Dishwasher Hygiene Benefits

It may be a scary thought, because it’s where you prepare your food, but did you know that the kitchen harbours more germs than any room in the house, including the bathroom? [1]

Sponges and tea towels can become a breeding ground for germs

Potentially germs can linger on your kitchen cloths, with sponges being the number one source of germs in your house.[1] Germs thrive in moist, warm environments, which means your kitchen sponge is the perfect breeding ground.


Tea towels are equally responsible for becoming a germ breeding ground when used to dry dishes, hands and counter tops [2]. So, if you are washing and drying your dishes with items that could potentially be home to germs, are your dishes as clean as you think they are?

High temperatures (650c minimum) kill germs

Can your hands withstand temperatures approximately 50°C or hotter?

Water in dishwasher intensive cycles, is heated to high temperatures, greater than 65°C. This can help kill any lingering germs, leaving your cutlery, dishes and glasses hygienically clean and ready to use again.3 When washing dishes by hand however, lower temperatures of approximately 400c-450c are used which are less effective at killing germs when compared to the higher temperatures that dishwashers can achieve.

If you have children, you may want to hygienically clean their cups, bowls and bottles on a regular basis. This can be done in your dish washer hot wash cycle.[3] After reaching temperatures of 65°C of greater, your child(ren) cups, bowls and bottles (if dishwasher safe and stable at high temperature) will be ready to use after the allotted cycle has ended. However, if your child is younger than 12 months it is always advised that you use a sterilisation method instead.

What makes a dishwasher so effective?
Hotter water and stronger detergents in a concentrated amount of water (roughly 10.5 litres per load [2]) helps with hygienic cleanliness.[3] When handwashing your dishes, your focus is split between your hands and washing up. For example, you have to use water that is hot, but not too hot for your hands to bear, and your washing up liquid has to be effective on the dishes but gentle on your hands.

When you have a dishwasher, temperature isn’t a concern, it’s your greatest ally against dirt and grime that have built up on your dishware.[3] Solid grease sticks to surfaces better than liquid oils which just tend to roll off, so a high temperature which turns fats into oils is essential for cleaning the stickiest, greasiest dishes.


Automatic dishwasher detergents, such as Finish Powerball, contain a diverse range of chemicals, each with their own distinct role in the cleaning of dishes process. All are released in the wash cycle at their optimum conditions and work together for a brilliant result.

From the design of the rack to the way the water sprays within the machine, modern dishwashers often include features that generally make them better than handwashing[4]. In the enclosed environment a dishwasher provides, a Finish Powerball tablet can get to work so you don’t need to spend time scrubbing your dishes. Simply stack them in your dishwasher and let your machine and detergent do the rest for you!

 

References: 

1 Gerba C, Tamimi A, Maxwell S, Sifuentes L, Hoffman D, Koenig D. Bacterial Occurrence in Kitchen Hand Towels. Food Protection Trends. 2014.

2 http://hss.ulb.uni-bonn.de/2011/2588/2588.pdf

3 Westinghouse Kitchen Hygiene Report

4 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/05/05/why-you-shouldnt-wash-your-dishes-by-hand/