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!)