A dishwasher used to be thought of as a luxury household item, rather than a time-saving necessity. While the cost of the average unit has come down in recent years (starting at around $300-$350), people still think they’re expensive to run.
The fact is, modern models use minimal amounts of water and energy so their cost per wash is much less than people think – around $.60 including water, energy and detergents to wash a full load of 12 place settings.
Crunching the numbers
‘Will my dishwasher save me money?’ is a question every potential purchaser asks. Given the variables between households (number of people, number of meals cooked, efficiency of your dishwasher and so on), it’s hard to be specific.
A study of 200 households, carried out over 2007 and 2008, found those who had a dishwasher and used it efficiently (ie. when it was full) used on average 50 percent less water and 28 percent less energy than those who didn't own a dishwasher1.
Indeed, further laboratory studies found that washing up a full dishwasher load by hand took 60 minutes and 13 gallons of heated water, compared with just 3 gallons of water and nine minutes each to load and unload2.
The Finish® Dishwasher Calculator
Of course, there is no ‘typical’ home – a married couple with no children will use their dishwasher far less over a week, month or year than a family of five. However, Finish® has created the Dishwasher Benefits Calculator to work out the water and energy usage over a week and estimate the cost savings over a year compared to washing up by hand.
Simply use the sliders to indicate the number of people in your household, and the number of meals cooked that you then wash up after by hand, and you’ll see that even the smallest households could save money and energy by using a dishwasher.
What that means in terms of Money Savings
According to the calculator, a family of four who have dinner at home Monday to Friday and breakfast, lunch and dinner at home on both days of the weekend generate 44 meals that are then washed up afterwards by hand. If they use a dishwasher instead, they could save up to $111 on water and $208 on power annually. A couple sharing could save, on 10 meals eaten at home weekly, $12 and $23 respectively.
Every penny counts, and when you consider the many other benefits that come with using a dishwasher[SC1] , it all adds up to an investment worth making.
1 Research carried out by Christian Paul Richter between 2007 and 2008 on two hundred households in Germany, Italy, Sweden and Britain; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/energy-bills/11250403/Dishwasher-vs-washing-up-which-is-cheaper.html
2 Intertek UK 2010 Washing up Study