What is more sustainable: handwashing or using a dishwasher?

What is more sustainable: handwashing or using a dishwasher?

We are all increasingly thinking about making sustainable choices at home. We separate our waste, try to use less plastic, and seek ways to gradually make our household more sustainable. Even our dishwashing skills are under scrutiny. Because what is actually better: old-fashioned handwashing or using the dishwasher? Marcel explains.


The great battle has begun. Who wins the prize for the most sustainable option? Well... if only it were that simple! Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not so black and white. Why? Because it depends on the quality of your dishwashing skills. Let's delve a little deeper into that.

Research by Milieu Centraal shows that if you put all your dishes in the dishwasher, you use 2 to 3 times more energy per year than if you wash all your dishes by hand. Now you're probably thinking: that settles it, right? But it's a bit more complicated than that. Sometimes, handwashing turns out to be worse for the environment. For example, if the water for your handwashing comes from an electric water heater, or if you pre-rinse or wash with a lot of hot water under a running tap. In that case, a dishwasher is actually better. Why is that? The environmental impact of washing dishes mainly lies in heating the water: it requires gas or electricity. And we all know: the use of fossil fuels exacerbates climate change. The effects of water use and dishwasher or dishwashing detergent are relatively smaller but still important.

Conclusion: that old-fashioned handwashing isn't so bad after all! Marcel also thinks old-fashioned handwashing is the best. That's when you really feel like you're in charge of the dirt. But after reading the text above, it might be a good idea to take a closer look at your dishwashing skills. That way, you can be sure you're doing the dishes in the most economical way.


Are you, like Marcel, a fan of handwashing and want to try to make your dishwashing moments as economical as possible? Then Marcel has a few tips for you:

Use as little hot water as possible. Rinse your dishes first with a little cold water and then do the real work with a fresh, soapy solution of warm water.
Always wash your dishes at the lowest possible temperature. The higher the temperature, the higher the energy consumption.
Don't wash your dishes under a running tap, but fill your sink or a basin and only use the water you've put in it.
Don't use more dishwashing detergent than necessary. You only need to add a small amount of detergent to the water to clean your dishes. A teaspoon is enough for an average load of dishes! Unless you're doing the dishes for the whole neighborhood, of course.
Nice to know: if you really want to make a green choice, combine the above tips with a solar water heater. By heating the water with the sun, you save a lot of energy. Super economical, isn't it?

And finally: don't forget to enjoy a little while washing the dishes! Doing the dishes is the perfect moment to relax and unwind after a busy day at work, listen to your favorite music, or discuss the day with your dishwashing buddy. Oh, and don't forget to add a splash of our ecological dishwashing detergent. These are enriched with essential oils, so washing dishes (we almost hesitate to say it) becomes a real olfactory experience. And while you're immersed in that intense experience, the skin on your hands is also nourished by the gentle foam and enriching ingredients. Could dishwashing become the new spa experience after all?


Before you think we completely disapprove of dishwashers: we also understand the convenience-seeking individual. That's why you'll also find dishwasher tablets at Marcel's Green Soap. But with natural ingredients and at least 97% biodegradable. Like all Marcel's Green Soap products, the dishwasher tablets contain no dyes, parabens, phosphates, chlorine, ammonia, or acids. The dishwasher tablets are packaged in soluble film. This way, you don't have to search for scissors with wet hands to remove the plastic, and we save a lot of plastic. The film dissolves during washing and leaves no plastic residue in the sewer. Fantastic, right? So, you can still use your dishwasher sustainably. But there's always room for improvement.


Yes, really, even with a dishwasher, you still have control over how economically you do your dishes. If you want to use your dishwasher as economically as possible, take a look at Marcel's tips below:

Wait until your dishwasher is completely full before running it. This way, it doesn't have to be used as often. Make it a fun challenge to load your dishwasher as tightly as possible. Think of it as a game of Tetris ;-)
It may be obvious, but use the eco-program on your dishwasher. According to the Consumers' Association, you can save up to €20 per year compared to the main program. It's also good for your wallet. And if you have heavily soiled pans, let them soak in a small amount of water first.
Don't rinse your dishes under a running tap first! You'll use twice as much water that way. Just wipe the food residue off your plates and put them straight into the dishwasher. This way, the filter won't get clogged, and your dishes will get cleaner, preventing unnecessary extra cycles.
If you're about to buy a new dishwasher, make sure you choose an energy-efficient model. Preferably one with an A+++ energy label, then you know you're making the right choice.


Whether you prefer handwashing or using the dishwasher, with Marcel's Green Soap ecological dishwashing detergent, you're making a sustainable choice. Saying yes to Marcel's ecological dishwashing detergent means saying no to petrochemicals, synthetic, and aggressive chemicals. Marcel's ecological dishwashing detergent and dishwasher tablets are made from plant-based soaps and are therefore environmentally friendly, safe for your home, and your body. So you don't have to worry about the mess you're washing down the drain, and even your hands are nourished by the gentle foam during handwashing. Win-win, if you ask us.
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