As energy costs continue to rise and we are all encouraged to think a little greener when it comes to the way in which we run our homes, our everyday household appliances come under scrutiny as we try to balance the obvious convenience factor they bring to our lives with their effect on the planet and our pockets! The dishwasher is no exception and needs to work hard to justify its spot under the kitchen counter – follow these three steps to ensure maximum results whilst slim-lining those bills!
1, Before You Wash:
Taking time to prep and load the dishwasher correctly can have a massive impact on how effective the machine is in cleaning your dishes and how efficiently it does it. Scrape food debris from dishes to avoid particles clogging the filter and affecting the operation of the machine over time, however, pre rinsing or soaking should only be done in extreme cases or if your machine is relatively old – most modern day machines have a built in pre-rinse function that does the job perfectly well, so repeating this in the sink really is water and money down the drain.
Loading your dishwasher correctly is an obvious way to ensure good results, meaning no irritating do-overs, and to ensure that you are using the machine effectively. It goes without saying that running a half empty washing machine on a daily basis is not going to bode well when that bill drops through the letter box! Always run with a full load that has been correctly stacked as per the manufacturer’s instructions. As a general rule this means ensuring that no objects obscure or prevent water from reaching another and that no tall items interfere with the operation of the spray arm – dishes which remain dirty at the end of a cycle represent wasted energy and expense!
2, Whilst You Wash:
Ensure that you have selected the correct setting for the wash you are carrying out – it is a good idea where possible to think of dishes in the same way you would laundry, grouping together like kinds. In this way there is no need to select a heavy setting for a load of lightly soiled dishes simply because there is one stubborn pan or casserole dish. Adjust the setting from wash to wash depending on your needs at that time rather than simply sticking to the default setting – consider whether a few items could be soaked and washed by hand rather than upping the level of the overall wash.
Most newer machines will have an eco-programme which you may choose to use; familiarising yourself with the settings and functions on offer could help you use your machine more responsibly. If your energy provider has ‘on’ and ‘off peak’ rates then you may wish to utilise the delay function in order to ensure that the machine operates at periods when the cost of energy will be lower. Finally, establish whether your machine has a natural dry setting as opposed to one using heat or whether you can simply deselect the drying portion of the cycle and leave dishes in the machine with an open door to air dry, doing so could dramatically reduce the running time and costs associated with your dishwasher and use of a rinse aid should ensure that there is no compromise on shine and finish.
3, After You Wash:
In the case of most appliances we do not give them much thought when we are not actively using them and dishwasher maintenance may not be high on your list of priorities, never the less, if you are serious about reducing the impact of your machine on your wallet then it is worth looking after it in order to ensure that it is working effectively and is built to last!
Consider a monthly maintenance wash with a designated product or white vinegar – like other household appliances designed to clean, there comes a point when the appliance itself is not very clean at all and this will affect function and efficiency over time. Similarly taking steps to remove debris from the filter at the base of the machine, checking the spray arms and wiping around the door seal will help ensure that you experience fewer faults and problems with your dishwasher over the years and helps it to do its job easily and efficiently.
Finally, if you own a very old dishwasher and have considered the points above but still experience difficulties with your machine then it may be worth considering whether upgrading to a new more energy efficient model could be a worthwhile solution. Whilst this of course necessitates an initial outlay of cash, the benefits over time of quicker more effective running times, reduced frequency of breakdowns or the need to repeat cycles with the same load could well pay for themselves in the long run! This could be better than trying to solve your problem with replacement spare parts although you should always check as a small thing could solve a magnitude of issues at the fraction of the cost of a new machine.