Handwashing dishes, vs dishwasher...
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    Registered User AnW819's Avatar
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    Default Handwashing dishes, vs dishwasher...

    We have a dishwasher here at my dads. I hate doing dishes so I have been using it. Our water bill is a lot of money now though every week because I end up running the thing once a day, sometimes twice! So my question is, if I start hand washing dishes, do you think this will save on our bill significantly? The dish washer is about 10 years old, so its not energy saver or anything.

    Now my other question:

    How do you properly wash dishes? I leave the water run the whole time and put the soap on the sponge and go to town. This has to use a lot of water to, I would think. It takes me 45 minutes sometimes to finish a sink load of dishes, and then I do some here and there through-out the day.

    So what is the best way to do dishes, so it saves on water? I want to cut our bill by $20 a month if at all possible. Its about $120 now.

    Thanks!!

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    We have no dishwasher, and only one sink. I fill the sink half way with soapy water, and I have a tub that I fill with really hot clean water. I put a stack of dishes in, after I wash each one with a rag it goes for a dunk in the hot water tub, then to the dish rack to dry.

    Its very irritating and I hate every minute of it, but turning on some fun music seems to make the chore go faster, and if you do it every day they don't build up and it isn't so bad.

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    Registered User AnW819's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lottaLove View Post
    We have no dishwasher, and only one sink. I fill the sink half way with soapy water, and I have a tub that I fill with really hot clean water. I put a stack of dishes in, after I wash each one with a rag it goes for a dunk in the hot water tub, then to the dish rack to dry.

    Its very irritating and I hate every minute of it, but turning on some fun music seems to make the chore go faster, and if you do it every day they don't build up and it isn't so bad.
    Thanks so much!! This sounds like it will work for me. This definitely saves water then because you are only filling the sink once right? And the tub..

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    Registered User lisaflex's Avatar
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    i add a bit of bleach to the soap water. just a tiny bit and i use really really hot water. and double rinse everything

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0911laob View Post
    i add a bit of bleach to the soap water. just a tiny bit and i use really really hot water. and double rinse everything
    this is what i do too

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    If you keep the water on while you're handwashing, you may not see a difference in the water bill.

    If you do as suggested by other people and fill the sink with hot soapy water and wash that way, you may be able to lower your bill

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    Registered User HandyMom's Avatar
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    If you can stand it, wear the rubber gloves when you wash the dishes. I often forget unless I have a lot of dishes to wash.You can get used to it and it makes it easier to use the hottest water to wash the dishes in and you don't have to worry about touching anything greasy and "icky". Your hands will thank you, too.

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    Registered User kaurand554's Avatar
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    Default I think the dishwasher is

    more efficient;

    That being said, you may have to buy a few more dishes, but if you only run it on a short cycle every other day (learn how to load it, is key)... it would seem you have used much less water.

    My neighbor and I have had this conversation; She has 4 people living in her house, we have 3; we have 2 bathrooms, and I know more showers (mine are teens, at the stage of showering before everything :-)) hers are young), and her water bill is twice what mine is, literally! She has no dishwasher, so she hand washes 3 times a day. I also have an above ground pool that is constantly needing water....... As a side note we do a comparable amount of laundry and each of us have new/similar washing machines...

    But I have to say 120 a month for water would kill me if I read it correctly; my bill was 170 for six months............. ouch!

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    We measured the water used for handwashing when I was at my inlaws in the summer and compared it to what the dishwasher used (it's written in the manual for the machine). Three meals of handwashing was equal to one load in the dishwasher.

    I don't really understand how you are washing. You run the water for 45 minutes nonstop? Dishes get a bath, not a shower. Fill the sink with soapy water, put the dishes in, wipe with cloth, rinse, dry.

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    I fill my dishwasher to fullest, making sure everything can get cleaned of course. I usually run it once a day. Sometimes I run it, empty it, and start to fill it again within the day.

    I love my dishwasher!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravenmaniac View Post
    I fill my dishwasher to fullest, making sure everything can get cleaned of course. I usually run it once a day. Sometimes I run it, empty it, and start to fill it again within the day.

