June 30th, 2020
The people in the Cascade Platinum ad above do “it” every night. “It” isn’t what you think — unless you think “it” means running your dishwasher every night, but that would require some pretty creative thinking.
“Do it. Run your dishwasher every night with Cascade Platinum,” the ad says. “A load with as few as eight dishes is all it takes to save water. An Energy Star certified dishwasher uses less than four gallons per cycle, while a running sink uses that every two minutes.”
Hold on. While the Energy Star criteria for a standard dishwasher includes that it uses equal to or less than 3.5 gallons of water per cycle, how much water you use washing dishes by hand depends on a number of factors. These include the rate at which the water is coming out of the faucet and whether or not you turn off the water at any point during the washing-up (note that the comparison here is to a running sink.) Based on these factors, it seems plausible that one can wash eight dishes by hand using less than four gallons of water.
More to the point, wouldn’t you save more water if you simply waited until the dishwasher were full to run it? Wouldn’t that, in fact, be more eco-friendly? But then you’d be using less detergent and the point of the ad isn’t to get you to buy less detergent, it’s to get you to buy more.
TINA.org reached out to Cascade’s parent company, Procter & Gamble, for comment. Check back for updates.
Find more of our coverage on greenwashing here.