To get your dishes clean, protect them from damage and save energy, it’s important to learn how to properly load your dishwasher. After all, these appliances are engineered to be used in a specific way. But it’s not complicated, and with just a little education, anyone can improve their day-to-day energy efficiency and get cleaner glasses, dishes and flatware. Here are the basics on loading your dishwasher — along with energy saving tips.
Loading a dishwasher improperly may prevent your dishes from getting clean and can damage delicate items and possibly even your dishwasher. To avoid those problems, it’s important to know the difference between what goes in the top rack and what should be cleaned in the bottom rack. Here are the keys to how to properly load your dishwasher for improved energy savings, reduced water consumption and cleaner dishes.
Pro tip: Clean your dishwasher annually. Your dishwasher can get dirty after cleaning your dishes for weeks and months. An appliance maintenance tip for keeping it working trouble-free, safely and efficiently is to give it a regular cleaning. Remove large pieces of food from the bottom, clean out the filter and wipe down the seals around the door. Check the spray arm for clogged nozzles and use a toothpick to clean them. Running a cycle with a quarter-cup of vinegar can remove scaling, or you could try specially made dishwasher cleaning packets.
Pro tip: Use only one glass throughout the day. If you’re wondering how to cut dishwasher power consumption, try limiting how often you run your machine. Drink from the same cup or glass all day. After your morning tea or coffee, a quick rinse makes it ready for water or soft drinks. If everyone in your family rinses and reuses, you won’t fill up your dishwasher so fast and have to run it as often.
Here are some dishwasher energy saving tips that cut dishwasher power consumption and improve efficiency.
Pro tip: Choose an energy-efficient dishwasher. If you’re interested in how to save energy with your dishwasher, the best thing you can do is buy an energy-efficient model with a good ENERGY STAR® rating.
You can calculate how much electricity a dishwasher uses and how much water, too, and then calculate your energy savings.
According to the ENERGY STAR® website, a standard ENERGY STAR® dishwasher must use 270 kilowatt-hours per year or less, with today’s efficient dishwashers using about $35 of electricity a year. Our guide for how to choose a dishwasher will help you determine which ones are best for you.
A new standard ENERGY STAR® dishwasher uses at most 3.5 gallons of water per cycle — and will use 3,870 fewer gallons of water over its lifetime. You can conserve water and also save the energy needed to heat and pump it.
How to properly load a dishwasher is one of those everyday things you might not think too much about. But changing daily energy consumption habits can have a profound effect over time. A little extra effort and know-how will get your dishes cleaner, protect them from damage and help to conserve natural resources.
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Disagree with not rinsing dishes! If you set them in until the dishwasher is full, the smell can get nasty and the ‘old food’ stuck! Also, think of how the hose from the dishwasher Eventually gets caked. That’s not a pleasant smell from the kitchen drain. And try cleaning the dishwasher more often than once a year, even if you rinse.
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Any restaurant owner will tell you that silverware should be washed with the handles up, so that when they are cleaned they can be removed without putting fingers on the eating end. Basic sanitation 101.
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“Avoid peak hours or balance use with other appliances” is good advice for places with Time of Use (TOU) metering which many places, including MA do not have. All utility companies should offer TOU metering to reduce peak load and offer financial incentives to spread the load.
Another tip is to clean out your filter which is located at the bottom of your dishwasher. I have owned my home for five years and only recently discovered that there is a filter in the bottom. Especially if you are not pre-rinsing your dishes there is likely to be build up on your filter.
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