Can you save money with a dishwasher?

Unlike many kitchen and utility room appliances and white goods, we can actually do without a dishwasher. As convenient as they are – and essential for those who have a poor budget when it comes to time – they are not something that we need in our homes. With all of us looking at our budgets and feeling the strain, the questions start to become: ‘do I need a dishwasher?’ and ‘how much does a dishwasher cost to run’?

The team here at Repair Aid is here to answer that question, as well as give you helpful tips to reduce the impact of your dishwasher on your energy bill.

Are dishwashers expensive to run?

The reality is that while you cannot run a dishwasher for free – unless you are generating your own energy – energy efficient models can actually be quite inexpensive. Aside from the initial outlay (and detergent), the cost of running a dishwasher comes from both electricity and water consumption.

But because most modern dishwashers actually have very effective, built-in heaters to heat the water, this can actually be cheaper than water heated via your boiler (which are often older and less effective). Additionally, your dishwasher may have an eco programme that will burn less energy at the expense of taking a bit longer to run the cycle.

Is it cheaper to wash by hand?

There are many factors that can influence this. It’s not just about energy or water consumption; it’s also detergent, washing up liquid, sponges and rubber gloves. Additionally, the type of dishwasher you have – the manufacturer, make and model – can also influence this figure. However, bizarre as it may seem, it may cost you less to run your dishwasher than actually washing your dishes.

As well as the above expenses, the hot water needs to be heated up by your boiler. As we said, this takes more energy. Additionally, as you are likely to wash dishes multiple times per day – as opposed to possibly just one dishwasher cycle – you can start to see how this makes logical sense.

Tips to save money while using a dishwasher

Despite this, it’s clear that it still costs money to purchase and run a dishwasher. However, we’ve put together some tips that could help you make some additional savings when you run your dishwasher.

1. Don’t overload the dishwasher

There’s a temptation, particularly within larger families, to stuff your dishwasher full of dishes. But this will only cause some dishes not to get properly washed – therefore ensuring that you either need to run another cycle sooner, or rinse them out under the hot water.

Additionally, you run the risk of damaging your machine which would necessitate a company such as Repair Aid to come out and sort the problem. While we offer very competitive rates, it’s still another expense you could be doing without!

2. Properly maintain your dishwasher

Another way you can save on that cost is by properly maintaining your dishwasher. As well as not stuffing the dishwasher with dishes, things such as the detergent you choose to use can have a bearing on your dishwasher’s condition. While some cheaper detergents may leave residue, better quality detergent can actively clean inside the dishwasher, too. While they may cost more, it may save an even more expensive call-out later!

3. Full loads only!

There’s a temptation to run a dishwasher with just a few dishes – particularly if you are quite specific about how things need to be clean. Even if your dishwasher has a ‘half load’ setting, it’s still going to cost money to run. So instead of running the dishwasher, just stick the dishes away, forget about it, close the door, and wait until its fuller before operating it.

4. Time for a new dishwasher?

If you have an older, less effective dishwasher, you may want to consider upgrading to a more modern dishwasher. While the initial cost may be off-putting, the rewards are a long-term appliance that could potentially save you money over time. With energy bills only looking set to increase, this could be an important investment to make now.

5. Air dry your dishes

If you elect to air dry your dishes, you’ll save up to 20% on your energy consumption. That’s because the dry cycle uses energy to heat the inside of the machine to leave the dishes dry when the same effect could be achieved by opening the door and leaving them to dry, or getting someone to towel dry them instead.

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