Can a dishwasher save you money?

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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 €275-€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 55c 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 in the UK over 2007 and 2008, found those who had a dishwasher and used it efficiently (i.e. 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 49 litres of heated water, compared with just 12 litres of water and nine minutes each to load and unload2.

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 €99 on water and €186 on power annually. A couple sharing could save, on 10 meals eaten at home weekly, €11 and €20 respectively.

Every penny counts, and when you consider the many other benefits that come with using a dishwasher, 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;

 2 Intertek UK 2010 Washing up Study