What Are the Benefits of Using a Dishwasher?

By Elizabeth Ireland

It's a rare person who enjoys standing over a steaming-hot sink to wash the evening's dinner dishes. Using a dishwasher not only takes away the drudgery of hand washing your plates, glasses and flatware, it also saves money and water, keeps counters free of clutter, creates less of an impact on the environment and is more sanitary. In addition, fewer dishes are broken in the dishwasher than when you wash them by hand.

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There are several surprising advantages to washing dishes in a dishwasher.

Safer

Washing dishes in a dishwasher is safer because there is less handling of the dishes than when you wash them in the sink. Less breakage means less of a chance for being cut by broken bowls or glasses.

Out of Sight

Placing dirty dishes out of sight in your dishwasher is not only convenient, but it also keeps the kitchen and the counters cleaner.

Sanitary

Dishwashers are more sanitary because they put the dishes through several cycles of scalding hot water, which disinfects them while cleaning. You can't put your hands in dish water that's as hot as the water used in a dishwasher -- typically 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Less Environmental Impact

Dishwashers are environmentally friendly. The amount of low-phosphate or phosphate-free dishwasher detergent is significantly less than liquid detergent used for an equal amount of dishes. A full dishwasher uses minimal electricity and water as compared to washing dishes by hand. For instance, you can save up to $40 per year on your utility bill and up to 5,000 gallons of water.

Time Savings

In one year, washing dishes in a dishwasher rather than by hand saves more than 230 hours of your time, according to the Energy Star Qualified Dishwasher Partner Resource Guide, published by the U.S. Department of Energy.