Nearly every other household has a dishwasher today. While many consider these machines to be a boon, others banish them as mere appliances that waste tons of energy and water for something that can be done by hand.
Dishwasher versus Hand Washing: Who wins?
Studies have confirmed that washing dishes in a dishwasher is definitely more eco-friendly when compared to hand washing them. Dishwashers are extremely efficient in using just the right amount of water to clean the dishes. Energy efficient dishwashers are designed to use more than 4 times less water than hand washing for the same amount of dishes. Dishwashers also tend to use less detergent than when hand washing dishes. Running the appliances in off- peak hours will also help you get a load of squeaky clean dishes while reducing more than $40 in your yearly utility bills.
Green Dishwashing Tips
These pointers clearly indicate that washing dishes in the dishwasher can turn out to be a greener option than hand cleaning them. Accordingly, here are some tips that can help you make your dishwasher more energy efficient and eco-friendly in the long run.
Buy Energy Efficient Dishwashers
Look for dishwashers that come with the Energy Star which indicates that they use less energy for washing. Also choose a durable product that can last for years, ensuring that you check on its emission levels and running costs as well.
Choose green washing soap
When buying a dishwashing soap, consider choosing one that is eco-friendly. Stay away from products that contain harmful chemicals in its ingredients, as well as products that don’t list their ingredients at all. You can natural soaps and detergents that contain homemade ingredients instead.
Hand wash and Scrape, but don’t rinse
It is considered wise to scrape off the food from the dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. This way, you can wash them only once instead of running continuous cycles to remove the dirt. Don’t rinse the plates while scraping off the food though as the machine will do that for you.
Don’t add extra detergent for dirty loads
You may be compelled to pour in some extra detergent to deal with a particularly dirty load of dishes. Opt for a teaspoon of baking soda which you can add to the detergent. In addition to cleaning the dishes perfectly, the baking soda would deodorize and sanitize them as well.
Load dishes according to instructions
Ever dishwasher comes with a set of instructions on how to load the dishes. Follow these instructions carefully for better cleaning. If you stuff the racks instead, you may end up repeating the wash cycles to get the dishes cleaned properly.
Turn down the temperature
Ever dishwasher comes with a built in heater to heat water up to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. You can reduce the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal cleaning while reducing water heating costs drastically.
Air dry the dishes
Rather than drying your dishes with the electric fan/heater in the dishwasher, air dry them instead. Simply pop open the door of the dishwasher just a little bit after the wash cycle and let natural air in to dry the dishes. This will save you plenty in terms of energy related costs. Accordingly, you can reduce up to 20% of your electricity bills on a yearly basis.
Wash during off-peak hours
Many communities have off-peak hours where you can run electronic appliances with reduced energy. So check the off peak timings in your locality and run the dishwasher then to save money on utility bills while conserving energy in the process. This would also help you reduce your carbon footprint to an extent.
Using a dishwasher has been found to be more eco-friendly than hand washing dishes. Using these tips, you can ensure to make your dishwasher more efficient when it comes to saving water and energy in the long run.