Is It Worth Having A Dishwasher In A Single Person Household?

Dishwashers add a lot of convenience to households around the globe.

Most modern dishwashers are faster, more hygienic, and more energy-efficient than hand washing.

Of course, this feels like it is time to give in and let machines take over.

Contrary, there is a prevailing myth that washing your utensils by hand is way better for the environment and results in cleaner dishes.

All the same, many homeowners cherish dishwasher’s disinfecting capabilities.

If you live alone, you will likely contemplate the idea of investing in a dishwasher.

So, Is It Worth Having A Dishwasher In A Single Person Household?

The answer depends on a range of factors, including personal preferences, if you want to leave dishes for 3-4 days to reach a full load, and if you have enough dishes to let them build up for days without running out of dishes.

Assuming you have enough dishes and, for whatever reason, dislike doing your dishes by hand, it may be okay having a dishwasher even when living by yourself. All the same, keep in mind that it will take you a few days to reach a full load. Do not start your dishwasher if it is not full. After all, using your dishwasher when it is not full is less effective, therefore, amounting to a waste of energy and water.

So, which is better if you live alone:

  • Using the dishwasher
  • or hand washing your dishes?

It primarily depends on your preferences, among other factors.

In this article, you will find more about dishwashing versus handwashing in a single-person household. Keep reading!

Dishwashing VS Handwashing

Although modern dishwashers are more efficient and faster than handwashing, we will continue assuming that machines will never replace our skills no matter how far technology advances.

This trait makes it very hard for homeowners, especially those living alone, to believe that modern dishwashers can save time.

One of the most exciting things about dishwashers is that they use less water to clean your dishes than washing them with hands in the sink.

Although you warm the water even when hand washing, modern dishwashers have heaters that can heat water more efficiently.

Dishwashers warm water to higher temperatures that your hands cannot tolerate, which is responsible for disinfecting.

Even so, you can achieve disinfecting with handwashing.

If you like a dishwasher for its disinfecting abilities but do the dishes with your hands, you can just pour boiling water into a dishpan and hand wash while in gloves.

Handwashing in significantly hot water will give similar results. Interestingly, it is more environmentally friendly.

The benefits of having a dishwasher have to do with added convenience. This appliance can save time and the hassle of washing dishes manually for larger families and persons leading busy lives.

No matter what, there are times when handwashing is the better option.

If you’re a neat freak who can’t stand to watch dirty dishes accumulate in the dishwasher, it can be challenging for anyone to convince you that a dishwasher is better.

In a single-person household, it is obvious that you won’t have too many dishes to wash after meals, which makes handwashing a better option.

Another instance where handwashing makes sense is when you have more dishwasher-unfriendly items. Wooden utensils and cast-iron skillets, among other kitchenware, require gentler cleaning that can only be done from the sink.

Your dishes usually pass through the sink before going into the dishwasher.

Of course, you must wash them to remove excess residue.

Because of this, many people who live alone will ask, “what is the need of washing your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher?” Besides, you will have to do it for several days before reaching a full load.

For persons living on their own, it makes sense to take about 5 minutes daily to hand wash your dishes. However, it may feel like 30 minutes at the start.

Surprisingly, some people, even those with larger families, do not feel confident that their dishes are clean in crevices and corners.

Others think that dishwashing strips off plates’ finish, etches glasses, and flatware. For these reasons, they opt to wash their dishes from the sink.

Most people living on their own seldom buy too many dishes. Therefore, if you are likely to be out of dishes before the dishwasher is fully loaded, it is a no-brainer that you need to hand wash.

While it all depends on your preference, if you’re using a dishwasher, make sure to run the appliance when it is fully loaded.

Related: Can You Put Wood Handled Knives in The Dishwasher?

Seven Practical Reasons Why Single Person Households Need To Hand Wash Their Dishes

If life gave you an opportunity to use a dishwasher from childhood, you might dislike doing your dishes by hand for no apparent reason.

Indeed, most people who have always used dishwashers will say that handwashing is a hard task.

In spite of that, if you live alone, one of the great traits you can learn is washing your dishes following every meal.

This is how you will stop using a dishwasher and appreciate that a machine cannot replace your skills. You will love it.

If you live alone, here is why you might consider washing our dishes from the sink.

1. Less physical clutter

The last thing you want is to have little or no space on your kitchen counters.

Kitchen counters are for prep and placing kitchen appliances like ovens and coffeemakers.

Dirty dishes on your counter will look untidy; therefore, washing them after every meal will not only ensure all your dishes are clean but will also keep your kitchen neat and organized.

Decluttering kitchen counters will greatly benefit persons who have small kitchen space.

2. Handwashing takes less time

Many people may disagree, but washing your dishes following every meal takes less time than accumulating dishes for 3 to 4 days, loading, running, and unloading them from the dishwasher.

Mostly, it will take you 5 to 10 mistakes to clean all dishes used in a meal.

The cumulative time taken to hand wash after meals will, in the long run, be less than the time taken from cleaning excess residue to unloading your dishwasher.

3. Your dishes will always be clean

It can be annoying to spend minutes looking for that one favorite dish only to find that it is dirty sitting in the dishwasher?

If you get accustomed to washing dishes after every meal, all your dishes will stay clean, except when you’re dining.

4. Handwashing makes your dishes cleaner

One of the frustrating things about dishwashers is pulling out a plate to find that it didn’t get all clean.

In such a case, you must hand wash the plate before using it.

Fortunately, handwashing ensures your bowls and plates get cleaner, so you don’t need to rewash them.

5. You will have less mental clutter and enjoy a seamless transition between activities

Any incomplete project clutters your mind, whether you like it or not.

The responsibility of cleaning dishes will hang with you all through.

Interesting, you will free up your mind by taking less than 10 minutes to clean your plates. Once you’re done, you will freely move to other activities.

6. Handwashing brings personal satisfaction

Nothing can be further from the truth.

Working with our hands and successfully accomplishing a task without any mechanical aid bring an unmatched level of satisfaction in life.

Although dishwashers might achieve more than we can, handwashing satisfies and reminds you that you can still live without machines.

With premium-quality gloves, you can hand wash with boiled water; therefore, achieving the disinfecting property that makes dishwashers unique and sought-after.

For families, handwashing serves as an example to kids. It is a life discipline that teaches them not to be afraid of putting little effort into accomplishing things.

7. Handwashing is a way better for the environment

If you have significantly fewer dishes, handwashing might be the only way to keep your plates and bowls clean.

By washing your dishes after every meal, you will never run out of dishes.

The Benefits Of Using A Dishwasher

Modern dishwashers are faster and hygienic. They are designed to be more energy-efficient and use a small amount of water.

Indeed, dishwasher’s benefits primarily have to do with increased convenience.

For large families, a dishwasher is a must-have appliance. However, most people will agree that buying a dishwasher in a single-person household might be unnecessary.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean you cannot use a dishwasher in a single-person apartment.

Like other kitchen appliances like an oven, a dishwasher can be handy if you have a busy life.

You will save a lot of time and don’t need to mind the hassle of handwashing. Fortunately, there are double drawer dishwashers, ideal for washing smaller quantities.


There seems to be a consensus that a dishwasher is a great kitchen appliance when you have many dirty dishes.

This could be interpreted to mean that having a dishwasher in a single-person household is unworthy.

Whether to use a dishwasher or hand wash your dishes, it all depends on you.

Make sure to compare how you will benefit from either option.