June 30, 2006

Randy's Efficiency Tips: The Dishwasher

I'm pretty sure that for most situations, cleaning your dishes with your dishwasher is more efficient than washing dishes by hand. I haven't looked for evidence, but I'm pretty sure that a modern dishwasher will get your dishes cleaner, take less time, and use less soap and water that would manual dishwashing. The only thing it uses more of is electricity, especially when compared to hand-washing your dishes during daylight hours.

Here are some tips to make using your dishwasher even MORE efficient:

  • Figure out how little pre-cleaning you can get away with. Scraping food from dishes is as waste of time if the dishwasher could get it off for you.
  • Load like items together to make unloading faster. Be careful with the spoons, though, as they like to spoon each other, preventing effective cleaning.
  • Turn off the drying heat and instead open up the dishwasher when it's done and let evaporation do the job. Consider running the dishwasher at night or first thing in the morning so you can let it sit open while you're away at work. (Assuming you work days, which is probably most efficient energy-wise, but may make for longer commutes.)
  • Unload the bottom rack first. If you unload the top first, you will drip water on the bottom rack dishes, creating more drying work for yourself.
  • If you have small/lightweight items that tend to flop around in the dishwasher (such as plastic tubs), try to weigh them down on one edge with heavier items (such as bowls or mugs).

There are some times when you need to, or should wash dishes by hand.

  • If you use an item often, washing it by hand may be more efficient (money, space) than buying multiples just so you can throw them in the dishwasher.
  • Need to save space in your kitchen? Use the top rack of your dishwasher as a drying rack. You know it's clean because it just got run through the dishwasher! Keeping dirty items clear of newly-washed items can be a challenge, however.
  • Soak dishes in warm water and a small amount of soap (squeeze some excess soap out of your dish sponge!). When you have a reasonable amount of dishes that need hand-washing, do them all at once, saving time and soap.
  • If you have a dish sponge or other such tool, run it through the dishwasher occasionally (to keep it clean and sanitary).
  • If you have a dish sponge or other such tool, squeeze excess water out of it in the morning and let it sit in the sun to dry completely (to keep it clean and sanitary)
Posted at June 30, 2006 01:28 PM, Categories: Efficiency
Recent Entries
Randy's Efficiency Tips: Broth (Dec 8)
Randy's Efficiency Tips: The Dishwasher (Jun 30)
Randy's Efficiency Tips (Jun 30)
I know I must seem like a cheapskate... (Apr 3)
Month of Manual Mishaps (Feb 28)
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