Dish Washing

In cut indoor water use, save water

It takes a lot of water to produce the food we eat, the energy we use and all the things that we buy. Use our water saving tips below to reduce your water use while washing your dishes. You’ll find lots of ways to shrink your water footprint.

Get a dishwasher. They almost always use less water than washing dishes by hand, especially with water- and energy-efficient models (just make sure to only run the dishwasher when it’s full). Hand washing one load of dishes can use 20 gallons of water, whereas water- and energy-efficient dishwaters use as little as 4.5 gallons. Over time, that’s a big difference!

Learn more about ENERGY STAR water- and energy-efficient dishwashers.

Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage more. Or even better, compost those scraps. Learn more about kitchen composting.

When you do wash dishes by hand, try using a little water to get your sponge soapy and wet, then turning off the faucet until you’re ready to rinse a bunch of dishes at once. Better yet, plug the sink or get a tub to wash dishes in so you don’t need to let the water run.