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Money Saving Dishwasher Tips

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I recently came across an article for Money Saving Dishwasher Tips- which included several tips that I consider to be not so good advice, here’s why! Also, check out these simple tried and true money saving tips and economical dishwasher cleaning tip.

Bad Tip Prewash or Rinse the plates clean before putting them in the dishwasher & then use a lower energy wash cycle.

False. While this used to be true in the very first dishwashers & detergents- the New Detergents on the market actually NEED food particles on the plate to activate the enzymes in the detergent to clean properly. Pre-rinsing and washing off the plates not only is a waste of water, but it washes away the enzymes necessary to activate your detergent!
This tip is ONLY useful if you’re using your own homemade dishwasher detergent.

Bad Tip #2 Once the cleaning cycle is finished , open the dishwasher to allow your dishes to air dry.

I don’t know about you, but the reason I have the dishwasher is to sterilize my dishes each and every time they’re washed. I like knowing that any possible germs are fried when the heat cycle is on. While it may cost .02 more per wash- It’s an investment in our families health and well being. Air drying dishes leaves them open to anything floating around your home, pet hair, kids’ sneezes & cough splatters, pollen, dust, etc.

Tips you can take to the bank:

  • Only run the dishwasher through when it’s full, rather than half full. (Overloading it also a bad idea as it results in improperly cleaned dishes which may require being run through another cycle). Typically, the average dishwasher costs $60-100 per year to run, Or $1.15-$1.92 per Week.

  • Avoid using the “Rinse Hold” feature on your dishwasher, as this uses an additional 3-7 gallons of hot water each time

  • Avoid the “Pre-Wash” feature, (which is recommended only for burned on or very dried on food)

  • Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer’s recommendations on water temperature; Most dishwashers contain their own internal heating elements built in that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (120-125°F).

If shopping for a new dishwasher:

  • Be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR label, which ensures that the dishwasher model uses less water and 25% less energy than required by federal standards.

Finally: A cleaning Tip for Dirty Dishwashers!

To Effortlessly wash your dishwasher – add 1 packet of unsweetened Cheap Brand Lemonade (generic kool-aid) to the Soap dispenser cup (no soap!) and run through 1 economy cycle (no heat). This works wonderfully to leave the dishwasher sparkling clean, without having to purchase those overpriced dishwasher cleaners (often $7 or more per bottle!)

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14 thoughts on “Money Saving Dishwasher Tips”

  1. finally an informative, useful article! i hate reading the ones on yahoo that give obvious answers instead of ones nobody has heard of. thank you!

  2. oooohh… i remember my aunt using tang in her dishwasher when i was a kid.. but i didn’t know why!

    ~lol~ she was cleaning it! i have the lemonade from wally-world in my cupboard and will put it to use now! thanks!

  3. big pile of sad on the “rinse hold”……i do use that when i don’ t have a whole load that will sit for an overnight. :lalala:

    • Big pile of sad on the “rinse hold”……I do use that when I don’ t have a whole load that will sit for an overnight. :lalala:

      “big pile of sad” – love it!!!

    • I can’t convince hubby to not rinse every dish before it goes into the dishwasher.

      My hubby thinks the same way. He says that is better for the filter. Most people don’t know about emptying or cleaning it.

      I didn’t know about the enzymes in the cleaner tho.

    • I can’t convince hubby to not rinse every dish before it goes into the dishwasher.

      Something you can do to prevent that: Let it happen in a rinse tub.

      Fill it up partway with very soapy hot water, and he can scrub it off quickly and then stick it in the dishwasher. My mom used to just let gallons of water run down the sink ‘washing’ dishes before washing them in the dishwasher, and ours is so new (and she’s so old fashioned) that her pre-washing was actually using more water than the dishwasher would have used in two separate loads.

      Another way I prevent it: I always throw the sponges into the dishwasher between loads so that she can do anything but dump them into the water to soak. This also sanitizes the sponges somewhat too.

  4. i made my first batch of super laundry sauce and began using it yesterday. thank you so much for the great recipe. i also added the purex crystals to the recipe for a softener.

    it works great and i am so happy to get this budget relief! i worried a little about having the mixture in a glass jar. so, i used an old plastic coffee can with a handle and it works very well without the worry of braking glass on my basement floor.

    i also use the tip to tie and old tablespoon on a string arount the neck of the container. brilliant! thanks again!

  5. is there a similar easy and cheap trick for cleaning a front loading clothes washer? sometimes they get mildew smelling.

    • Is there a similar easy and cheap trick for cleaning a front loading clothes washer? Sometimes they get mildew smelling.

      I actually just saw this on the Today show the a week or so ago about how many of the Washing Machine manufacturers are being sued for the amount of mold that front loaders generate.

      On a top-loader, nature takes care of the problem for you; the moist air rises out of the machine,” Selbin explained. But on a front-loader, he said, “You’ve got a sealed environment, and so the water and the moisture stays in here. It’s a very humid environment … and it breeds mold.”

      Links to Various Articles about it and recalls:,or.r_qf.&fp=ba6fbd6d8e86fb29&q=Front+loader+washing+machine+recall+mold&rls=org.mozilla:en-US%3Aofficial

      The tips that I was able to glean from it are:

      • Leave the door open when not in use, so the water can evaporate
      • Dry the inside of the machine after you remove clothes

      Other options- some users buy pool chlorine tablets and run them through their washer at night (wrapped in a towel to prevent clunking). Your best bet would be to ask in the forums as more members will see your question!

    • Is there a similar easy and cheap trick for cleaning a front loading clothes washer? Sometimes they get mildew smelling.

      Check your manual. My machine has a clean cycle strictly for this purpose (no clothes).

      Also, some machines get mold on the seal around the opening. I had one that did, and there ended up being a recall on it for that reason. They replaced it for free.

      I leave the door open on my new one now and it seems fine.

  6. add hydrogen peroxide to each load. in bleach or softener cup. keeps machine smelling sweet and antibacterial for clothes with no damage.

    front loaders must be left with door ajar after each use to dry

  7. who would have thought cheap koolaid was useful…. going to get some and try this. my dishwasher can has a good cleaning.

  8. I lived in the country and my well water used to make my washing machine smell. It was important to keep the lid open when not in use to air it out. I also had a friend try an experiment.

    She took several different laundry detergents and mixed them in canning jars. After weeks, some had settlement in the bottom of the jars. I use the brand that did not leave the crap as they don’t add the “fillers.”

    Make sure you use the HE (high efficiency) detergents when called for in the front loading machines. I think too many people forget about reading the directions as they “know what to do.”


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