How did we make it before the advent of automatic dishwashers? Long hours spent toiling away at the kitchen sink is what we did, thankfully that is in the past. But the automatic dishwasher can be costly to run and many of us have returned to washing some of the dirty dishes by hand in an attempt to save money on the electric bill. You can have the best of both worlds, save money and run the dishwasher, by using these five dishwasher tricks.
Skip the Recommended Pre-Rinse Cycle
The pre-rinse (or rinse and hold) cycle on the dishwasher is a waste of money and electricity. Not only is it a wasteful dishwasher cycle, it can do more harm than good, especially to glassware. Dishwasher detergents are designed to attack food particles left on dishes, when no food is present on the dishes, the dishwasher detergent attacks the glassware and leaves it looking cloudy.
Use Less Dishwasher Detergent and Save Money
The pre-packaged dishwasher detergent packets are convenient, but contain too much detergent for some dishwasher loads. By using liquid or granulated dishwasher detergent (at least for small dishwasher loads) the amount of detergent can be adjusted to suit the load of dirty dishes. The fullness of the dishwasher is not how to gauge the amount of dishwasher detergent needed, but how dirty the dishes are in the dishwasher. A full load of drinking glasses requires less detergent to get clean than a full load dirty plates and saucers that have been sitting for three days awaiting washing. Use less dishwasher detergent per load and save money.
Read the Dishwasher Manual and Save Money
The manual that came with the dishwasher will have an illustration to show the most efficient way to load the particular brand of dishwasher. By loading the dishwasher incorrectly, sometimes items won’t get clean and have to re-washed. If the dishwasher’s owner’s manual is long gone, check out the manufacturer’s website for loading tips.
Load Down the Dishwasher
When loading the dishwasher, make sure that all cups, bowls, pans or other open containers are load down. If items are loaded with the open end facing upward, the item will catch dirty water during the wash cycle and continually bathe the rest of dishes in dirty water, requiring the entire load of dishes be re-washed.
Run the Dishwasher on the Normal Cycle and Save Money
Ignore the dishwasher cycles that are labeled ‘pots, pans, scrub, etc.,’ and just use the normal cycle for dishwasher loads. Any cycle above the normal cycle just causes the dishwasher to run longer (using more water and electricity) and won’t get the dirty pots, pans, etc. any cleaner. The performance of dishwashers are tested by consumer groups on the normal cycle and the particular dishwasher model is rated on how well it performs during the normal cycle.
So load that dishwasher properly, skip the pre-rinse cycle, use less detergent and turn it to run on the normal cycle. Then sit down and relax, knowing the dishes are getting clean while you are saving money.