Disposable Communion Cups  vs  Glass Ones Washed In The Dishwasher

Getting Started

For this cost comparison, we consider a congregation that owns three Saint Saver™ Washer Racks (the average).  Three Washer Racks have a total capacity for 180 communion cups, but we assume that our church only uses 150 cups per service.  Factoring in inefficient loading of the dishwasher keeps our analysis conservative.   Please read about how our results are biased in favor of disposables.

Washable Cup Costs 

The cost of water and electricity per load of dishes = $0.46    Reference: ( http://www.marottaonmoney.com/the-complete-guide-to-your-dishwasher/ )

The machine cost for an average priced dishwasher per load = $0.46    Reference: ( http://www.thesimpledollar.com/saving-pennies-or-dollars-dishwasher-or-hand-washing/ )

The soap cost  = $0.30 ( http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home-products/dishwasher-detergent-reviews/g439/best-automatic-dishwasher-detergents/?slide=5 )

Therefore, the total cost per load = (0.46 + 0.46 + 0.30) = $1.22 

And the cost to wash each cup = $1.22 / 150 cups = $0.0081 (just over 3/4 of a cent)

Lets also add in the cost of your glass cups which can be purchased for less than $1.50 each (including shipping) reference ( http://www.christianbook.com/glass-communion-cups/pd/124979?dv=c&en=google&event=SHOP&kw=church-supplies-20-40%7C124979&p=1179710&gclid=CP-e3czHt8sCFQiqaQodYzcOxg )

Assuming a minimum life expectancy of 2000 uses, the cost per cup = $1.50 / 2000 = $.0008 per service

So the new total cost to own and wash each glass cup per service = (.0081 + .0008) = $0.0089  (just under 1 cent)

Disposable Cup Costs

The lowest price for a disposable plastic communion cup that we found = $0.014 per cup excluding shipping. 
 
Note:  We have not included the cost of trash bags or the cost of paid staff to check inventory and reorder more cups when needed.  Nor have we considered the value of storage space required for big boxes of disposable cups.   

The Bottom Line

Savings per cup to use washables = Disposable cup cost - glass cup cost - glass cup washing costs = (.014 - .0008 - .0081) = $0.0051/ cup

Savings per service = (150 cups x $0.0051 / cup) = $0.76 

This small amount of savings per service is still enough to easily pay for your Saint Saver™ Washer Racks within their useful lifetime.  
Please note that the savings in your church will most likely be significantly higher than our cost comparison shows.  We strongly encourage you to do your own (less biased in favor of disposable cups) analysis.  Please read about how our results are biased in favor of disposables.

 

   

Disposable communion cups only make the service appear cheaper

 

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