Conserve water when using your dishwasher
Dishwashers have number of advantages over hand washing: they save time, water and are very hygienic. Moreover, you will not only save water as less water means less energy being used every cycle with 80% of the energy used by a dishwasher goes toward water heating.
Our 10 easy and cost-effective tips on how to save water and energy while using a dishwasher:
- Save Water with an energy-save or eco program. Energy-save or eco programs wash your items at a lower temperature and use less water during each cycle. That will help you save water and cut energy costs, as well as save money on your water bill if you're on a water meter. Energy-save programs typically save 3 litres of water per wash with washing performance being very similar to normal dishwasher cycles.
- Go for the full load. Before running the dishwasher wait until you have a full load to ensure that the device is at maximum capacity before you switch it on. This will help make the most of the energy, water and detergent the dishwasher uses. Be wary of using half-load dishwasher programs to save water. While this type of program will use less water and energy than a normal cycle, the water saving won't equate to half. It's better to wait until your dishwasher is full and then select an eco or water-saving cycle to save water, energy and money on running costs.
- Water-efficient loading. Saving water can even come down to the way you load your dishwasher. While you should load it fully, be careful not to overfill it, as this could prevent some items from being cleaned thoroughly. Loading large items at the back and sides of the racks will minimise the chances of needing to wash again – if big plates are at the front, this can stop the water reaching the detergent dispenser.
- Skip the pre-rinse. Save water by avoiding rinsing the plates under the tap before placing them in the dishwasher or by using a dishwasher pre-rinse program. Be more water efficient and wipe your dishes with a damp sponge or cloth before you place them in the dishwasher. Remove large food scraps from the dishes with a spoon or fork. Most dishwashers today are powerful enough to get all the dirt off, so a lot of pre-rinsing by hand is often just a waste of water and time. Pre-soak all heavily soiled dishes in a bowl if you absolutely have to, rather than rinsing them under the tap before you start your washing-up.
- Turn down the heat. Most modern dishwashers have booster heaters to heat the water that comes from your home's water tank. Turning the water tank's thermostat down to 65 degrees results in additional energy savings without compromising on cleanliness.
- Air dry. Instead of letting your washer use electric heat or a fan to dry the dishes, just open the door at the end of the washing cycle and let them air dry. The water used in most dishwashers is hot enough to evaporate quickly if the door is left open after the wash and rinse cycles are complete. You can save about 15% of total dishwasher energy use by choosing this method or the air-dry cycle (No-heat cycle) instead of using the heat drying cycle. The air-dry cycle (No-heat cycle) feature circulates room air through the dishwasher with a fan.
- Choose your dishwasher wisely. Look for a dishwasher that is rated for energy and water efficiency. In the UK, you can start by comparing Energy Efficiency Index of the appliance. Learn how to read the yellow Energy Guide label you'll find on all new dishwashers as well as other appliances. An AA+ rated machine will be the most energy-efficient and the cheapest to run. At Save Water Save Money we offer a range of water saving dishwashers to make the choice easier. Our dishwashers were tested on the basis of how much water each model uses during different types of washing programs. Our water efficient dishwashers will use no more than 17 litres of water per cycle in contrast to standard dishwashers using 23 litres on average. The most water efficient dishwasher on our offer uses only 7 litres of water per cycle!
- Picking the right size. Choose the size model that fits your needs. A compact model is more efficient than a large one unless you have to run it several times a day.
- One plate less. Using fewer dishes and utensils over the course of the day means doing washing cycles in the dishwasher, saving water, energy, and detergent.
- Keep those large appliances away from each other. Putting your dishwasher next to your refrigerator will make the fridge have to work harder due to the heat coming off the washer. Do not position your dishwasher next to the refrigerator. The heat produced by the dishwasher will require your refrigerator to work harder.