Getting the Most From Your Dishwasher - Home Energy Savings For Energy Watchers

Getting the Most From Your Dishwasher

Getting the Most From Your Dishwasher
Automatic dishwashers may be the most beloved time-saving device in the kitchen — and the device with the greatest opportunity for energy savings:
  • Teach your kids how to "stack" the dishwasher. As with the clothes washer, washing two half loads uses twice as much water, electricity, and soap as washing one full load. An improperly loaded dishwasher may well look full — but often isn't.
  • Consider air-drying your dishes instead of using your dishwasher's heated drying cycle. Most modern dishwashers have a setting for this, and if you don't have a setting for this, all you have to do is open the door and let the dishes sit for a couple of hours. Modern sheeting-action dishwasher detergents are formulated to prevent spots on your glasses, so there is no downside to air-drying your dishes, unless of course you bang your shin into the open dishwasher door.
  • Don't bother to wash your dishes before you wash your dishes. Some people are a little bit paranoid about dirty dishes. I have seen people literally wash a dish in the sink and then put it in the dishwasher to be washed again. This is wasteful of both time and hot water. According to scientists who are paid to study such things, washing a load of dishes in the dishwasher uses 30% less hot water than washing those same dishes by hand, so let your dishwasher do the cleanup work.