The Benefits of a Hand Crank Dishwasher

People are always really excited about the idea of an alternative energy dishwasher, and why wouldn’t they be? Washing dishes is by far one of the most loathed chores that has to be done around the house. Luckily, more and more electric-free dishwasher designs seem to be popping up all over the place.

Available models include the Circo Dishwasher that washes all of your dishes while only taking up a small area on your kitchen countertop, or this portable hand crank dishwasher that uses special dishes that are specifically made for the dishwasher to be used at home or on the go. Then there is the EasyGo Dishwasher that uses thousands of bristles to get a deep scrub on all of your dishes and includes a glass cleaner for easy cleaning of the inside of your glassware. Not to mention all of the DIY dishwashers that are popping up all over the internet.

There are some negative aspects, however. While the idea of a hand crack dishwasher sounds wonderful in theory, it seems that it is a little harder to execute in practice. While these products have been met with a lot of enthusiasm, they have been relegated to the realm of concept designs.

For all of the articles online praising these machines, I couldn’t find one place to actually buy any of them. With that being said, with a little ingenuity they could easily be made at home. These designs consist mainly of a large basin of water to house your dishes, hot water and soap. Inside of the machine is a series of brushes or bristles connected to a hand crack that not only spins the brush/bristles, but spins the water and soap.

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While having an electricity free dishwasher would be a great addition to any homes alternative energy appliances, all of these concepts lack the ability to wash a large load of dishes like a traditional dishwasher can. Nonetheless, there are many benefits to a manual dishwasher.

Ease of Use

A hand crank dishwasher is extremely easy to operate. All you have to do is load the dishwasher with hot water, soap, and your dishes, and then begin to spin the crank. The brush/bristles take care of all the work. Most of these designs take only a couple of minutes to do a small load of dishes, and after they are scrubbed the dishes just need to be rinsed off inside the machine and left to dry.

Environmentally Friendly

A traditional dishwasher already uses less water than washing dishes in the sink, however a hand crank dishwasher uses even less. Most of these designs use only a couple gallons of water or less, immensely reducing your water consumption rate. And, of course, because they are powered with a hand crank they do not use electricity to operate.


Traditional dishwashers take up a lot of space, and for someone that doesn’t have the room to install a dishwasher the size of your counter a hand crack dishwasher could be a great alternative. They take up a relatively small amount of space on your countertop, making them perfect for RVs, camping trips, and tiny homes.

There is clearly a desire for hand crank dishwashers, and while they may currently not be readily available on the market, that seems destined to change. These concepts are drawing a lot of attention, people clearly want an easy way to wash dishes without spending hundred, if not thousands, of dollars on traditional dishwashers. It seems it is only a matter of time before these become a regular addition to people’s homes.


  1. There is a good reason why you couldn’t find any of these available to buy – none of them look like they would provide much advantage over hand washing, and they would take up valuable kitchen space. And one would still need to scrub the pans. No thanks. I will continue to hand wash, and avoid the use of plastic, non-local materials, special dishes, and the rest….

  2. `Washing dishes is one of the most loathed chores’? When else can you have a deep conversation without having to look someone in the eye? Perhaps we need to do a permaculture analysis of dishwashing: stacking functions it cleans dishes, provides time for conversation, teaches skills and provides meaning (`we need you to do these dishes!’).

  3. The dishes are the easiest items to clean quickly by hand, none of these devices address the messy stuff. Focus needs to be on a better sink system with recirculation of grey water to irrigate and clean, reduce soap usage, filter to catch the good stuff for compost bin and reduce fresh water to a final rinse and top up. A well designed foot pump combined with air pressure could make it manual and efficient. Techies can add a solar panel for heat and power for the pump system.

  4. Where can i buy it. It should have been advertised as a camping device. People in villages in Fiji could use this. I would advertise it as a camping device and promote it as a way for people in poorer counties to clean dishes without all the the fuss of standing over a sink for hours. Anyway I’d like to buy it for camping where can i get one.

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