The longstanding debate between about dishwashing has finally be resolved by math, which says hand-washing your dishes is bad for your wallet as well as the environment.
If you've purchased a dishwasher within the last ten years, it's probably far more water efficient than doing the dishes by hand in the sink. That's largely thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program, which sets guidelines for the energy efficiency of consumer goods. Any dishwasher that meets the Energy Star standards must use less than 270 kWh per year and 3.5 gallons per cycle.
That 3.5 gallons a cycle is actually quite a bit less then what you would use by hand-washing your dishes. Most kitchen faucets pump out two gallons a minute. So if it takes two minutes to fill your sink with water, you've already exceeded the amount of water that your dishwasher would go through. That means hand-washing is "a colossal waste of water, energy, time and money," according to Lifehacker's A.A. Newton.
So if you happen top be one of the unlucky souls who doesn't have a dishwasher, this could be your excuse to splurge — as if the huge amount of time saving wasn't already enough.