    I love my dishwasher!
    Now I don't feel so bad. I run my dishwasher about every three days.

    I love my dishwasher and would hate to handwash. Well some pans I do.

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    when i use my dishwasher the electricity bill jumps by thirty dollars.

    so i fill one side of the sink with soapy water and one side of the sink with rinse water. I don't let the water run. if the water gets gross, i change sides, using the rinse water as the soapy water.

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    We have been handwashing. The kids hate to help unload the dishwasher but they love to handwash the dishes. It also makes them mindful of how many glasses they use during the day and scraping their plate.

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    Here's my economic 1-gallon method for washing dishes. We use this method 3-meals a day for washing items that don't go in the dishwasher, and general clean-up after a meal.

    Typically, sinks hold 5-7-gallons of water, so my 1-gallon method beats both traditional hand-washing methods, as well as running a dishwasher.

    1. We use "saved" water for doing dishes. That's the cold water that runs down the drain while you are waiting for the shower water to get hot. We catch it in a 1-gallon plastic jug. We heat 5 cups of "saved water" in an electric kettle for doing dishes by-hand.

    An electric kettle will heat water faster than a microwave or a kettle on a stove. The water is in direct contact with the heating element in an electric kettle, and that's what makes them efficient and fast.

    2. In a small plastic tub in the sink, add about 5-cups of cold water (also saved water), the hot water from the kettle, and dishsoap.

    3. We use the remaining cold water in the gallon to rinse the dishes. I checked with the health department and they said as long as the dishes were washed in hot soapy water, they could safely be rinsed in cold.

    We have a dishwasher and only run it every 5-6 days (when full). If you don't run them periodically, they will seize-up -- otherwise I wouldn't use a dishwasher at all. The only dishes we place in the dishwasher are plates, bowls, glasses, and some serving bowls (NO plastic, pans or silverware). We also pre-rinse the dishes in the hot soapy water in the small dishpan before placing in the dishwasher AFTER we do the other dishes. This way they can sit for several days and we can use 1 T. dishwasher detergent in one cup and the shortest wash cycle. We do use the heated wash setting, but not on the rinse, and NO heated dry to save water and energy. All silverware and pans are washed by hand or else we would quickly run out of them.

    It takes hubby and me about 10-15 minutes to do dishes after a meal using this method. Washed, dried, and put away.
    Last edited by Grainlady; 11-21-2009 at 09:42 AM.

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    McD
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaurand554 View Post

    My neighbor and I have had this conversation; She has 4 people living in her house, we have 3; we have 2 bathrooms, and I know more showers (mine are teens, at the stage of showering before everything :-)) hers are young), and her water bill is twice what mine is, literally! She has no dishwasher, so she hand washes 3 times a day. I also have an above ground pool that is constantly needing water....... As a side note we do a comparable amount of laundry and each of us have new/similar washing machines...
    I work for a water utility company, so this really jumped out at me. Ask your neighbor when the last time she checked her toilets for leaks. A lot of stools leak water without it being visible to the human eye. And a toilet leak can use significant amount of water. A rental home in our city had a leaky toilet---100K of water went through that toilet in less than 30 days. Landlord wasn't happy about paying that bill at all.

    To test them, take a bit of a food coloring, kool-aid, etc. and place it in the tank of the toilet. Don't flush. After 15 minutes, check the bowl of the toilet and if any of that color has seeped down in the bowl of the toilet, then it's leaking. Literally just flushing money down the drain. I would recommend that everyone do this test a few times a year. It is very easy preventative maintenance that can save you a lot of money.

    Also, around this time of year, we see a lot of increased consumption because people's water softeners start to poop out and just cycle constantly.

    And to answer the OP--what is your actual water consumption that the bill is based off of? On average a person consumes about 2K of water per month for all of their needs, so that is a really good starting point to base your water conservation on.
    Last edited by McD; 11-21-2009 at 11:23 AM. Reason: forgot something

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