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Volume III
June 8, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Survey: Dishwasher or Hand Washing?

By Patty Liston

I like taking a survey from time to time. I find it interesting to discover what other people think about things because it gives me another insight. I started thinking about this the other night when I was washing dishes. Mr. Joker and I moved into a little home that does not have a dishwasher. At first, I really missed having one. Then, after awhile, I didn't miss having one at all. Of course, I don't have children at home any more so I don't have a lot of dishes to do anyway. Maybe that would make a difference for some people.

I was reading an article about the "green" effect of dishwashers vs. hand washing. According to research done at the University of Bonn in Germany, and posted in an issue of EatingWell Magazine, hand washing a load of dishes, around 12 place settings, by hand, "uses on average 27 gallons of water and 2.5 kilowatt-hours of energy to heat the water - equivalent to running a hair dryer for 2 1/2 hours." Surprisingly, the new energy efficient dishwashers use about 4 gallons of water and 1 kWh of energy per load. The research also showed that dishwashers cleaned better.

Some suggestions for maximizing the energy efficiency of your dishwasher are:

•  Scrape food off of your plates before loading to avoid added water consumption by pre-rinsing
•  Only run full loads of wash

Back to that survey: Do you use a dishwasher or do you wash your dishes in the sink?

Just curious. Post your answer in the comment section below this article. I'll post the results later. I'm guessing most of you use dishwashers. But who knows? Maybe some of you just have your dog lick the plates and call it good.

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