“If you want something done right you have to do it yourself.” This may be the case for lots of things, but when it comes to your dishes, you need to back off a bit.

It’s 2018, and while most of us have dishwashers, there’s something that makes us think washing dishes by hand gets them cleaner. We might even do double time and wash dishes by hand and then put them in the dishwasher for a cycle.

But according the Consumer Reports, we should just “let the dishwasher do its job.”

Many people will argue that hand washing is better from an environmental perspective, but the truth is that the machines have grown so energy-efficient — especially the Energy Star-certified models — and require less and less water because of improved appliance standards.

“While it may be possible to use less water/energy by washing dishes by hand, it is extremely unlikely,” Jonah Schein, technical coordinator for the EPA’s WaterSense program, said in a statement. Schein was referring to Energy Star-certified dishwashers.

Schein said that in order for hand washing to be the most effective method, you would have to be able to wash a full size dishwasher load — about eight place settings — and limit the amount of time the faucet was running to less than two minutes.

But using less water doesn’t necessarily mean dishes just as clean. However, dishwashers still have the advantage in cleanliness, as well. Machines get temperatures of the water to where it can really get stuff clean — about 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

The spray of the water jets, soil sensors that detect if your dishes are clean and other aspects have all been engineered to improve machine performance over hand washing.

The worst thing you can do is pre-wash dishes (cold water is fine), and then run them through an old dishwasher not up to modern standards. This essentially uses twice the energy and is twice as wasteful.

Energy Star calculates that one of its dishwashers saves 230 hours — about 10 days — a year of work. So, rather than fight the fact your dishwasher outperforms your cleaning abilities, hit the ‘Start’ button and go enjoy your new found extra week and half vacation time.

(h/t The Washington Post)


Also see, Here’s why you should skip washing dishes during a thunderstorm.


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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.