Once you buy your first dishwasher there is no way back to hand washing. Your ‘kitchen hardships’ are over for good; less labour, more time to spend on yourself and absolutely no guilt, as dishwashers are also scientifically proven to be the most eco-friendly way to wash your dishes.
And while other appliances, such as the microwave and the mobile phone, continue to be the subject of heated debate, dishwashers enjoy the full endorsement of users, manufacturers and scientists, with environmentalists also rating in favour of dishwashers.
Many factors explain this remarkable uniformity of opinion, the most common of which are listed below:
1. Dishwashers save time
By using a dishwasher you save yourself three whole weeks in every year of washing. In practice this means that you save 85% of time spent on dishes if you own a dishwasher. In fact, you don’t spend any time washing or drying whatsoever, just loading and unloading the machine. And contrary to common belief, you don’t even need to rinse plates in advance. The dishwasher can in fact deal with the grimiest stains if set on the correct program. All you achieve by rinsing is to spend more time in the kitchen and use more water.
2. Dishwashers are more relaxing
Aside from the time saved, the psychological relief that a dishwasher offers is enormous: seeing a pile of dirty plates destined for the dishwasher are not even half as intimidating as the pile of plates destined for your hands. You can fit more dishes in it, load and unload it at your leisure as the day progresses and set it to wash whenever it’s full. With the special noise settings that most dishwashers offer, you can even let it work while you’re asleep, or even while you’re entertaining friends in your living room. With one in ten kitchens being open-plan, what would once have been a disturbance today is not even a reason for concern.
3. Dishwashers Save Water
And while it is easy for us to experiment with the time a dishwasher saves us, other benefits, such as water and energy saving are harder to verify, at least by naked eye. Here we rely on scientists to present the facts. A recent study carried out by the University of Bonn, in Germany, demonstrated that dishwashers use 15-20 litres on average for each load (depending, of course, on the weight and intensity of the load) whereas washing by hand requires up to 103 litres of water for the same amount of dishes. This amounts to an astonishing 85% less water each time you wash your plates.
4. Dishwashers Save Energy
It’s not only your water bills that benefit from a dishwasher, but your energy bills too. The same German study also concluded that whereas washing by hand consumes around 2,5kWh of energy for a regular load (assuming that you are using hot water), a dishwasher only burns 1,0kWh to a maximum of 2kWh for the same amount of dishes. This means up to 60% less energy for every wash.
5. Dishwashers are more ecological
As well as saving you 85% on water and 60% on energy bills, dishwashers are considered more ecological for two additional reasons. They use less soap and many modern dishwashers also contain ECO programs that are specifically designed to save even more energy & water – something that you could never achieve by hand washing. For example a 55°C ECO setting can save regular users 84kWh a year and 1,500litres of water – the latter equating to 15 full bathtubs. This combined with ecological detergents can make a real ecological difference!
6. Dishwashers clean better
Amongst its many findings, the University of Bonn research also suggested that a dishwashers’ cleaning is more effective – assuming that they are set on the correct program and that they are correctly loaded to allow for maximum water circulation. If unsure, consult the user manual. It is also advisable that you regularly check the dishwasher’s pipes and filters to prolong its efficiency.
7. Dishwashers protect your back and neck
Dishwashers mark the end of hours of standing in front of the sink; a household labour directly linked to chronic back and neck problems. But beware, you won’t be doing yourself any favours if you place the dishwasher on the floor, as you will still need to bend down to load and unload it. The best place to put a dishwasher is elbow height.
8. Dishwashers are more hygienic
Dishwashers have also been proven to kill more germs than hand washing. To kill bacteria you need to use temperatures that your skin could never tolerate. Even if you use lots of detergent you need hot water to get rid of bacteria. The dishwasher attacks germs with temperatures you could never endure if you hand-washed everything.
9. Dishwashers are better for your hands
You no longer need to soak your hands for hours weekly in soapy water, causing your skin to dry and harden. With dishwashers your hands remain soft while you also avoid detergent related allergies and skin-diseases, such as eczema.
10. Dishwashers are ‘less dangerous’
And last but not least, dishwashers are linked to less household accidents than hand washing. There is less water spillage that could cause one to slip and fall, less broken dishes that could result in cuts and bleeding and less burns from the boiling water and hot pipes.
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