Your dishwasher is one of the most energy intensive appliances in your home, with each cycle using about 3 kilowatt hours of electricity. With that same energy, you could toast 300 pieces of bread. (Hope you’re hungry!) So how can you make it a little greener?
- No need to rinse beforehand. The dishes don’t have to be completely free of food before putting them in the machine, although you should scrape the food off first to prevent clogging.
- When in doubt, use less soap! “Most people use 10 to 15 times the amount of soap they need,” says appliance expert Vernon Schmidt.
Just because your dishwasher uses a lot of energy doesn’t mean you should wash your dishes by hand, though. A study conducted at the University of Bonn [pdf] in Germany found that the most dishwashers use only half the energy, one-sixth of the water, and less soap than hand-washing an identical set of dirty dishes. (Though it certainly depends on your hand-washing style.)
Photo credit: Robert Terrell, via Flickr
Disclaimer: don’t let your dog do this if there’s anything sharp, any food that is unhealthy for pooches, or soap. Please!