Using a Dishwasher the right way
Dishwashers have become popular appliances in the kitchen but are you using yours correctly?
I must admit to being one of the many homeowners who has invested in a dishwasher. Call me lazy or perhaps I'm looking at owning a dishwasher from the point of view that it actually saves energy. When using a dishwasher, especially if you are looking at reducing your carbon footprint, there are common mistakes that you should avoid if you want to use a dishwasher properly:
Over-filling a dishwasher
One of the first mistakes that you can make is to put too many dishes in the dishwasher. When you purchase a dishwasher, whether it's a 12-place or 16-place model, the manufacturers will advise on the best layout for your dirty dishes. Rather than ignore this recommendation, it is better to follow their guidelines if you want all your dishes to come out clean.
Each brand has a particular layout for achieving ultimate cleaning and deviating from this will result in dishes here and there that haven't been cleaned effectively. Read the instructions before you toss them out!
Following the manufacturer's recommended layout for filling the dishwasher is also important when filling up the top and bottom racks. Small items such as glasses, bowls and cups should be placed on the top rack for effective cleaning, and also to allow proper water flow to the bottom rack. Not filling your dishwasher properly can result in broken or chipped dishes.
Most of today's dishwashers can handle few food scraps left on plates, but it is always recommended that you rinse dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. Even the most advanced dishwasher can eventually have problems if you don't rinse beforehand. Save money on future repairs by giving all your dishes a quick rinse before popping them into the dishwasher.
Many users believe that by adding more dishwasher detergent will result in cleaner dishes. This is not the case and adding too much detergent - or an extra tablet - can result in a thin film or haze of detergent on your dishes when you take them out of the dishwasher.
Be energy efficient
You may think that a partially filled dishwasher might be more effective than a full one, but keep in mind that you will still use the same amount of energy as you would for a filled dishwasher. Investing in an extra set of dishes will allow you to delay using the dishwasher until it can be filled as recommended, so consider buying extra plates if you need to.
You can be even more energy efficient when using a dishwasher by selecting the right setting. A higher temperature cycle will use far more electricity than a gentle cycle, so only use the setting necessary to clean dishes.