - For the most energy efficient cleaning, always wash when the dishwasher is full. It will use the same amount of water and energy whether it's 3/4 full or fully loaded!
  • Regular Maintenance - Cleaning the filter once a month is recommended to ensure the appliance cleans effectively and the inside stays fresh. A quick rinse under the sink prevents the build up of food debris.
  • Use Delay Start - This allows you to programme the dishwasher to start at a time most suitable for you! Take advantage of low cost energy tariffs. It’s possible to time your wash to finish just in time for dinner too so you’ll have warm plates ready for serving.
  • Turn On At Night - Wash out of peak times, night time is generally the cheapest time. Many dishwashers have night time settings so they operate very quietly.
  • Unbranded Tablets - Try supermarket own dishwasher tablets. They're often much cheaper and give excellent cleaning results!

We have a large range of energy efficient dishwashers at Appliance House. We offer built in models and free standing dishwashers in full size and slimline sizes.

Our excellent value dishwasher range has models suitable for low or high budgets. If you need help to find the most energy efficient dishwasher to suit your budget please get in touch or give our recent blog Best Energy Efficient Dishwashers 2023. In this blog we've worked out the annual running costs for a number of full size and slimline dishwashers.

We're always looking to make our customers shopping experience as easy and stress free as possible.

•Energy ratings and labels were updated in March 2021. Our 'New Energy Rating For Home Appliances' blog is a helpful read that explains the changes in more detail.

Hurry! Get Your Order In Time For Next Day Delivery