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December 1, 2010 / robertstockham

Save energy and water while washing dishes…

Here are some tips for saving energy and water while doing the dishes.

Soak or pre-wash only in the cases of burned-on or dried-on foods.

Be sure that the dishwasher is full, but not overloaded.

Don’t use the “rinse hold” feature on your dishwasher when you only have a few soiled dishes.

Overall, dishwashers use less water than washing dishes by hand. For a full load of dishes in the dishwasher, washing the same dishes by hand would typically use at least 6 more gallons of hot water.

Look for dishwashers with internal booster heaters, so that you can set your water heater thermostat at 1200 F (rather than 1400 F or higher for dishwashing purposes). Most new dishwashers have this feature.

Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing a new dishwasher. New criteria went into effect on January 1, 2007, which made ENERGY STAR® units more than 35 percent more efficient than baseline units.

New federal efficiency standards for standard-size and compact dishwashers took effect on January 1, 2010. For standard-size units, the efficiency standards are 6.5 gallons of water used per cycle and a maximum usage of 355 kilowatt-hours per year.

For more information on high-efficiency dishwashers, check out the following Web and



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