Everyone wants a dishwasher that cleans and sanitizes dishes effectively. In today’s environmentally conscious world, many people also want to save energy with their dishwasher. With just a few minor adjustments to how you operate the machine, you can save considerably on energy costs.
- Wash full loads. Your dishwasher will use the same amount of water whether it’s half full or completely full, so you should cut down the number of washes by running only full loads.
- At the same time, don’t overload the dishwasher. It’s tempting to stuff it full, especially after big holiday dinners, but you’ll likely get a less effective cleaning and have to rewash dishes.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for loading the dishwasher. We all have our preferences for how we arrange the dishes, but you can make the most of energy and water use by filling the racks correctly and allowing for proper water flow.
- Let dishes air dry. Turn off the heated-dry option if your dishwasher allows it, and open the door a crack to let the dishes dry. This method takes longer and may leave more water spots, but try it to see if you’re satisfied with the results.
- Run the shortest cycle that still produces clean dishes. Save heavy duty washes for only the dirtiest, most soiled loads.
- Set the water heater at 120°F for the most efficient wash. Any colder than this temperature won’t do a good job sanitizing the dishes, and any hotter uses unnecessary energy.
- Pre-rinse dishes at a minimum. Modern dishwashers don’t require you to rinse off more than the most solid foods before loading dishes, so you can save the water. Simply scraping is even better.
- Make a habit of loading dishes throughout the day rather than washing them by hand. Unless you use the bare minimum of water to hand wash dishes, it’s more efficient to let the dishwasher do its job at the end of the day. Amazingly, most modern machines use only three to ten gallons of water per wash.
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