Dishwashers come in a whole range of sizes. They have features that allow cleaning of anything from fine glassware to the toughest pots and pans. EcoFrenzy will show you ways to use your dishwasher to reduce energy and water use, save money and the environment.
Money saving tips
Fill your dishwasher
Run your dishwasher only when full to capacity. Washing a half load simply uses and wastes twice the water, detergent and energy.
Each time you use your dishwasher (assuming a 1 hour program) it costs about 46p. If you run it half full it still costs 46p! If you did this only once a week for a year, it would cost you an extra £24 (23kg CO₂).
Energy-saving and light wash cycle
Choose a dishwasher with an energy-save or light wash cycle. On average, these programs use about 20% less energy, based on an average 4 washes a week this saves about £19 per year (17kg CO₂).
If your dishwasher has a time delay, and you have Economy 7, set it to start during the night and take advantage of cheaper rate electricity. Economy 7 tariffs can be around 2x cheaper between 1am and 8am (but check times with your energy supplier). This is around 24p per dishwasher cycle, saving up to £43 per year (39kg CO₂).
Energy efficient dishwashers
A new energy efficient dishwasher may use up to 40% less energy than an old inefficient model. Look for longevity too, although it may cost more initially, if running costs are less and the machine lasts for 20 years instead of 5, it is better for you and the environment.
A++ rated machines
Check the energy efficiency label before you buy – an ‘A++’ rated machine will be the most energy efficient and the cheapest to run.
Choose the right size dishwasher
Dishwashers come in many sizes, so it makes sense to choose the size that best suits your needs. Full-sized dishwashers are the most energy and water-efficient, and this will be reflected in their energy rating, but this efficiency is based on filling the machine to capacity.
Reduce water usage
A standard dishwasher program uses 10 litres of water per cycle, dishwashers with an eco-setting only use 7 litres.
Clean your dishwasher
Clean your dishwasher drains and filters to ensure efficient operation.
Allow your dishes to air dry
Let your dishes air dry. If you don’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off your dishwasher after the final rinse and prop open the door, the dishes will dry faster and use less energy.
Use less plates, dishes and crockery
Try using less plates, dishes and utensils over the course of the day this means less loads and more infrequent use of your dishwasher, saving energy, water, and detergent.
Inefficient energy use
As much as 80% of the total energy used by a dishwasher is to heat the water.
Should you pre-rinse dishes
Pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher is generally unnecessary. Modern dishwashers are very efficient and will remove all but the most stubborn food residue. Pre-rinse or soak only those items which won’t clean or don’t fit in the dishwasher.
Do not overload your dishwasher
Overloading your dishwasher can be detrimental by inhibiting the flow of water or stopping the revolving elements from turning.
Some dishwasher detergents include phosphates (now banned), which were very effective at removing stains and grease but cannot be removed from wastewater entering rivers and lakes. Phosphates can cause algal blooms in rivers leading to waterway blockages or even toxic contamination. Check labels for contaminants just incase.