In addition to utilizing water, dishwashers use energy for heating water, drying cycles, running the pump, and powering the controls. When shopping for a new dishwasher, picking an efficient model is the first step to achieving considerable energy savings (see above). In addition, you can save energy by paying attention to how you operate your dishwasher. Here are some tips on how to use your dishwasher to its best advantage:
- Because modern dishwashers are pretty powerful when it comes to cleaning, you can skip hand-rinsing dishes—thereby saving water—and just scrape any leftovers off your dishes.
- Only run your dishwasher when it is full, but do not overfill it; dishes that are packed in too tightly will not come out clean and may get chipped.
- Pick the shortest cycle that will get your dishes clean. Today’s dishwashers come with a plethora of cleaning options. Obviously, the “Power Scrub” function isn’t going to be necessary for every load, so experiment to see what meets your household’s average needs while utilizing the least amount of water.
- Let dishes dry after the wash cycle by opening your dishwasher door, if it will not impede the flow of traffic. Or utilize the energy-saver feature if your model has one.