These are the results of a UK study overseen by experts from Bonn University to measure differences in water, energy, time taken and cleaning results of washing up by hand vs using a dishwasher.


  • Large scale study carried out at independent research laboratory INTERTEK UK, Milton Keynes.
  • The UK’s best-selling dishwasher was loaded to capacity with 12 place settings, soiled according to EN 50242* test method.
  • 150 users each washed up the same volume of soiled dishes as were used in the dishwasher tests. Overall, 21,000 items were washed up in the whole study, checked for visible remains of food deposits and a cleaning score recorded
  • Water/energy/time consumption data were also measured

European test standard used for energy label testing of household dishwashers. Download Bonn University Abstract on washing up vs dishwasher here

Washing Dishes By Hand

  • 60 minutes to wash up a full load
  • 49 litres used in sink
  • 1.7 kwH, to heat all that water
  • Kitchen cloth and Kitchen towels lack hygiene

Using a Dishwasher

  • 9 minutes to load/unload machine
  • 13 litres of water
  • 1.3 kwH, to heat just enough water
  • High temperatures and Finish detergent give a more hygienic clean
Source: Intertek Washing Up Study 2010

Source: Intertek Washing Up Study 2010