I was arguing with my wife over which dishwasher program to use. I want to use the eco program because it is most environmentally friendly, but she countered that the long program (3:30h) puts more strain on the dishes and results in them having to be changed more frequently. Also she is attached to her dishes. Therefore she would rather use the short program for 0:30h. I imagine it is difficult to calculate the exact environmental impact of the dishes being used out by the dishwasher, because it depends at what point of wear the person would change the dishes.

But I want to question my wife's premise that the eco program is worse for dishes. It does take longer and the dishes are probably exposed to more high pressure water streams. But my google search shows that most of that time is used to 'soak' the dishes. Furthermore the eco mode can use lower temperature for washing and drying and that is probably also good for the dishes. So my question is: Which dishwasher program is best to conserve the plates?

(I'm new to this stackexchange, I hope this question is appropriate here. Please tell me how I can improve it to fit here)

  • What kind of dishes? I mean, these are usually from pretty hard and sturdy material. Hard enough that some water stream at relatively low pressure (let alone soaking) is going to be able to do any damage at all. By (anecdotal) example: my grandma has used a dishwasher for about 40 years now on the same dishes. The only (visible) damage is from dropping them or othar abbrasive actions, not from the dishwasher. I.e. the question is based on the premise dishes will detoriate by washing them, but is that really the case for your particular dishes?
    – stijn
    Apr 3 at 19:05
  • @stijn Good point. We have ornamented dishes with colourful ring and painting in the back.
    – findusl
    Apr 4 at 12:24
  • Paint might indeed wear out. But have you checked your dishwasher's manual? IIRC some of them actually mention estimated water and electricity usage per program. Could just as well be the 30m program uses in fact less than that ECO mode (though might also clean less good). In whih case it's almost best of both worlds (assuming shorter = less disch wear as well).
    – stijn
    Apr 4 at 16:16
  • Do you know what the actual differences between the programs are? I suspect the short program uses higher temperatures.
    – LShaver
    Apr 7 at 16:31
  • @LShaver The buttons show 50°C for the eco program and 45°C for the short program. After the comment of stijn I have tried to find some more information on the differences, but I turned up blank.
    – findusl
    Apr 7 at 18:55

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