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28.02.2020

Are Dishwashers Environmentally Friendly?

It may be hard to believe but the dishwasher was invented back in 1886! Like all technology, the dishwasher has undergone a lot of transformation throughout the years. Surely in all those years, they have become more environmentally friendly. This is assumed as such because the whole purpose of upgrading old technologies is to progress forward. Environmentally friendly appliances have become incredibly popular in the modern era of home appliances.

But are they actually environmentally friendly?

Using dishwashers can be considered better for the environment. This is primarily because modern models run faster and strive to use less water and energy. While they are considered better for the environment, there are some important factors to put into practice while using the dishwasher. These factors ensure the dishwasher is being used in a manner that keeps it consistent with being good for the environment. They may be environmentally savvy on their own taking extra steps to help maintain their standard.

These super convenient appliances have been known to take up a bit of electrical energy when in use. While this has been the driving force to making them better for the environment, their usage of water has also been taken into consideration as well. But what does it really mean to be environmentally friendly? To directly answer this question, knowing what the key components to being labeled as environmentally friendly are important. Below are the top two reasons behind what it means to truly be labeled as environmentally friendly.

  • The Product Uses Less Energy

This is the absolute main component behind environmentally friendly products. The use of less energy than an appliance has the better it is not only for the environment but for the overall price of utility bills. Essentially, this means the energy processed to get the work completed is shrunk down from other varieties of the appliance.

  • The Product Aids in Helping the Economy

While being environmentally friendly is crucial, so is being economically friendly. This aspect feeds off of the product using less energy which in turn produces less cost. Overall, energy demands are quite high especially in a world that is ruled by technology. These demands mean they directly affect the supply output. High energy appliances will drain more from the economy as a whole. So not only are these products supposed to save money on utility bills but also the economy.

Any appliance being marketed as "eco-friendly" (another term for environmentally friendly) will meet those components. When it comes to dishwashers there are environmentally friendly models.

They use less energy to get dishes clean. What sets dishwashers apart from other eco-friendly appliances is that not only are they using less energy to operate but they are also using a little less water. A typical dishwasher is said to use around 6 gallons of water or more.

On the other hand, an eco-friendly dishwasher is estimated at around 4 gallons of water usage. While this may not seem like a lot, it truly does add up in the long run.

Modern models of environmentally friendly dishwashers can come already pre-programmed to use less water. Others have an eco button on them for people to use at their own will. These buttons basically adjust the amount of water and energy that the dishwasher uses. This makes models that are not designed to do this automatically more efficient and overall better for the environment.

Let explore some of the best tips to follow to make the most out of an environmentally friendly dishwasher.

  • Never run a small load

It may be tempting to toss a couple of dishes into the dishwasher but in the long run, it makes dishwashers work harder for no reason. It is simply a waste of energy and water to run it without a full load.

A few dishes can be washed by hand to help in conserving energy and water costs. So what is considered a full load?

The term "full load" shouldn't be taken quite so literally. There should be enough space between the dishes on the racks so water can be propelled properly on every dish. If a dishwasher is overloaded the water and soap will not appropriately reach the areas it needs to. However, a full load should be a full top rack and a full bottom rack.

This keeps things very balanced within the dishwasher and ensures the best possible clean. A full load uses all the eco-friendly dishwasher has to offer.

  • Resist completely rinsing dishes off

Everyone is guilty of pre-rinsing really dirty dishes in an attempt to help the dishwasher. Stop this habit! Rinsing the dishes off not only wastes water from the sink faucet but also has the dishwasher washing dishes that are basically clean.

At this rate, they might as well have been washed by hand. The trick is knowing when to rinse them and when to not rinse them. Some stuck-on food debris is perfectly fine.

Dishwashers and dishwashing detergents are meant to cut through tough messes.

However, if it is really piled on thick like sauces or gravies that have dried onto dishes. These obviously should be washed off a little before entering a dishwasher. This also includes chunks of dried up food. Chunks of food can clog up a dishwasher and should be removed.

  • Hand Dry the Dishes

Han drying the dishes is absolutely free to do! Sure it takes a little extra time but this method saves on having to run a dry cycle on the dishwasher.

It is suggested shooting for using a 100% cotton handtowel so no fuzzies are left behind. Micro-fiber towels are known for this horrible dish drying crime! Using a drying rack that is designed for the top of the counter is perfect for things like drinking glasses. They can be left upside and left to air dry.

