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Portland Water Bureau

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1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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Dishwasher vs. Hand washing ??!??

By 1 Comment

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, you'll likely be creating lots of dirty dishes. You may ask yourself the age old question...does hand washing or a dishwasher use more water and energy?


Dishwashing wins the water efficiency contest!In the dishwasher versus hand washing debate, using  an automatic dishwasher to clean dishes generally wins for both water and energy efficiency. Most conventional dishwashers installed in U.S. households today use 7-14 gallons per load and account for less than 2  percent of the water used  in an average American home. Despite the small portion of overall water consumption by dishwashers, newer machines are substantially more water-efficient than older models. Today the most efficient (full-size) machines use a maximum of 7 gallons per load - and some as little as 4.5 gallons. Energy savings also result from upgrading to an efficient dishwasher because fewer gallons of water need to be heated per cycle.

Check out our online fact sheet for all the dish washing details.


Happy dish washing!


Sarah Santner

Water Efficiency Program

1 Comment


russ willis

December 29, 2011 at 4:52 PM

the person washing dishes by hand in the illustration is using considerably less than 14 gallons of water and zero electricity

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