The dishwasher is one of the most commonly used appliances in the home, but it can also contribute to your environmental footprint. Running your dishwasher more efficiently not only helps the planet, but will also reduce your water and energy bills, it’s a win-win!
But, I can hear you asking: “isn’t it a lot more efficient to wash-up by hand?”. Well not according to our research it isn’t!
So if you aren’t already started doing them, these are five really easy steps you can take to make your dishwasher more environmentally friendly.
Run it when it’s fully-loaded
Make sure your dishwasher is fully loaded before running it. This will reduce the number of times you need to use it, which will save water and energy.
Running a fully-loaded dishwasher is more eco-friendly than running it with only a few dishes. This is because the dishwasher will use the same amount of energy and water regardless of how many dishes are inside, so it is more efficient to wash more dishes at once.
Use the Eco Program
Use the energy-saving setting on your dishwasher, or, “eco-mode” will make your dishwasher run more efficiently. This setting will use less hot and may not provide quite the same deep clean, but it will use less energy overall.
So to get the most out of using eco-mode, I recommend scraping food off heavily soiled dishes, and ensure you use a good quality sustainable detergent.
Additionally to save money, check your electricity plan to see if there’s a low-tariff or off-peak time during which to run your dishwasher.
Use More Sustainable dishwasher tablets
Cleaning companies have a nasty habit of adding toxic ingredients to their dishwasher tablets. On top of that, many products have non-biodegradable plastic wrappers and packaging that can’t be recycled.
There are countless additives that we could name and shame but one of the most common is phosphate. Phosphates can contribute to water pollution, so using a detergent that is free of phosphates can help protect the environment.
When phosphates enter the water supply, they can stimulate the growth of algae, which can deplete the water of oxygen and harm aquatic life.
There are now a variety of brands that produce more eco-friendly dishwasher tablets, and we’ve created a list of our favourites!
Avoid Pre-rinsing Dishes
Don’t pre-rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Most modern dishwashers are effective at removing food and debris, so pre-rinsing is usually unnecessary.
However, if you have a oven dish or something that has very burned-on food residue, it makes sense to soak that in water little bit before you put it in your dishwasher.
Purchase an energy-efficient Dishwasher
Consider using a dishwasher that has a high energy efficiency rating. These dishwashers use less energy and water, which can help reduce your carbon footprint. UK energy efficiency labels for dishwashers look like this:
The more efficient appliances will be closer to the A-grade on the scale, whilst there are additional pieces of information that tell you the kWh and the water usage per cycle when using the eco programme.