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How much water does a dishwasher use

How much water does a dishwasher use?

Learn how much water a dishwasher uses and how you can conserve this resource with some easy tips from Finish®. Help the environment and your wallet.

No one would judge you for assuming that a dishwasher uses a considerable amount of water with each load. After all, it's typically one of the largest appliances in your home. You've probably wondered: do dishwashers save water, or do dishwashers use a lot of water? It depends on the make and model of your machine, but many newer dishwashers are more efficient than you might think. Of course, a modern, Energy Star-rated dishwasher is going to be far more efficient than an older model. In fact, dishwashers manufactured before 1994 can use as much as approximately 9-14 gallons of water per load.1

However, new standard-sized Energy Star dishwashers use less than 4 gallons for every load. They are designed to heat and use the exact amount of water they need to clean dishes effectively. Washing up the same number of plates by hand could see as much as 40 gallons of water literally poured down the drain!

How to save water when using your dishwasher 

Not only are newer dishwashers more efficient with their water usage, you can also use them in ways that will further conserve water. These tips can help to reduce your water usage and ensure your dishwasher has a long life of producing sparkling clean dishes.

Water-Saving Tips

  1. Save water by skipping the pre-clean rinse in the sink. We waste as much as 20 gallons of water each time we rinse a load of dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
  2. Avoid running unnecessary cycles by waiting until you have a full load.
  3. Ensure the inside of your dishwasher is clean and that the arm sprayer isn’t hindered by obstacles. This will eliminate the need to run multiple dishwasher cycles.
  4. Choose an eco-setting, which will use less energy by washing your dishes at a lower temperature and use less water during each cycle.
  5. Use a quality detergent like Finish® Quantum® to ensure your dishes come out clean the first time, every time.

Take a look at our Benefits of a Dishwasher collection to learn more about the differences between using a dishwasher and handwashing, and whether using a dishwasher saves you money.