We have an interesting relationship with dishwashers. I’m in my 40’s and I remember my grandmother’s fancy new top loading “mobile” dishwasher. We rolled it around when needed and plugged the hose into the kitchen faucet. I also remember many, many family gatherings where we all hand-washed our dishes. Later on I remember Mom thinking our dishwasher wasn’t getting the food off so we rinsed all our dishes. Even today the habit has stuck with me. Not only am I rinsing the dishes, but I am also using one of those sponges with soap in it and hot water. Other than sterilization, those dishes are pretty clean by the time I load them in the dishwasher.
The problem was, I didn’t trust the machine to do a good job. I hated finding food on the dishes after running the cycle.
DID YOU KNOW? Today’s Energy Star-rated dishwashers are limited to 3 gallons of water PER CYCLE? And that non-Energy Star dishwashers average out at 4.5 gallons per cycle. Your kitchen faucet outputs between 1.5 and 2.2 gallons per MINUTE. Let’s do the math! Older faucets can be even as high as 7 gallons per minute. And yes, that is CYCLE vs MINUTE.
You don’t need to wait till the dishwasher is full to run a cycle. They are pretty smart these days and can sense how much food is on the dishes and adjust the cycle appropriately.
Now this is important! A typical dishwasher cycle will use LESS water washing half a load than it would take you to pre-wash your dishes! EVEN if some dishes come out with food on them and you run it again, you will still use LESS water than pre-rinsing! Crazy, right? Let that sink in!
So this is me trying to learn to practice what I am learning so I can turn around and start preaching! I have to admit to you I grew up with Cascade powder and I have always used powder detergent. I went out and bought my FIRST purchase of Cascade Platinum tablets last month.
And for the first time ever, I bought Rinse Aid! Hopefully most of you already know Rinse Aid really has nothing to do with rinsing and more to do with drying function. It actually helps remove water from the dishes, we should be calling it Dry Aid. Did your Dad ever put Rain-X on your windshield?
I also learned not to use generic brands of detergent, stick with what you know and what works. And many high end appliance manufacturers recommend the same thing. I have been surprised since I started using these products, and loading dirty dishes, at how nice and spotless the dishes come out.
- JOIN THE CHALLENGE #SCRAPEANDLOAD @MonogramAppl
- STOP PRE-RINSING/ PRE-WASHING
- STOP USING POWDER OR LIQUID DETERGENTS
- USE RINSE AID
- SAVE TIME AND SAVE WATER
I’m not using an overly high end dishwasher in my rental house but it’s a newer one. Previously I thought it was a “bad dishwasher.” Now I know the issue was user error. We all need to learn how to properly and effectively use this wonderful machine.
Paula Kennedy CMKBD CLIPPS, NKBA member 1997, Timeless Kitchen Design, Ignite Creativity
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