Trim energy costs by making small changes (and a few big ones)to your dishwashing routine. Reducing hot water use is key.

BY HAND OR MACHINE? 

A common question is whether it's best to wash dishes by hand orwith a dishwasher.  Most people use 5 to 8 gallons of water tohandwash a load of dishes.  If you take extra care, you might useonly 4 to 5 gallons.  Most dishwashers use 4 to 6 gallons perload.  So, unless your careful, put the dishes in the machine!

Here are some more tips for dishwashing more efficiently:

BY HAND

Do not leave water running when rinsingdishes.

Don't fill the sink to the brim with water.

A capful of hydrogen peroxide disinfects without thescalding water. If you are washing dishes with super-hotwater for fear germs will live on the dishes, instead immerse thedishes in a final soak of water with a a capful of hydrogenperoxide. It will kill most germs and allow you to avoid a rinsewith near-boiling water.

BY MACHINE

Wash only full loads. The dishwasher will usethe same amount of water if it is half full or completely full.

Do not pre-rinse dishes. Most newer dishwashersdo not require a pre-rinse. Scrape food into your compostcollector, garbage grinder, or trash. If you must rinse first, usecold water.

Use the "energy-saving" setting. If yourdishwasher has one, use this to save energy by using less water andrunning for a shorter cycle.

Air dry. Cut 15% power use of your dishwasher byselecting the air-dry or "no heat" dry option on your dishwasher.The no heat option uses a fan only to dry dishes. Or simply openthe door after the wash cycle