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Automatic Dishwashers Save Water

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Many people don't realize that dishwashers actually save hot water and save money. You will notice that a dishwasher cannot hold much water. Washing dishes by hand uses much more hot water that what can be held in the bottom of the dishwasher. I think mine gets about an inch of water in the bottom. Mine uses the rinse water from the first wash as the wash water for the 2nd wash. Also, dishwashers sanitize your dishes.


Don't rinse the dirty dishes as you place them in the dishwasher. Just make sure all soiled sides face to the middle. Any small chunks of food will be ground by the garbage disposal in the bottom of every dishwasher. Use the hottest water possible. If your dishwasher doesn't have a hot water booster, be sure to draw water into the sink until the colder water that has lain in the pipes is gone. (I try to use this water for another purpose rather than to waste it.)

I only use the shortest cycle. Mine is called the "light cycle". You will find this works for really dirty dishes. When I wash a really dirty broiler pan or other pan with baked-on food, I use the regular cycle. However, I find the shortest cycle is sufficient for just about all my needs.


I find that I can use HALF the amount of detergent in each cycle. My favorite is to break one of those little tablets in half and put one half in each detergent cup. I do not use rinse aids of any type. (For a while I tried using vinegar, but found I didn't need it.) I have very hard well water, and I find half the amount of detergent works fine. Just be sure not to overload your dishwasher. You want to have it be full of dishes when you run it, but don't overload it.

I buy brand name detergents for the dishwasher. Cheap detergents have too much "filler." It's not all detergent, but rather stuff used to fill the box so you think you're getting more for your money. This filler can etch your dishes or cause grey streaks on your dishes that won't come off. Just don't buy the cheap stuff. Use the better, but only use half as much. You will be pleased with your results.


Let the dishes air dry. In the winter, I open the door and let the moisture out into the house.

By Carol from Wyoming, PA

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 18, 20080 found this helpful

Dishwasher detergent does make a difference on how your dishwasher performs. Detergents are not all created equal. I can put dishes in there that have been burnt on and won't budge and with the power tabs they come out perfect! I use the whole tab tho, not an issue with me. Also, keep the door of the dishwasher closed when finished washing as the steam will sanitize the dishes and help dry them faster. When it cools down, open the door and dry them the rest of the way. Many years of experience!

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March 18, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with you Carol. I stopped using rinse aid a while ago because I just couldn't afford to buy it. After a while I realised it had made no difference at all!

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March 21, 20080 found this helpful

I'm beginning to sound like a scratched record, but to remove the gray streaks 'that won't come off', clean with whiting. (Sorry folks, if it weren't for Vinegar and Whiting, I'd be helpless :) )

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February 17, 20090 found this helpful

whiing? Not sure what that is.
Having a water softener means using about 1/4 tsp of good dishwashing powder. If I use more, I get etching on my glasses.


Yes, I used more and got some etching...that is why I wonder about the whiting.

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December 28, 20090 found this helpful

Oh yes, I found that using Finish is the best. I have tried others but the dishes don't come out as clean.
I usually look for the coupons for this product as it makes up for the cost a little.

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June 12, 20120 found this helpful

I agree, buy a good brand of dishwasher cleanser, the cheap ones don't work, leave stains.

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June 12, 20120 found this helpful

So many times I have read articles that say that hand washing uses less water. I agree with this article, using my dishwasher certainly uses less water! I did make a mistake and purchased a huge bucket of dish washer packets from SAMS club. Not a good idea. :-( I normally purchase Finish. (Formerly Electrosol.) but saw them and thought I would try them.

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