3 Best Dishwasher for Water Consumption Efficiency with Good Economy

Last Updated on April 1, 2022 by

Experts claim dishwashers consume less water than handwashing, but could it be ploy manufacturers use to market their machines? This publication reviews the best dishwasher for water consumption efficiency, as well as verifies if the dishwasher is indeed water-efficient.

The best dishwasher for low water consumption efficiency should feature a soil sensor, and be designed for extended wash time and water recirculation. It should support multiple wash cycles, and most importantly, be Energy Star certified.

It is true that dishwashers consume less water and are also more gentle compared to handwashing. However, not all dishwashers are water-efficient. While some will take just 2-3 gallons in one cycle, others consume as much as 6 gallons or more.

Read also: Purifying water with a dispenser could be healthier than you think

Hard or soft: what water does a dishwasher use?

Dishwasher water uses mostly soft water. Hard water requires more detergent for optimal dishwashing while software typically uses less detergent. Too much detergent in soft water may result in the etching of glassware.

Hard water

Hard water uses a high level of dissolved minerals like magnesium and calcium. The water gets even harder as the concentration of dissolved minerals increases.

The hardness of water is measured in grains of hardness per gallon of water. If you do not know if the water in your area is hard, get in touch with your county extension agent or water utility company. Politely request the number of hardness grains in the water.

Hard water builds up in your dishwasher, affecting how well it cleans. However, with high-quality dishwasher detergent, the hardness can be prevented from causing reduced dishwasher performance.

Meanwhile, here is a detergent to use for your Bosch dishwasher.

Soft water

Many dishwashers use a water softener, which softens water as the name implies. This is usually a feature you can enable or disable if you want spotlessly clean dishes.

Hard water does not dissolve the detergent properly but softened water dissolves the detergent typically too readily, which may create more suds than your dishwasher can take

Sometimes, this can result in leaks and residual soap bubbles on the dishes and glassware. If this is the case, use less detergent when washing the dishes.

Do dishwashers use hot or cold water?

A dishwasher uses hot water to clean the dishes, glassware, and other kitchen utensils. Warm water also works well for cleaning your dishes, and sometimes depends on the selected wash program by turning down the heat.

Warm water can also break down food and minimize residues left behind. Nonetheless, the hotter the water, the better your machine cleans.

Cold water connections do not hurt dishwashers. Many dishwashers can take water near 120 degrees Fahrenheit and heat it to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cold water supply takes more time for the dishwasher to heat to the required 150 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures.

How much water does an average dishwasher use?

Experts have confirmed that your kitchen sink runs 4 gallons of water per 2 minutes. However, a dishwasher will use just 4 gallons in one wash cycle.

This means you have to wash your dishes in below 2 minutes to be more efficient than an Energy Star-rated dishwasher.

If you are not sure about having an Energy Star certified dishwasher, refer to the owner’s manual. Dishwashers from two decades ago in over 75% of households are likely certified.

Moreover, smaller dish loads will save more water and clean spotlessly when you use a reliable dishwasher and the recommended high-quality dishwasher detergent.

Combining a new Energy Start-rated dishwasher and high-quality detergent saves you up to $130 each year on your energy bill compared to washing dishes by hand.

Best dishwasher for water consumption

This section of the publication reviews water-efficient dishwashers to boost your water economy and save cost.

If you must buy a dishwasher outside this recommendation, just make sure the features are close to what we have here, and at least Energy Star-rated.

Consider the best dishwasher for water consumption below:

Danby 18 Inch Built-in Dishwasher, 8 Place Settings, 6 Wash Cycles, and 4 Temperature + Sanitize Option, Energy Star Rated with Low Water Consumption and Quiet Operation – White (DDW1804EW)

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Let’s start with Danby, a brand up there with the big names you know. And most importantly, this dishwasher consumes just 2-3 gallons of water in one cycle.

Below are the observations using this Danby DDW1804EW dishwasher:

Energy Star

It comes with the Energy Star certificate, so you can tell it is the low-water consumption dishwasher your household needs.


This is a built-in dishwasher that holds 8 place settings and one silverware basket. Enough for a large household, and can accommodate guests.

6 Wash cycles

With up to 6 wash cycles, you have the freedom to select any cycle your dishes need the most. The cycles include rinse, normal, eco, heavy, glass, and rapid.

You also get 4 hot water temperature options and sanitize features that reach 69C/156F.


Like many exotic dishwashers, the DDW1804EW from Danby uses a stainless steel tub. This means it can withstand your daily use over the years.

Delay start

You can pre-select the desired start time, allowing your dishes to get washed on your preferred schedule. This automation saves you from the stress of walking up to the dishwasher to get it started.

Smart wash

Smart wash is a unique Danby feature that automatically detects and wash dirty dishes like a short wash cycle.


With the digital display and electronic controls, you can seamlessly manage this dishwasher with the simple touch of buttons.


Low noise

It may not be the quietest but a built-in at only 52db is a masterpiece. This is quieter than a normal conversation.

Energy Star

This machine is Energy Star compliant. Less water means fewer bills.


It also has a few downsides:

Not completely equipped for built-in

You only receive a base plate cover and a drain hose. No hot water, elbow hose, or hose clamp for the drain is included.

No dishwashing pods

You cannot use pods for this dishwasher according to Danby. However, some consumers report using pods without side effects.

No garbage disposer

Unfortunately, this dishwasher has no garbage disposal unit. However, it uses a filter screen to collect the remaining food remains from the dishes.

No water softener compartment

This machine does not have a water softener compartment. You need to directly hose soft water to it.

