Most kitchen appliances are necessary in order to keep our food fresh, cook, or clean our dishes. But these appliances can also waste a huge amount of energy every month if not used properly. Make your way through the kitchen and learn how you should be using each appliance in order to save energy. Start with the dishwasher by following these tips:
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Use the air-dry option.
Depending on the model you have in your home, you may have the option to allow your dishes to air-dry after they are completely clean. This will help you save energy that would have otherwise been used to blast the dishes with heat and speed up the dry time. If you don’t have this option on your model, then prop the dishwasher door open after the final rinse to let everything dry.
Turn the temperature down.
Dishwashers typically come preset to run hot water between 140 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it is absolutely necessary to keep dishwasher water hot in order to kill bacteria and clean your dishes, it doesn’t have to be this high. To save a little bit of energy, turn the temperature down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is considered the medium setting on most dishwashers, and is hot enough to get the job done.
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Only run a full load.
Dishwashers and washing machines work very similarly, meaning both appliances will use the same amount of water regardless of the size of the load. If you only have a few dishes that need to be cleaned, keep them in the dishwasher until you can fill the rest of the space, otherwise you will just be wasting water.
Skip the pre-washing.
Washing the dishes before you put them into a dishwasher is not necessary, plus it is a huge waste of water. Scrape off any big pieces of food into the trash, and then load your dishes into the dishwasher. Today’s dishwashers are powerful enough to remove any spots that still remain after you scrape the food off, so skip the extra step and save both time and energy!
Load the dishes correctly.
If you don’t take the time to load the dishes correctly, you will end up having to run dishes that did not get clean the first time through the dishwasher again. To avoid this waste of energy, make sure every bowl or plate is facing inward. Dishwashers are designed to spray both the soap and water from the middle of the appliance, so any dish facing outward will not get clean.
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Upgrade to an energy efficient model.
How old is your dishwasher? According to Energy Star, if your dishwasher was made before 1994, you’re spending an additional $35 per year on energy! If you have it in your budget, consider upgrading to an Energy Star dishwasher. These models are around 12% more efficient than standard dishwashers, so they will pay for themselves over time. Be sure to look for a dishwasher with the Energy Star label, and then pick a size that fits your needs. If you pick a model that holds more dishes than you will ever need to wash at once, you will waste energy every time you turn on the dishwasher.
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to keep your dishes clean while still living green!