With the holidays and all the fun gatherings with family and friends right around the corner, your dishwasher is likely about to get a serious workout.
At our house, we typically entertain all year round. The ladies from church are usually aghast when I quickly scrape the plates into the garbage and put the un-rinsed plates right into the dishwasher, even with food debris.
Why am I worry-free about leaving this on the plates? Here’s why, along with three other tips from Energy Star that will save you time, energy and money all year long!
4 Dishwashing Tips from Our Home to Yours
1. Don’t Wash by Hand, Use a Dishwasher.
Did you know washing dishes by hand uses more energy than a dishwasher? Using the dishwasher instead can save you up to 5000 gallons of water annually and tons of time. In fact, you’ll save 230 hours per year, which is almost 10 days!
2. Scrape Your Dirty Dishes Instead of Rinsing.
Rinsing off your dirty dishes can use up to 20 gallons of water before the dishes are even loaded.
Save yourself some effort, and let your dishwasher do its job—by sticking to a simple scrape into the trash or garbage disposal.
3. Load up!
Dishwashers use about the same amount of energy no matter how much you put in them, so you’ll reduce your overall energy costs if you wait to run yours with a full load.
Pack those dishes in, but leave enough space between them to allow proper access for water and detergent.
4. Skip the heat.
Clean dishes will air dry in the dishwasher even without added heat. Conserve energy by opting to use the “no heat air dry” feature.
Some dishwashers recommend a rinse aid like Jet Dry and have a special area for this product. If your dishwasher suggests using this, it’s totally worth including with each wash. Rinse aids reduce drying time and prevent water spots on your dishes, helping them get cleaner faster!
If your detergent already includes a rinse aid (check the box for specifics), save money and don’t worry about doubling up.
Once every couple of months, run your empty dishwasher with vinegar. Simply toss a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of your empty dishwasher and run a normal cycle. It cleans out old particles and residue to keep your dishwasher smelling fresh.
I hope these tips help you get the most out of your dishwasher, from my family to yours. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas from the Holtkamps!