What uses more water: dishwasher or sink?

In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the question: “What uses more water: dishwasher or sink?” and discuss some ways of saving water in the kitchen. We will also share some tips for washing your dishes. 

What uses more water: dishwasher or sink?

Sink washing uses more water than the dishwasher.  Dishwashers use, on average, 80 percent less water compared to hand (sink) washing.

The dishwasher principle is similar to that of washing machines. It recirculates and reuses hot water with soap inside the cabinet, so it does not waste like washing in the sink, which throws water down the drain.

A model with a capacity for six people’s dinnerware, such as plates, cutlery, and glasses, requires just 8.5 liters on average every cycle. Handwashing with the tap completely open for 15 minutes would require around 117 liters to wash the same quantity of dishes. In this situation, the savings reach 90 percent.

It is not required to rinse the dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. The new products have excellent washing performance while using less water and the appropriate quantity of detergent.

Getting the dishes clean also depends on the type of soap used and how the pieces are arranged within the machine. Plates should be upright, while glasses, pitchers, and pans should be facing down. In this manner, the jet stays clear and reaches all of the dishes without backing up the water.

How to save water in the kitchen?

Here we will share some tips for saving water in the kitchen, even if you do not have a dishwasher.

Clean the leftovers before washing the dishes

Before washing dishes and pans, thoroughly clean the leftovers and dispose of them in the garbage. Close the faucet while lathering, and then rinse everything at once. Washing dishes for 15 minutes when the water is running uses 120 liters of water. Consumption with economy might approach 20 liters.

Soak the dishes

Soak the dishes in the sink with water and detergent for a few minutes before scrubbing. Then follow with the rinse.

Install a faucet aerator

An aerator, often known as a “sieve,” is a valve that may be installed on the faucet spout that saves water by producing a stronger flow feeling.

Make sure there are no leaks

In a month, a two-millimeter hole in a pipe consumes 96,000 liters. Close the faucets, turn off the water, and see whether the water meter indications continue to revolve. If so, seek the assistance of a specialist.

Limit your dishes use

Because it takes two glasses of water to wash a glass, it is critical to limit your usage of dishes. Attempting to use the same glass throughout the day and allowing the day’s dishes to pile in order to wash everything at once are good examples.

Add chlorine to the water to wash vegetables

When washing fruits and vegetables, use one tablespoon of chlorine or general-purpose bleach per one liter of water for 15 minutes. Then, add two teaspoons of vinegar to a liter of water and leave for 10 minutes, preserving as much water as possible.

Do not defrost food with water

Do not defrost food with tap water. Defrost items in the refrigerator to save water and ensure food safety.

What are the tips for washing dishes?

Save money on soap

You do not need much detergent to wash your dishes. Extra soap can leave residue on plates and glasses, so you may accidentally inhale this toxin the next time you eat.

Attention to the knives

Putting knives in the dishwasher might cause them to lose their cut. Cutlery with a wooden handle cannot be put through the machine because it swells and spoils rapidly. As a result, it is recommended to hand-wash them in order to extend the life of the silverware.

Dish arrangement

Glasses and bowls should be washed first. When you start cleaning the plate, the fat in the food increases and ends up in the glass. Diluting the fat with boiling water is another option. This cuts down on the amount of detergent and water needed to remove the soap.

Keep an eye on the sponge

Dish sponges can harbor pathogens like E.coli and salmonella. After 15 days of usage, the sponge can contain around 680 million fungus and bacteria. The ideal is to replace your sponge every 15 days.

Other FAQs about Water that you may be interested in.

How to counteract too much water?

What happens to the boiling point of water when salt is added?

Can you boil saltwater and drink it?

Can you boil seawater and drink it?


In this brief article, we provided you with the answer to the question: “What uses more water: dishwasher or sink?” and discussed some ways of saving water in the kitchen. We also shared some tips for washing your dishes. 


CHOICE. “Dishwasher vs Washing by Hand – Which Uses More Water?,” November 24, 2021. https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/kitchen/dishwashers/articles/dishwasher-vs-washing-by-hand.

Governo do Estado de São Paulo. “Confira 10 dicas para economizar água na cozinha,” March 11, 2015. https://www.saopaulo.sp.gov.br/ultimas-noticias/confira-10-dicas-para-economizar-agua-na-cozinha/.