Making Your Dishwasher an Earth-Friendly Tool

Jeannie Piekos

You do not have to feel guilty about using a dishwasher. Many studies have proven that dishwashers are much more cost-effective and energy-efficient than washing dishes by hand.* Maximize your dishwasher’s environmental effectiveness with these helpful tips:

Run your dishwasher when it is completely full.

Do not pre-rinse your dishes. Newer models do it all.

Use a non-phosphate dishwasher detergent. Some brands include : Bio-o-Kleen, Earth Friendly, Restore Products, Seventh Generation, and Mrs. Myers. Check natural home stores, food co-ops, grocery, discount store, or online.

If your dishwasher has an energy-saving cycle, use it.

Delayed control can run the dishwasher when you are sleeping, during low off-peak hours.

If your dishwasher has a built-in heater, you can drop the temperature on your water heater to about 120 degrees. This reduces overall water heating costs.

Choose the “light” wash setting. It uses less water and runs for less time. Next best is the normal cycle.

If buying new, look for the EnergyStar rating.

Wash your plastic food storage bags in the dishwasher with a new product called Bag-E-WashTM. It is more effective than washing them by hand and more energy-efficient. Reuse them instead of throwing them away.

A 1988 study at Ohio University showed the average dishwasher uses 9.9 gallons of water versus 15.7 gallons for an equal amount of dishes washed by hand. Models built since 1994 follow national efficiency standards, using only 7-10 gallons per cycle.

Earth-Friendly Dishwasher

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