Is It Worth Getting A Dishwasher For Just 1 Person?

Living alone comes with its own set of perks and challenges. One common dilemma is whether investing in appliances, especially a dishwasher is worth it for a solo dweller. 

After all, washing a couple of utensils daily might seem manageable, but is there more to consider? If you ask us, the decision will involve considering costs, maintenance, and the practicality of having enough dishes to justify if there’s really a need to buy one. 

Let’s look into the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision to see whether  getting a dishwasher is the right choice for you.

Will You Benefit From Getting A Dishwasher?

For larger households, the advantages of a dishwasher are clear. When you have to wash a mountain of plates, it’s a no-brainer that having an appliance that you can just load and leave to clean your cutlery is a necessity. 

loading a dishwasher

But if you live solo, the decision might not be as straightforward. To make your decision-making process easier, let’s explore the pros and cons of owning a dishwasher:


It Will Save Time

Time is a precious commodity, and a dishwasher can be a significant time-saver. 

No more standing at the sink scrubbing dishes – simply load them into the dishwasher, start the cycle, and multitask while it works its magic. This not only frees up time but also keeps your hands away from potentially harsh detergents.

It Will Save Water

Contrary to the belief that handwashing saves water, modern dishwashers are designed to be water-efficient. 

open dishwasher

According to the experts, washing dishes and cookware in the sink uses more water, and it’s a huge difference too. Especially with energy-efficient dishwashers that just use around 15 litres of water for washing several utensils, handwashing the same cookware may require you to use around 75 litres of water.

It Is More Eco-Friendly

In the UK, there are energy labels that will tell you exactly how much energy it will need to operate, and compare it to other appliances. Of course, the higher the rating it has, the more friendly it is for the environment, and you’ll end up reducing your ecological footprint by a huge margin. 

If this is something that’s important to you, you can even choose dishwashers that have an eco-mode or energy-saving setting. Using this setting will allow you to use less energy as the dishwasher will use a colder temperature to wash your utensils, while still making them spotless. 

It Will Make Your Dishes Cleaner

A dishwasher is engineered in a way that removes the bacteria and grease on your utensils at a faster rate and uses less water, making it more convenient for you to keep your cookware clean and spotless. 

clean dishware

Using a dishwasher is also much more hygienic, as long as you also make sure to clean it regularly. Just put your used utensils inside, follow the user manual on the right way to load your dishwasher, choose the right setting, and let it do its job. 

Meanwhile, you can do your laundry, or even take a nap while your plates get clean. 

It Will Help Reduce Clutter

Using a dishwasher allows you to free your countertops from a considerable amount clutter. You don’t have to place all your glasses, plates, pots, and other cookware on a countertop or a part of your sink just to wait for them to dry. 

If you think drying utensils on a countertop is an eyesore, having a dishwasher will be a nice addition to your kitchen. 


It Can Be Expensive

Owning a dishwasher will take a substantial amount of money as an investment. First, you’ll have to pay for the appliance upfront, and if you want an eco-friendly machine, it will be a tad more expensive than the other dishwashers. 

Of course, buying a B or A-rated dishwasher will prove to be more beneficial in the long run, as they will also save energy and water costs. 

Aside from having to pay for buying and running the machine, you’ll also need to get dishwashing tablets, powders, or pods, although you will not use much for a solo household. 

Finally, there will come a time when the appliance will need maintenance, so you’ll have to factor that into your budget. 

TIP: Make sure to get the dishwasher that will fit your needs. Do your research and see which one will be enough for a single person, you don’t want to purchase an expensive dishwasher that will be overkill for your daily needs. 

It Will Require A Bit Of Space

If you already have a cramped space, adding a dishwasher may not be your best choice. 

When looking into buying an appliance, make sure to take note of its dimensions. Get a measuring tape and see if it’ll fit your space, or you’ll just give yourself a headache. 

If space is a challenge for you, a compact tabletop dishwasher may be exactly what you need. It will need less space than the traditional dishwashers and is also perfect for a single-person household due to its size. 

COMFEE' KWH-TD602E-W Freestanding Compact Dishwasher, LED display, 6.5 liters, White, Noise level: decibels 47
  • 【6 Place Setting】 – With a flexible & useful racking system, our dishwasher can fit up to 67 pieces of tableware, and a plate size of up to 250mm. With 6 place setting capacity, it’s the perfect size for up to 2-3 people
  • 【Delay Start Function】 – With the option to delay wash cycles between 1 to 24 hours, COMFEE' dishwasher allows you to delay the start of your wash cycle to a time that suits you the most and benefits you from off-peak power rates

It Will Need A Decent Number Of Dishes To Fill It Up

Most dishwashers operate optimally when filled to capacity. For solo dwellers, this may mean waiting for a pile-up of dishes before starting a cycle. 

If you are planning to get a dishwasher, consider its capacity and your needs. If you have a lot of plates and you have no issues with letting utensils pile up before they get cleaned, then get a dishwasher.

Of course, you can always get a smaller capacity dishwasher if you think the regular ones will be a trouble to fill. 

Dishwasher Vs Handwashing – Which Is Better?

The debate between using a dishwasher and handwashing utensils can be unending, but deciding which is better will ultimately boil down to your preferences.

using dishwasher or washing utensils by hand

Here is a simple table to help compare the advantages and disadvantages of the two:

Handwashing Cutlery

Handwashing gives you direct control over the cleaning of your cutlery, and you can scrub according to your likingYou will use more water
You will be able to preserve your delicate items and fine china betterTime-consuming, especially if you have lots of cutlery to wash
If you only have a few utensils to wash, handwashing will allow you to clean them at a quicker rateCan irritate the skin, especially if you have skin allergies

Using A Dishwasher

Dishwashers save you a lot of time, which is perfect if you have a busy scheduleBuying a dishwasher requires a significant investment upfront
Modern dishwashers are energy and water-efficientIt will require a fair amount of space in the kitchen
Sanitises and cleans cutlery better than handwashingCertain items like cast iron pans may not be suitable to be cleaned in a dishwasher

Do You Need A Dishwasher?

In conclusion, whether getting a dishwasher for just one person is worth it depends on your preferences, budget, and available space. 

If you value time efficiency, environmental friendliness, and the convenience of a clutter-free kitchen, a dishwasher might be a beneficial addition to your solo living arrangements. 

Consider the pros and cons, weigh your priorities, and make a choice that aligns with your lifestyle!

Do you have questions? Feel free to leave a comment below!

SEE ALSO: Whirlpool Dishwasher Cycles Explained

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a dishwasher worth it if you live alone?

It depends on your priorities and lifestyle. If you value time efficiency, water savings, and a clutter-free kitchen, a dishwasher might be worth it for a single person.

How often should a single person run the dishwasher?

The frequency depends on your dish usage. Running the dishwasher when it’s near full optimises efficiency. For some, it might be every day, while others might wait a couple of days.

Is it OK to use a dishwasher every day?

Yes, it’s generally okay to use a dishwasher every day if you have enough dishes to fill it. Modern dishwashers are designed for daily use, and it can be more water-efficient than handwashing.

Why does using the eco mode on a dishwasher take so long?

The eco mode on dishwashers uses lower water temperatures to save energy. The longer cycle ensures thorough cleaning with reduced energy consumption.

How long is the normal wash in the dishwasher?

The duration varies, but a standard dishwasher cycle usually lasts around 1.5 to 2.5 hours. It depends on the machine, the selected settings, and the level of soiling on the dishes.

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