Dishwasher vs Hand Washing: Which is Better?

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Washing dishes is an inevitable part of owning and having a household kitchen. It has to be to make sure that we place our food on clean dishes that aren't contaminated with any germs or bacteria. The last thing that any of us want is to compromise the health and well-being of our family members and loved ones.

For many years, we have washed our dishes by hand, but the invention and installation of modern dishwashers in many households has left many to wonder which side they should be on in this dishwasher vs. hand washing debate.

This article will discuss some benefits and setbacks for each side and let you decide which one is your preferred way of washing and sanitizing dishes.

Hand Washing Dishes: Is it Better?

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Recognized by most as the traditional way of washing dishes, hand washing involves a cleaning tool—such as a kitchen sponge, a kitchen brush or a washcloth—some dishwashing soap, a running tap, and a lot of elbow grease.

Hand washing begins with preparing the dishes for washing by scraping off any food scraps before filling your kitchen sink with soapy water and letting these dishes soak. Once any hardened food particles have been softened, you then grab your cleaning tool of choice and begin scrubbing away any remaining stains before rinsing and placing it on a drying rack.

Hand Washing Can Be Done on All Kitchen Items

Tossing your dishes and kitchenware in a dishwasher is easy but not always possible. There are some items that aren't actually dishwasher-friendly and have to be washed by hand like knives, non-stick pans, fragile dishes and more. This also applies to any item that may hold any sentimental value as there is a risk that they may get damaged in the dishwasher.

Hand Washing Dirty Dishes Lets You Get Stubborn Spots Out

While dishwashers perform the same job as hand washing, they won't be able to get off any hard to clean messes. Washing by hand really lets you scrub your dishes clean of any stuck on food or stubborn grime, and putting in a little elbow grease and hard work is especially helpful with cooking pans or pots that have burnt food particles stuck at the bottom.

Hand Washing is Much Easier to Start

You don't really need a lot to get started with hand washing. All you really need is a good cleaning tool and some dish soap, which can both be purchased readily at your local grocery store for really cheap and affordable prices. You also have a lot of different options and brands to choose from depending on what you're looking for.

Using a Dishwasher: Is it Better?

The dishwasher is a relatively recent innovation and was only invented in 1850, but it has been welcomed by many households with open arms and open kitchens for making washing dishes easier and more efficient. To use a dishwasher, all you have to do is load up the racks with the dirty dishes and let the dishwasher do its thing.

Dishwashers clean dishes by spraying hot water and soap to wash away any lingering dirt and food particles still left on the dishes. The dirty water is then drained away before fresh and clean water is sprayed to rinse everything. Once the fresh water has drained away as well, the dishes are then dried with the heat inside the dishwasher.

Compared to washing dishes by hand, the dishwasher definitely seems like the easier option, but is it too good to be true? Aside from the points that were already discussed earlier in this article, let's discuss the argument of using a dishwasher.

Using a Dishwasher Saves Time and Effort

The biggest selling point for a dishwasher is that it is more efficient. All you really have to do is load up the dishwasher with your dishes and let it do the rest! This means that not only do you have more time in your hands to deal with other urgent matters in the kitchen, but it also means that you no longer have to waste so much energy scrubbing at dirty dishes.

Using a Dishwasher Kills Bacteria More Easily

Dishwashers have been proven to kill more bacteria on dirty dishes compared to dishes that have been hand washed, mainly because dishwashers use very hot water. And while bacteria can still grow inside dishwashers, the bacteria that has been found to form, mostly in the rubber sealing, weren't found to be harmful to humans.

Using a Dishwasher is More Water Efficient

If you're someone who cares about their water bill, then dishwashers may be the way to go. There is a big difference in the water use between dishwashers and hand washing, surprisingly that dishwashers were found to use less water.

When the two methods of dishwashing were compared, using a dishwasher was found to be more water efficient as opposed to hand washing when washing the same number of dishes.

The Final Verdict

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Both hand washing and using a dishwasher come with their pros and cons, but the decision is ultimately up to you. There is definitely a time and place for both washing methods in every household, so properly weigh the points that were discussed and decide which one is the best option for you and your kitchen. 

Hand washing is great for those who don't use a full load of dishes, have a lot of stubborn stains that need to be scrubbed clean, and don't want to splurge on too much money at once. Dishwashers are great for those who are looking to save time, effort and water but still want their dishes cleaned. 

At the end of the day, they both can get the job done, and that's all that matters.

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