What is more sustainable: Hand Washing or Dishwasher? | Marcel's Green Soap

What is more sustainable: Hand Washing or Dishwasher?

dishwasher or hand washing

We are all thinking more and more about making sustainable choices at home. We separate our waste, try to use less plastic and look for ways to make our household more sustainable bit by bit. Our dishwashing skills also have to rely on it. Because which is actually better: an old-fashioned hand wash or the dishwasher? Marcel explains.


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

Research by Milieu Centraal shows that if you put all the dishes in your dishwasher, you use 2 to 3 times as much energy per year than if you wash all dishes by hand. Now you're probably thinking: isn't that the answer? But this is all a bit more complicated. Sometimes hand washing is actually worse for the environment. For example, if the water for your hand dishes comes from an electrical appliance for hot water, you pre-rinse with plenty of warm water or wash dishes under the running tap. If this is the case, a dishwasher is actually better. How come? The environmental impact of washing dishes is mainly due to the heating of the water: gas or electricity is required for this. And we all know: the use of fossil fuels amplifies climate change.

Conclusion: that old-fashioned hand washing is not so crazy after all! Marcel also likes old-fashioned hand washing the best. Then you really feel in control of the dirt. But after reading the text above, it might also be a good idea to take a closer look at your dishwashing skills. This way you can be sure that you do the dishes in the most economical way.


Are you, like Marcel, a fan of hand washing and do you want to try to make your washing up as economical as possible? Then Marcel has a few tips for you:

  • Use as little hot water as possible. For example, first rinse your dishes with a little bit of cold water and then do the real work with fresh soapy warm water.

  • Always wash your dishes at the lowest possible temperature. The higher the temperature, the higher the energy consumption.

  • Do not wash your dishes under a running tap, but fill your sink or a tub and only use the water that you have let run in it.

  • Do not use more detergent than necessary. You only need to add a little bit of detergent to the water to get your dishes clean. For an average dish, a teaspoon is enough! Unless you wash the entire neighborhood, of course.

Nice to know: if you really want to make a green choice, go for the tips above in combination with a solar water heater. Because the water is heated by the sun, you save a lot of energy. So super economical!

And finally: don't forget to enjoy the washing up a bit! Doing the dishes is the perfect time to relax after a busy day at work, listen to your favorite music or talk through the day with your dishwashing buddy. Oh, and don't forget a splash of our ecological dishwashing liquid . These are enriched with essential oils, so that washing dishes (we dare not say it) becomes a real 'fragrance experience'. And while you are absorbed by that intense experience, the skin of your hands is also cared for by the soft foam and the enriching ingredients. Could washing up become the new spa experience?


Before you think we completely disapprove of that dishwasher: we also understand the convenience-seeking fellow man. That is why you will also find dishwasher tablets at Marcel's Green Soap . But full of 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 packed in a soluble foil. This way you don't have to look for scissors with your wet hands to remove the plastic, and it also saves a lot of plastic. The foil dissolves during washing and leaves no plastic residue in the sewer. Fantastic, isn't it? This way you can still use your dishwasher in a sustainable way. But of course it can always be even better.


Yes, really, even with a dishwasher you still have influence on how economically you do your dishes. If you want to use your dishwasher as economically as possible, read Marcel's tips below:

  • Wait to run until your dishwasher is completely full. That way you don't have to use it as often. Make it a fun challenge to organize your dishwasher as neatly as possible. Think of it like a game of Tetris ;-)

  • Put your dishwasher on the eco setting. According to the Consumers' Association, this will save you about £17 per year compared to the main programme. And if you have extremely messy pans, let them soak in a small layer of water first.

  • Do not rinse your dishes under a running tap first! Then you use twice as much water. Just wipe the leftovers from your plate and then your plates can go straight into the dishwasher. This way the filter will not clog and your dishes will be cleaned better, which in turn prevents unnecessary extra washes.

  • If you are about to purchase a new dishwasher, check carefully whether you are choosing an economical one. Preferably one with an A+++ energy label, then you know for sure that you are in the right place.



Whether you prefer to wash by hand or put your dishwasher to work, with the ecological detergent from Marcel's Green Soap you make a sustainable choice. If you say yes to Marcel's ecological dishwashing detergent, you are saying no to petrochemicals, synthetic and aggressive chemicals. Marcel's ecological detergent and dishwasher tablets are made from vegetable soaps and are therefore friendly to the environment, your home and your body. So you don't have to worry about the mess you flush down the drain and your hands are even nicely cared for by the soft foam during hand washing. Win-win if you ask us.

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