Using a dishwasher seems to be less wasteful. Washing dishes by hand uses 27 gallons of water and 2.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy to wash 12 place settings, compared with the 4 gallons and 1.5 kWh used by a hyperefficient dishwasher to wash the same number of dishes.
I think it would depend on how many dishes you are washing. If you are only washing 1 dish, it would most likely be more energy efficient to wash it by hand. However, if you are washing 10 dishes, then a dishwasher would be the way to go in terms of saving energy. It would also be an added benefit if your dishwasher is energy efficient.
Using a dishwasher
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