Hand wash or dishwasher – what’s greener?

Dishwasher Powder, Dishwasher Rinse Aid, Laundry PowderIt’s a question as murky as dirty washing up water – is it better for the environment to hand wash dishes or stack them in a dishwasher? A UK study has attempted to give a definitive verdict on this perennial musing, but the real answer for the eco-conscious may lie in choosing an environmentally friendly dishwashing liquid or powder.

It’s time to come clean about how we wash our dishes.

Believe it or not, the choice of handwashing or using a dishwasher can produce almost identical energy consumption. Figures from the UK’s Guardian newspaper website show:

  • Almost zero carbon emissions are produced if washing dishes by hand in cold water (unfortunately for the green revolution this didn’t leave the plates clean!);
  • 540g of carbon emissions were produced washing by hand in warm water (and conserving water usage);
  • 770g of carbon emissions were produced in a dishwasher set at 55 degrees;
  • 990g of carbon emissions were produced in a dishwasher set at 65 degrees;
  • 8000g of carbon emissions were produced washing by hand using lots of hot water.

The carbon figures show that handwashing using a frugal amount of warm water is clearly the best option for the planet. Yet with bacteria surviving in lower temperatures, this method has been shown to leave up to 400 times more germs on the dishes.

If you prefer to leave the hot tap running while you’re washing the dishes you will produce eight times the amount of carbon emissions as running the dishwasher for a full cycle.

Dishwashers have high energy consumption because they heat their own water but stacking the machine properly, avoiding rinsing dishes under hot water first and using aneco settingreduces the environmental footprint.

Other factors to consider include the efficiency of the model of dishwasher – new appliances come with energy and water efficiency ratings.

Water conservation has become a major environmental issue in Australia and greywater recycling systems allow water from the kitchen sink to be pumped on lawns, gardens and reserves.

Choosing biodegradable, non-toxic environmental cleaning products ensures harmful chemicals will not be flushed down the drain.

For busy commercial kitchens green alternatives must deliver top results – eco-friendly liquid dishwashing products n cut through the grease and leave dishes sparkling.

Perth-based Envirosafe Solutions is a leading Australian supplier of environmentally friendly products. Its top-of-the-range green kitchen products include:

  • Extreme Green Dishwashing Liquid, a concentrated phosphate-free hand dishwashing liquid which is completely biodegradable and free-rinsing and performs in hot and cold water;
  • Extreme Green Commercial Kitchen Degreaser, a non-toxic formula (free of petro-solvents) which dissolves cooking grease, carbon deposits and burnt foodstuffs;
  • Extreme Green Dishwasher Liquid, a caustic-free, non-foaming formula ideal for all automatic dishwashing machines. This phosphate-free liquid performs in both hard and soft water, making it idea for use in rural areas;
  • Extreme Green Dishwasher Powder, a highly-concentrated detergent suitable for all commercial automatic dishwashers. Biodegradable and low in phosphates, this formula is safe for all septic systems;
  • Extreme Green Rinse-Aid, a biodegradable, fast-acting rinse aid which leaves dishes streak-free.

Washing the dishes – whether by hand or using a dishwasher – doesn’t need to leave a dirty smear on the environment. For advice on eco-friendly liquid products for commercial or corporate kitchens contact Envirosafe Solutions on 1300 88 90 70 or emailinfo@evss.com.au.