Is it Worth having a Dishwasher for One Person?

Last Updated on March 14, 2022 by

If you live alone, you may be contemplating the idea of buying a dishwasher. So, is it worth having a dishwasher for one person? Perhaps, it sounds better to get one than have dishes pile up throughout the week for an hour wash every few days.

It is worth having a dishwasher for one person, it makes the difference for a single-person household. And if you are busy, the dishwasher saves you time and effort. Dishwashers are more water and energy-efficient than you think.

Apart from the time and energy, a dishwasher is built to enhance your hygienic life. Typical contemporary dishwashers feature antibacterial functionalities that eliminate bacteria. Thus, keeping you healthy 

Does a single person need a dishwasher?

If you enjoy hand washing dishes, you would be predisposed not to think about whether you need a dishwasher or not. Besides, you stay alone, and may only cook once a few days.

Some singles have a “puritanical notion” that they cannot run dishwashers when it is half-full and may take some days to fill one. Storing the dishes for the period may also have things getting a little stinky.

It may also not be practical that you have to leave the dishes you use frequently waiting in the dishwasher until it is reasonably full. The scenario is quite different when washing up for a larger household or after a dinner party.

But we would not rule out the fact that dishwashers save time and effort when you are busy. And compared to manual washing, a dishwasher’s automatic cleaning is more efficient and hygienic

Regarding saving time, you do not have to be in the kitchen washing dishes, pots, or pans. You load them into your dishwasher to do the wash.

Benefits of a small dishwasher

Below are some of the conveniences a dishwasher brings:

  • Cheaper options

A portable dishwasher is less expensive, and easily transportable compared to the fixed ones. The installation process is hassle-free, and may not usually require making plumbing or cabinetry changes.

A portable dishwasher for one person, thus, keeps you from getting a new dishwasher whenever you switch apartments.

  • Antibacterial

A decent dishwasher features built-in heaters that increase the water temperature to 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the temperature food experts recommend for eliminating bacteria, and manufacturers for optimal performance.

Although dishwashers with heaters go up to 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit, you can turn this down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to cut down energy costs.

  • Space

A portable dishwasher brings an additional counter space. It is practically a free kitchen table for your kitchen which can clutter quickly.

A dishwasher also brings an extra surface foot to place things. If you invest in a dishwasher with bottom wheels, you can easily move it around to create more space. It is merely a mini counter you can transport within and outside your small kitchen.

  • Fits all apartments

Small dishwashers fit a single person’s household notwithstanding the kitchen layout. They do not take up space on the floor, and do not necessarily require proper plumbing or cabinetry.

How often should a single person run the dishwasher?

A single person can leave their dishes in the dishwasher for the next day. You would be wasting energy when you run a dishwasher that is not full. But if you have a bit more resources to put out, you can run the dishwasher daily or after every one day or two.

However, not using a dishwasher for prolonged periods can develop pipe, motor problems, and in extreme cases a broken machine. The dishwasher motor seals will dry out, which would lead to bigger problems with the water pump or not running at all.

Is it cheaper to wash dishes by hand or use the dishwasher?

It is cheaper to wash dishes by hand than to use the dishwasher. Although it feels more virtuous when you wash dishes by hand, it is more wasteful than when your dishwasher does the job.

NRDC claims that hand wash uses up to 27 gallons of water per load while an Energy Star-rated dishwasher can use as little as 3 gallons only. You could just scrape off the food scraps instead of pre-rinsing the dishes before loading them.

It is clear enough that a portable dishwasher is far more efficient compared to washing dishes by hand. A dishwasher is faster, safer, less expensive, and smart enough to automate washing. It helps to replenish the needed energy when you run out.

Home water heaters are typically set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding. Thus, when the water gets hot from the tap, hand washing becomes difficult or uncomfortable. If you try to wash at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you would be exposing the dishes to high temperatures.

Does dishwasher increase electric bill?

The base electricity usage of a dishwasher is inexpensive compared to what you think. For instance, a 1200-watt dishwasher model with an hour load time will use about 1.2 kilowatt-hours (kWh). If the electricity plan is 10 cents per kWh, the cost is estimated at 12 cents per load.

Meanwhile, the US average cost per kWh is about $0.13, and suppose you run a dishwasher up to an hour 5 days weekly. The cost of your electricity bill for that week will amount to about $1.17.

The electricity bill you pay on your dishwasher in a single household also depends on your dishwashing habits. If you wash the dishes mostly when they are fully loaded, it costs even less than washing by hand.

Peak hours typically vary slightly depending on the area. The rule of thumb regarding the cheapest time to run your dishwasher is at night. People tend to turn off the lights and some appliances at night, keeping the grid less busy.

Your dishwasher does not have to run at a particular time each day. If it is not full, you do not have to run it. You can leave the dishes in the dishwasher to clean another day or automatically wash some other time.

In essence, a dishwasher does not consume energy anywhere near what you think.

Do you save more money using a dishwasher?

You save more money using a dishwasher. Apart from saving money, a dishwasher also saves more energy, so you have fewer bills to cover. Plus, it makes your single household more energy-efficient and smarter.

