Cascade Comes Clean About Dishwashing Habit

Detergent brand Cascade is launching “Do It Every Night,” a campaign to encourage water conservation in an unexpected way: by considering running the dishwasher every night, instead of washing dishes by hand.

Recently, the World Resources Institute (WRI) published new data on water usage. WRI’s findings indicate in-home water usage is growing at a faster rate than every other sector, including agriculture and industry. This means more people are using more water in their homes than ever before. The good news? Each and every one of us can help reduce water consumption at home through simple and surprising ways, including the way we clean our dishes.

Contrary to popular belief, the dishwasher is designed to be more efficient than the way most of us handwash dishes. According to Energy Star, certified dishwashers use less than four gallons per cycle. The sink uses four gallons of water every two minutes. But just how many dishes do you need to make the dishwasher a more water efficient choice? In a recent study, Cascade found that the average person spends 15 seconds handwashing a dish. In that time, the sink uses half a gallon of water. That’s why running your dishwasher with as few as eight dishes is all it takes to save water.

Using the dishwasher can also help you save costs on water and energy. According to Energy Star, if you are preparing at least two meals a day for a family of four, you could save more than 75% in energy and water costs by running your dishwasher instead of handwashing your dishes. Over the lifetime of the dishwasher, that’s $1,300 in savings.

“We all want to conserve resources in our daily lives, so Cascade spends a lot of time finding ways to help families get clean dishes, more efficiently,” says Martin Hettich, Vice President of P&G’s North America Home Care business. “While it’s most efficient to run a full load, we found that most people wind up hand washing dishes while waiting for the dishwasher to fill up, unintentionally wasting water. That’s why we think it’s important for people to know that the dishwasher doesn’t have to be completely full to be water efficient.”

Cascade knows that a little humor can go a long way to help inspire change, so the brand is partnering with celebrity couple Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. to help debunk dishwasher myths through an educational and entertaining content series.

“Freddie and I do a lot of cooking at home,” says Sarah Michelle Gellar. “We used to feel guilty about running the dishwasher before it was full, so we’d end up washing dishes by hand, waiting for the dishwasher to fill up. Now that we know that we can save up to 100 gallons of water a week by skipping the sink and running our dishwasher at the end of the day, we’re doing it more often to help save water.”

This campaign is part of Cascade’s ongoing commitment to advocate for responsible water consumption. Since 1955, North America’s #1* recommended dishwasher detergent brand has continually innovated its products and methods to improve dishwashing and reduce water consumption. In fact, Cascade was the first brand to create a detergent that allowed people to skip pre-rinsing dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.

“As we make choices every day to save water in our own homes, it’s also important for us to find ways to restore water to the home we share,” says P&G’s Martin Hettich. “That’s why we’re excited to join the Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s (BEF) Change the Course Campaign and help restore water to water-stressed parts of the United States.”

Through this program and partnership, the brand will contribute millions of gallons of freshwater to critically dewatered rivers and wetlands in the Western United States.

“To address water scarcity, we need to do two things: conserve water in our daily lives and restore water to nature,” says Val Fishman, Chief Development Officer at BEF. “We’re thrilled to partner with Cascade to support healthy freshwater ecosystems across the American West. Through Change the Course, Cascade is significantly contributing to a network of on-the-ground projects that keep water in rivers and wetlands during times of water stress.”

To learn more about the campaign, visit

*More dishwasher brands in North America recommend Cascade over any other automatic dishwashing detergent brand, recommendations as part of co-marketing agreements.

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