When you think about saving energy your first thought probably isn’t dishwashing but that’s where we’re going to start because it’s something you do almost every day, all year long and you can save some energy and money without spending a dime.
Washing dishes by hand wastes energy
Do you know someone who doesn’t trust their dishwasher? I do. My Mom. She can’t stop herself from washing almost every dish before she loads it in the dishwasher. Most of the energy used for dishwashing goes into heating the water and washing dishes by hand uses more hot water than washing them in the dishwasher. Even pre-rinsing can waste a lot of hot water and it’s usually not necessary unless something is really baked on. Try just scraping the dishes instead. And suppose a dish doesn’t get perfectly clean in the dishwasher. You can always give it a quick scrub afterwards. That takes a lot less water, energy and work than rinsing or washing everything before you load it.
I’m gonna have a talk with my Mom about how she does the dishes. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Air-dry dishes to save energy
Also, don’t run the dishwasher until it’s full and definitely don’t use that rinse and hold cycle. That wastes a lot of water. If you want to go one step further you can set the dishwasher to air-dry, or just turn it off after the rinse if you don’t have that setting. You’ll want to open the dishwasher door so the dishes will dry faster but don’t leave it wide open or the dogs will lick everything.
If you’re buying a new dishwasher compare the ENERGY STAR labels and find one that’s extra efficient. It might cost a little more up front but it will cost you a lot less money to run it for the next 10 years.
This energy saving tip
is featured in the upcoming episode of Clean Power Planet.