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EdgeStar DWP62SV 6 Place Setting Energy Star Rated Portable Countertop Dishwasher – Silver

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If you need a countertop dishwasher, then the EdgeStar DWP62SV is your go-to solution. This machine combines compactness with water efficiency.

It offers the following:


A compact dishwasher with 6 standard place settings is worth the money. It stands at just over 17 inches tall but employs a low profile that fits under most cabinetry. No permanent installation is required.

Water consumption

DWP62SV consumes just 2-3 gallons of water per wash cycle. And if used in a small household, dorm, camper, or boat, imagine how much more water you would be saving.

7 wash cycles

Despite its compactness, it has up to 7 wash cycles designed to hold up to 6 place settings. Each of these cycles can spotlessly clean your stainless steel utensils.

Rinse agent dispenser

It uses a pre-installed rinse agent dispenser, which reduces water spotting on your glasses and dishes, even with its efficient use of water.

Digital control

Controlling this dishwasher is made even easier. Thanks to its electronic controls and a digital display that attract convenient controls.



The interior of this dishwasher is stainless steel, which lasts longer than plastic.

Faucet and hose availability

It comes with a faucet adapter and a 5-foot hose for hooking up to any faucet.

Energy Star

This is an Energy Star certified dishwasher.

Low noise

Not the lowest noise machine. However, at ‎a 52.3 dB sound level, this countertops dishwasher operates below the noise level of human conversation. Follow these steps to make your EdgeStar even quieter.


No extended warranty

Just a regular 1 year limited warranty.

No wheels

This dishwasher sits on your counter, so it requires no wheels to move it about. It is far lighter than portables and built-ins.

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Read also: Best dishwashers we recommend to consumers for Airbnb 5 star

SD-6502W: Energy Star 24″ Built-In Stainless Steel Tall Tub Dishwasher w/Smart Wash System & Heated Drying – White

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The SD-6502W is another dishwasher we have followed up on and have been opportune to test use it long enough to say, “go and buy it”.

It is a built-in 24′ inch dishwasher for any household looking to reduce the gallons of water used in the kitchen. ‎This dishwasher uses only 2 gallons per cycle.


This is a 14 place setting dishwasher with the specialty Smart Wash system built to handle larger household dish-washing needs. It is quite generous in terms of space.

Racks and wash programs

Features 2 dishwasher racks, atop cutlery rack, and up to 6 wash programs. You can use the delay start to schedule dishwashing. Note that the racks may be a bit expensive.

Smart wash

The unique Smart Wash system detects soil levels and automatically starts a suitable wash cycle for optimal efficiency.

Spray arms

The SD-6502W uses 4 spray arms for additional steam and vortex wash options to deep clean soiled dishes.


Fault codes

This is a dishwasher that displays fault codes so that you can easily tell where something goes wrong.

Energy Star

An Energy Star-rated dishwasher that exceeds federal guidelines for energy efficiency. Remember, less water is equal to cost-saving.


This is a stainless steel interior dishwasher.

Low noise

At 55 dB, the noise is quiet enough but not super quiet.


Its downsides:

No side mounting brackets

The manufacturer does not include side mounting brackets.

Hard food disposer

There is no hard food disposer in this dishwasher.

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What to look for in a low-water consuming dishwasher

Before you buy the beat dishwasher for water consumption efficiency, look out for the following features:

  1. Soil sensor

A dishwasher with a soil sensor is able to fine-tune the cleaning process to reduce the amount of water used. A soil sensor is a technology that easily detects stains on dishes, adjusts the cycle time, and the amount of water to squeaky-clean the dishes and glasses.

  1. Extended wash time and water recirculation

Buy a dishwasher that has extended wash times and recirculates water to clean dishes. This is a dishwasher system manufacturers employ to meet water use standards measured by the likes of Energy Star.

Some dishwashers can take 90 minutes or up to 3 hours to complete a full load in a normal cycle or its equivalent, which saves water.

  1. Energy Star label

Energy Star dishwashers use less than 3.5 gallons of water per cycle, and a dishwasher must reach 0.65 to get the Energy Star label.

If your dishwasher is not Energy Star rated, it may be consuming up to 6 gallons or more, which is a lot. You would even be better off handwashing in this case to save cost.

If you have an aged dishwasher, it could be consuming more water, which increases your bills. You want a replacement dishwasher to help focus your expenses on other bills.

  1. Support for multiple wash cycles

Pick a dishwasher that supports multiple cycle options you can select from depending on the dishes you want to wash to save water.

If your dishes are lightly soiled, a light cycle is better used than a full cycle, which takes more water.

  1. Steam wash

Some dishwashers use steam cleaning cycles, which use the energy from heating water to steam dishes. This saves the water used in the cycle. Meanwhile, you may be interested in best dishwashers out there with air dry instead of steam.

How can I reduce the water usage in my dishwasher?

Below are tips to reduce water usage in your dishwasher:

  1. Do not pre-rinse dishes

According to Energy Star, you use up to 20 gallons of water by pre-rinsing dishes. If your dishwasher uses a soil sensor, rinsing the dishes work against you.

This is because the sensor will detect that the dishes are fairly clean, and so it will run a light wash instead of full. The result could be stuck pieces of food on the dishes.

Instead of pre-rinsing, simply scrape food from plates before loading them.

  1. Run a full load

After scraping off the food, you want to run a full load even if it means waiting for a few days to run the dishwasher. Dishwashing a few dishes, glassware, and other kitchen utensils increase the amount of water you use.

If your dishwasher has the rinse and holds cycle, use it to prevent the dirty dishes from producing a funky odor after a few days.

Finally, ensure to use the recommended dishwasher detergent to improve cleaning performance.