Many of us give little thought to our dishwashers: we put dishes in, we add detergent, hit the button, and when we come back the dishes are clean as the day you bought them. But are you using it to the best of its ability? Are you using it conservatively or in a way to maximize its efficiently? Are you being a dishwasher sinner or a dishwasher saint?
- Do you wash or rinse dishes before putting them in? If you’re putting in your dinnerware with lots of food still stuck to it, you’re adding to the dishwasher’s overall load, in particular its filter, as well as potentially preventing it from doing the best job at cleaning. The last thing you want is to have to run a second cycle for that caked-on food.
- Do you overload it? An oversized load can prevent the dishwasher from doing its job properly, again possibly resulting in a re-washing of your dishes.
- Do you clean the dishwasher filter? Something many people neglect, simply because they don’t realize there even is a filter that has to catch the larger food particles. This needs cleaning regularly.
- Do you use short wash cycles? While longer-running cycles may help dishes get clean in a single load, you’re also using more water and electricity.
- Do you use high heat drying or air drying? This will dry dishes faster, but also uses more electricity. Consider letting them air dry to save power.
- Is your dishwasher energy efficient? Modern dishwashers are often designed to conserve more electricity naturally than their older counterparts. Keep an eye out for efficient models if you’re considering a replacement.