Many of us are actively trying to reduce water wastage and be more environmentally friendly. It’s common knowledge that without changing our everyday habits, there could be a shortage of clean water in the future.
Using a dishwasher to clean your dishes, however, may not be the first thing that comes to mind when trying to cut down on water use.
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, as many of us with families generally do, then you may have asked yourself the following question at some point or another; “Should I be using a dishwasher, or is it better to handwash these dishes?”
There are many misconceptions about dishwashers and how much water and electricity they require. In this blog, we’ll be talking about the most environmentally friendly ways to use a dishwasher and how they are, in fact, often more efficient than hand washing your dishes.
Are Dishwashers Better Than Handwashing for Sanitisation?
There’s a big difference between cleaning something and sanitising.
Handwashing a plate will remove the dirt and grime left behind, but a dishwasher can sanitise using temperatures exceeding 65 degrees, which is far hotter than we can withstand.
Giving your dishes a good scrub in hot soapy water will get them clean, but sponges and tea-towels can contain hundreds of bacteria and germs that you are effectively putting back onto your clean dishes too.
What Is More Efficient – A Dishwasher or Handwashing?
One of the biggest advantages of using a dishwasher is the time saved on cleaning up after mealtimes. Putting your plates and cups into the dishwasher usually takes a lot less time than washing, drying, and putting away each item, especially if you have a big family. Some dishwashers can do a full cycle clean in under 30 minutes, so you can do more of what you love, and spend less time standing at the kitchen sink.
Believe it or not, using a dishwasher is more efficient than washing up. If you’re hosting a get-together or family dinner, you’re more than likely going to need to refill the sink several times to avoid washing your dishes in dirty water. Not only will a dishwasher use less water and electricity, but it will save you the energy taken scrubbing your dishes clean after cooking too.
Almost all dishwashers have an eco-setting, which re-uses the water in the machine throughout the cycle in-turn reducing water wastage.
It’s very common for people to rinse their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher but this is unnecessary. If excess food has been scraped into the bin to avoid clogging the pipes in the machine, then you can skip rinsing the plates and put them straight into the dishwasher. Pre-rinsing your dishes can cost you up to 1115 litres of water per year.
Stacking Your Dishwasher Correctly
Despite how advanced your dishwasher and dishwasher detergent may be, not stacking your dishwasher effectively can result in unsatisfactory cleaning, meaning you’ll have to run the cycle again.
Thankfully, loading your dishwasher is straightforward once you understand how it works. Below we have included our top tips for loading your dishwasher for best results.
1) Don’t Overload
It may be tempting to squeeze all your dishes into one load to save time, but an overloaded dishwasher can cause damage to your dishes and leave some of your plates and mugs dirty. Water needs to be able to get in-between the items in your dishwasher in order to clean them. If they are too tightly stacked, they will come out still dirty.
2) Keep Plastic Items on The Top Rack
The hottest part of the dishwasher is the bottom, where you will find the heating element. Keep all your dishwasher safe plastics such as Tupperware at the top to prevent them from melting or becoming misshapen.
3) Glasses and Mugs Go on The Top Rack Too
The top rack of your dishwasher has been designed to safely hold cups, glasses and mugs upside-down so that the dishwasher can clean them from the inside.
Some dishwashers even have wine glass holders to keep your glasses sturdy. Never put glass at the bottom of the dishwasher as the jets are generally too strong for glass, resulting in breakages.
4) Load Utensils with the handle down
Load your forks and spoons handle down to make sure the dirtiest parts get cleaned the most thoroughly. For knives, however, you’re going to want to load them blade down, handle up, to prevent you from cutting yourself when unloading.
5) Put Pots, Pans and Oversized Items Towards the Back
Make sure to load pots, pans and oversized items such as chopping boards or oven dishes towards the back in the bottom rack of your dishwasher. This will prevent the detergent and jets from being unable to reach the rest of the items.
6) What Items Can Be Put Into The Dishwasher?
These days, there isn’t much that cannot be put into the dishwasher but be sure to check the manufacturing instructions or look for a dishwasher safe sticker or logo on the bottom of your item to be sure.
Takeaways – How to save water when using your dishwasher
By following this guide, you are sure to be saving water in comparison to handwashing your dishes after every use. These top four tips will ensure that your dishwasher lasts for years to come and that your dishes are as clean as a whistle.
- Avoid multiple cycles per day by waiting to run your dishwasher until you have a full load. Of course, if you have a big family, you may well need to run the dishwasher more than a couple of times every day. Still, making sure you always have a full load before you start the machine will help ensure you’re running the most efficient cycle possible.
- Ensure that the inside of your dishwasher is clean and that the arm sprayer isn’t hindered by obstacles. This will eliminate the need to run multiple dishwasher cycles, too.
- Choose an eco-setting, which will wash your dishes at a lower temperature and use less water during each cycle.
- Use a quality detergent and rinse-aid to ensure your dishes come out sparkling clean, and get your dishwasher serviced once a year.
If you’re thinking about adding a dishwasher to your home, get in touch with the team at Modern Homes today. We’ll be more than happy to help.