If you argue between a dishwasher versus hand washing cost, a dishwasher will win. As opposed to popular belief, you do not have to pre-rinse dishes, which consume more water. Simply scrape food leftovers into the compost bin before you load the dishwasher to wash the rest.

Apart from wasting water, pre-rinsing your dishes may not necessarily bring the best results. Many modern dishwashers feature sensors that identify dirt on your plates and will apply suitable jet strength to get rid of dirt and stubborn stains.

The idea is that pre-rinsing may incorrectly tell the dishwasher that you only need a light dish wash. Note that you have to load the dishes in your dishwasher properly. Ensure to stack the dishes in a way that allows them to be washed and filled reasonably.

Best dishwasher for one person

This section of the publication suggests the dishwashers you need for a single household. Perhaps, you do not require a huge dishwasher since you may not have so many dish jobs to handle anyway.

Below are the best dishwashers for one person:

IAGREEA Store portable countertop dishwasher, compact mini dishwasher

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IAGREEA Store is giving you a dishwasher that weighs 25.35 lbs and can handle your dishwashing portably. Its noise level reaches just 55dB, low enough not to disturb your ears.

Other features you get from this dishwasher includes the following:


This portable countertop dishwasher by IAGREEA is built not to leak to damage. It uses an integrated production technology with an internal structure that prevents water leakage. This means every wash cycle has no chance of leakage.

Source of water

This dishwasher uses a faucet diverter set, and it does not affect using your kitchen faucet normally. There are 3 ways of installing it and it works with many kitchen faucets.

The engineering behind the water supply with a water pipe connection makes sure your water source is cleaner than ever for your dishes. If you face faucet installation difficulties, contact the IAGREEA service center.

Bring the fruit to clean

Apart from the dishes, you can wash your fruits and vegetables in the basket. You could also soak the fruits to give them a thorough and healthy wash.


It is thoughtfully built with an LED touch screen display for convenience. The display faces you and is always ready to receive commands.

This dishwasher uses a large transparent glass window to let you watch hard stains being cleaned off the dishes in real-time.

Wash cycle

There are 7 wash cycle options to select from this dishwasher model. They include fruit, glass, heavy, norm, infant, eco, and speedy modes. After the wash, the ‘store’ mode provides a 72-hour ventilated storage to eliminate the bad smell, keeping the dishes fresh.

The store feature is not automatically turned on to save energy, so you do it yourself. [easyazon_link identifier=”B09QSV4FCC” locale=”US” tag=”realkal-20″]Click here to see on Amazon[/easyazon_link]

Farberware FDW05ASBWHA complete portable countertop dishwasher

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Farberware FDW05ASBWHA is another excellent dishwasher for one person with the contemporary touch for your small apartment. It fits the space on your countertop, and any little space it can to help you when busy.

Apart from its compact size, FDW05ASBWHA also offers the following features:

Wash modes

There are 5 featured wash modes, including rapid, fruit, baby care, glass, and normal all in this compact dishwasher. Moreover, its upper and lower spray arms bring your dishes streak-free deep cleaning handwashing lacks.


The design is quite physically compact, nonetheless, this dishwasher can accommodate a variety of dishes. If you had to handle your after-dinner away from your small apartment, you could take this dishwasher with you to the boat, dorm, or RV.

No hookup

Unlike the large dishwasher for a large household, this dishwasher lets you fill the built-in tank without water hookup. Its portability also means it is not tightly affixed to the cabinet and plumbing.

It arrives with a water hose for direct water hookup to your small kitchen faucet. You have to get an adapter yourself.


You can get steam when you switch to the baby care wash cycle. This mode gives glassware a sparkling wash and sanitize baby bottles. Since you probably live alone or as a single mom of one, your child gets to enjoy the healthy bottled treatment.

Fruit wash

The fruit wash cycle is designed to handle your fruits and vegetables excellently. While you focus on other food ingredients or raw materials to prepare your food, your single-household dishwasher does the washing. [easyazon_link identifier=”B07VR22832″ locale=”US” tag=”realkal-20″]Click here to see on Amazon[/easyazon_link]

Tips to save more money

Your biggest concern is to save money, and you have been guaranteed cost savings when you invest in a portable dishwasher. The installation itself is low-cost, and so are other things, including the electricity bill.

Save more money in the following ways:

  • Regular cleaning. Clean your portable dishwasher regularly to prevent the filter and spray arm from getting clogged with bits of food, soap scum, and limescale. A clogger dishwasher is not efficient and would increase operational costs.
  • Speed up evaporation. When your dishwasher completes a wash cycle, leave it open immediately to dismiss the heat while the dishes are still hot. This means you skip using the heated dry setting, which saves more energy, and of course, more money.
  • Buy a modern model. Older dishwasher models may be cheaper but are nothing close to energy-saving. Many contemporary models are designed to resolve the problems of high energy consumption, and, thus, worth all your penny.

Do not run the dishwasher if you have AC. The air conditioning system in your home will overwork during the warmest part of a summer day if your dishwasher is running. The dishwasher brings in additional heat, meaning that air conditioning must work harder to ventilate the apartment. This, unfortunately, results in increased energy consumption.