By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Almost half of Australian households have a dishwasher, and while a third use it daily, 10 per cent never use their machine, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

People living on their own or with less disposable incomes were among those listed most likely not to use dishwashers. Environmental and water consumption concerns are also regarded in the industry as likely suspects for consumer hesitation in purchasing a dishwasher.

The varying levels of inefficiency found in hand washing dishes were pointed out in a 2008 study conducted at Bonn University, which looked at the ecological difference between an efficient hand washer and an efficient machine. The study found man and machine on fairly equal terms. Good news for the environment, good news for retailers.

Asko national marketing manager, James Vogdanos, says Australians are pouring water down the drain if they are not using a dishwasher.

“Overall a sink cannot compete against a dishwasher purely on water consumption. To wash dishes properly by hand takes a lot of water and detergent, plus the water temperature out of the tap is not hot enough to rinse all residues off,” said Vogdanos to

“I don’t think the 10 per cent category is alarming, due to consumers being habitual in there washing habits…consumers did not warm to front loaders for a long time. But eventually they do change.”

On the flip side, the environmental cost of manufacturing, transporting and disposing of a machine will also be considered by consumers.