How much does it cost to run a dishwasher?

Could your dishwasher be taking a load out of your finances? (Picture: Getty)

With the energy crisis seeing household bills soar across the country, you might be looking at ways of cutting costs any which way you can.

The first step is understanding which of your household appliances are costing you the most money to use, and limiting how often you use them.

Do you need to be loaded before running a load in the dishwasher?

Let’s find out how much each wash cycle is setting you back on average.

How much does a dishwasher cost to run?

To answer this, first we must look at the average cost of electricity right now.

According to The Energy Shop, the average price of electricity per kilowatt hours of energy (kWh) ranges from 36p to 38p, depending on the provider.

Open dishwasher with clean dishes and cutlery

Is the price of convenience getting too high? (Picture: Getty)

If we take an average price of 37p per/kWh, therefore, we can work out how much running your dishwasher will cost you.

The average dishwasher uses 1.5kWh on a standard setting, according to Uswitch.

A dishwasher load can take anywhere between one and four hours, depending on the setting you pick, so let’s say two hours (again, to get a ‘happy medium’ average).

If you use your dishwasher once per day for two hours, you’re looking at £1.11 per wash (£0.37 x 3kWh).

At this rate, if you use it every day, that’s £7.77 a week If you use it every day for a year, that’s £404.04 – and this is just an estimated average.

Handwashing might save you a few quid, but it could also help lower your carbon footprint.

According to, standard dishwasher cycle uses three to six gallons of water.

And if you’re one of those who rinses the dish before popping it in the dishwasher anyway, you could be wasting up to 27 gallons of water per load.

How to save money when using your dishwasher

There are a few tips you can try to cut down on dishwasher running costs:

  • Only put it on when you have a full load – However, be sure to not overload, as this can impact the quality of the clean
  • Maintain your dishwasher – Make sure you regularly use dishwasher cleaner to ensure that it is running efficiently
  • Skip the pre-rinse – Most modern dishwashers are powerful enough to get the grime off without needed a pre-rinse
  • Keep it cool – Turning the water tank’s thermostat down to 120 degrees results in additional energy savings without compromising on cleanliness
  • Use fewer dishes – Simple, reuse cups and cutlery instead of getting fresh ones out every time
  • Consider upgrading your dishwasher to an energy-saving model – If you spend a little more upfront on a quality machine and you could save money over time

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