These tips are absolutely essential for maintaining dishwashers with environmental features. They should be taken into consideration every time the dishwasher is running. Overall, they will help to keep a dishwasher in check with its eco-friendly label.

What is the Most Environmentally Friendly Dishwasher Detergent?

The market is flooded with varying dishwasher detergents, however, the most environmentally friendly one out there is considered to be Ecover Automatic Dishwasher Soap Tablets. It is most preferred by users on Amazon with over 1,800 reviews and a solid 4-star rating. But what really makes this particular brand so eco-friendly? Below are the reasons that Ecover tablets are the most desired eco-friendly dishwashing detergent.

  • It's made from plant-based mineral ingredients that are biodegradable. These tablets are even packaged to be more environmentally friendly! They come in recycled cardboard that helps aid in the fight against pollution.
  • It contains absolutely no chemicals. This formula is still strong enough to tackle dirty dishes but features no additives including scents. People have assumptions that detergents of this nature can't get the job done, however, that simply is not true. The use of phosphate-free plant-based ingredients means no chemicals

While there are other dishwashing detergents that will preach about being the best, this brand has withstood the almighty review process of certified buyers.

Is it Cheaper to Wash Dishes by Hand or Use a Dishwasher?

When assessing whether it is cheaper to wash dishes by hand or use a dishwasher, knowing how much water and energy is used by each is important. The simple answer is no it is not cheaper to wash dishes by hand so using a dishwasher may be beneficial.

Everyone washes dishes differently when washing by hand and this results in varying amounts of water waste. Some people wash by hand with the water running constantly while others will fill the whole sink up with water and soap for the dishes to sit inside. When using a dishwasher, especially new models, the water and energy amount will have a bit more consistency.

Hand washing does not have electric usage but uses a bit more water. That amount will vary but it is said on average that hand washing uses 27 gallons of water per wash! That is an incredible amount!

Dishwashers have a bit more of a detailed look to consider when breaking down their water and energy usage. Overall, dishwashers are said to have around 1,200 watts of power which equate to 1.2 kilowatts hours (or kWah).

This comes out to about only 12 cents a load for a standard washer. However, it is even defined than that. For example, models made pre-1994 use somewhere between 10 to 15 gallons of water. After 1994 and when older Energy-Star models emerged that dropped to 4 to 6 gallons. The models out on the market today can use as little as 4 gallons or less.

If the dishwasher in question falls into any of the older categories, the will not be cheaper to run than doing the dishes by hand. Trying to use a newer model is the best option.

This is because when the dishwasher is older, especially the pre-1994 models, the costs to operate them basically doubles up. It has been estimated that these machines will slightly more than double that 12 cents to around 25 cents to run. For post-1994 older Energy-Star models this drops slightly to around 18 cents per load while newer models only use 4 cents a load.

What all the numerics really state is that if someone has an older model of a dishwasher, hand washing is the best route to go over using the appliance. Better yet, replacing the dishwasher all together would allow for the convenience of this great home appliance over wasting water during handwashing.

Is Having a Dishwasher Really Worth it?

Having a dishwasher can be really worth having, especially for busy families.They allow for more time to do other things that do not include standing at the kitchen sink for a long period of time. Another reason it is worth having is that newer models are more environmentally friendly.

Having appliances that fall under these classifications will not only make people feel good but fill their pockets with a little more money every year!

Should You Clean a Dishwasher?

Ideally, a dishwasher should be cleaned every two months. Just because its cleaning dishes doesn't mean it won't get scale build-up or even weird smells.

As expressed before, maintenance is an absolute necessity to keep home appliances working in the best possible way and last as long as possible. The most common way a dishwasher is cleaned by vinegar solutions.

Small part vinegar to water solutions effectively can break down limescale deposits as with coffee makers. Using any kind of cleaners could damage the inner mechanics of the dishwasher. Using dish soap in a dishwasher is only asking for a disaster.

The dish soap will create entirely too many suds and often leaks out of the bottom of dishwashers.

Dishwashing detergent brands even offer dishwasher tabs only for running through a cycle to get the machine clean. While this seems counterproductive when it comes to energy and water savings, it is important to note that this is only happening every two months.

Yes, everything adds up, however, this is an important step to the upkeep of this household appliance. Dishwashers need proper cleaning and care just like any other appliance in the home!

Dishwashers have come a long way to bring us the wonders of machine cleaning dishes. It is only more fascinating that they have become more environmentally friendly!

Mime Petit

A home appliance enthusiast and creative writer.

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