Dishwasher Tips to Increase Efficiency

You may be a little misinformed if you think using a dishwasher is only for the lazy. In fact, wisely running your dishwasher can be more efficient than cleaning every single dish by hand. All it takes is the proper knowledge and strategies in loading and running your dishwasher to save water, energy, and money.

The adage of “work smarter, not harder” applies to an efficient dishwasher. Scrubbing your dishes by hand in the sink can total up to 27 gallons of water, but those same dishes in the dishwasher can use as little as three gallons in an Energy Star certified dishwasher. Standard dishwashers these days are required to use as much as five gallons per load, but those made before 1994 could use over 10 gallons per load.

To really make your dishwasher the most efficient that it can be, only run it when you have a full load. But not just any full load — learning to fill your dishwasher can have a big impact on both energy efficiency, and how clean your dishes will be once the load is done.

Start by loading the dishwasher from the back, and then work your way forward. This will maximize space and can help you safely load and unload without fear of breaking something

When you do load the top rack, load items upside down and angle your glasses toward the middle. This helps the inside of bowls and glasses get clean with no residue sticking around. Most bowls should be on the bottom rack, though, and facing the center with no overlap. If the water stream can’t reach the surface, it will not be fully cleaned.

It’s unnecessary to pre-rinse everything before loading. A simple scrape of the food leftover will suffice. In fact, you may not want to have your dishes looking practically spot-free before loading. Dishwashers work best when there is something to clean, and some newer units have a sensor that can tell when dishes are clean. If it senses that there’s nothing left, it can stop running prematurely.

The dishwasher also isn’t only for dishes. You can place some other household items on the top rack for sanitation. Plastic toys, for instance, can get a much more thorough cleaning from the dishwasher than if you tried to clean it by hand stubbornly.

Last, don’t forget to wash your dishwasher. Running an empty appliance might sound like it is going against the dishwasher efficiency recommendations, but loading a bowl of white vinegar on the top rack and sending it through the normal cycle will help cut through any soapy buildups, which lead to better dishwasher efficiency in the future.

Some items can only be washed by hand, and others have recommended cleaning regimens, but for everything else, load it in the dishwasher. For more information on energy-efficient appliances, call Sunrise Heating and Plumbing at (616) 293-9326. We pride ourselves in providing nothing but exceptional customer service.