How Much Water Does a Dishwasher Use?

How Much Water Does a Dishwasher Use?

Do you use a dishwasher? Like most users, you may not care much about how the machine works. That’s because all that matters is that you can have clean dishes and cookware without using your hands.

Yet, the debate on which method uses fewer water rages on. While some think that hand washing is the best, others believe a dishwasher saves more water. In this write-up, we shall seek to answer the question concerning the amount of water a dishwasher uses.

So, How Much Water Does a Dishwasher Use?

The answer to that question isn’t easy. That’s because different dishwashers will use different amounts of water depending on the model, size, and frequency of use. Some of the best dishwashers include: the small versions, table-top dishwasher, countertop dishwasher, or portable dishwasher, there will be variations based on the manufacturer. Dishwasher models tend to come with different features depending on the features included by the brand.

On average, a dishwasher will use up to six gallons of water with every batch of dishes. The standards established in 2013 require manufacturers to make dishwashers that minimize the water used.

The limit of water used per cycle is 5 gallons. That makes modern dishwashers more environmentally friendly, thanks to their ability to minimize water usage.

When it comes to hand washing, we are talking about an average consumption rate of 28 gallons of water, on each use. Hand dishwashing is even more expensive, especially when it comes to the time taken to finish washing your dishes.

It is because of the inefficiencies of hand dishwashing that most people opt to buy a dishwasher. It is even better if you buy some of the best portable dishwashers since you can choose where to use them.

How to Make Your Dishwasher More Water-Efficient

If you already have a dishwasher, you can make it more water-efficient without replacing it. You have to ensure you take the necessary steps. Below, we suggest several hacks to improve your dishwasher’s efficiency when it comes to water consumption.

1. Fill It with Dishes

When you fill a dishwasher with dishes, you minimize the number of times you have to use it in a given period. That can help you save on the amount of water used during a single washing cycle.

Think of it like this. Whether you fill-up the dishwasher or use it to clean one cooking pot, you will still use the same amount of water. So, it is prudent to always wash your dishes in a single batch rather than separately.

You might even want to wait until you have accumulated enough dishes before washing them.

2. Leave Space for Water Circulation

We have advised you to fill up your dishwasher with water. Don’t get the wrong implication from that because we aren’t saying that you should fill dishes to the brim. What we mean is that you should always wash a large batch of dishes together.

However, leave some space to allow dishes to circulate during the washing cycle. If you fill up all the space, the dishes might come out unwashed and requiring more water to clean them.

3. Avoid Pre-Rinsing the Dishes

Do you pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? You could be wasting a lot more water than you think. So, don’t worry about how stained your dishes look.

They could have grease, baked-on crust, and dried-up sauce but your dishwasher will still be able to clean them. Instead of pre-rinsing, scrape off larger food remnants and then use an effective detergent or dishwasher tablet. Once you start running the machine, it will be able to do the rest of the work.

4. Avoid the Half-Loading Setting

Most people think that turning on the half-load setting means the dishwasher is going to utilize less water. That’s not true. Even though the water used will be less than that in a full cycle, it is hardly cut by half. The best strategy is to fill up the dishwasher and then choose a water-saving cycle. That will save you a lot of water.

5. Maintain the Dishwasher

It is only possible to keep your dishwasher working efficiently if you maintain it regularly. That will ensure the dishwasher is always in good working condition. One way to ensure you are doing the right thing is to read the included instructions.

Clean it regularly and have it repaired whenever it develops issues. When on the optimal condition, the dishwasher is going to use a minimal amount of water.


If your dishwasher can use minimal water, it will help save a lot of money in one year. Also, it is the perfect way to contribute to creating a greener world. Since it is more water-efficient, there is no need to dump your dishwasher for hand washing.