Pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher is mostly 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.

1 standard cycle in a typical dishwasher costs the same in energy and water as heating between 4 to 6 washing-up bowls of water in the kitchen sink, or running the hot tap continuously for 6 to 9 minutes (depending on a metered or unmetered water supply). Just remember to fill your dishwasher before setting it to run.

Josephine Cochrane invented the first dishwasher and unveiled it at the 1893 Worlds’ Fair in Chicago.