Homeowners across the US have turned more environmentally-conscious in recent years. Many now consider energy-saving options for their homes, especially options for saving water. To that end, modern dishwashers are not only time-saving, but can also save water. However, whether you use a newer or an older model, there are some typical mistakes you make when loading your dishwasher. Pay attention to these so you don't waste time, money and invaluable water.
You mix metals
If two heterogeneous metals touch, they interact. This happens most often with silver and stainless steel. As a result, dishes made of these metals can get scratched on the surface. In order to keep your dishes clean and intact, don’t load different metals together.
You put delicate, hand-painted china in the dishwasher
Whether it’s family heirloom or simply an expensive souvenir, the chances are you aren’t using hand-painted china on a daily basis. More significantly, these pieces are kept for their sentimental or decorative value. Either way, they should never be washed in a dishwasher, because they might get grazed on the surface, chipped or broken in half.
You misplace the detergent
Most dishwashers come with a set of recommended types of detergents, as well as the required dose packs that go into the detergent dispenser. The mechanism ensures the detergent doesn’t dissolve too quickly, but is evenly dispensed throughout the washing cycles. That’s why it is imperative you put a single detergent pack in the designated dispenser. Don't put the detergent pack into the bottom of the dishwasher or elsewhere.
You don’t use a rinse agent
Using detergent is not enough, since it doesn’t remove mineral deposits from glassware. That is why most dishwashers have a distinct compartment for the rinse agent. Make sure you don’t forget to put it in – otherwise you’ll have to run all the cycles again and waste more water in vain.
You block the spray arm and detergent dispenser
When arranging the dishes and flatware, pay attention that nothing is blocking the spray arm and that detergent can be dispensed evenly. Top trays are reserved for cutlery, whereas bottom racks are for sizeable dishes. Modern dishwashers are also designed with removable racks, so chunky pots and pans can be properly washed without blocking the detergent dispenser.
You skimp on your dishwasher
Although dishwashers promised to rule out pre-rinsing, most older models still require it. However, modern models are designed with more efficient rinsing properties. Rinsing cycle takes only 1-2 gallons of water, as opposed to 20 gallons used when rinsing by hand. In that way, they save a valuable amount of water that would otherwise go to waste. Generally, energy-efficient dishwashers use 3-5 gallons of water per cycle, compared to more than 10 gallons used by older models. Therefore, investing in a dishwasher is a wise move. If you have a newer model, and you want to make sure you avoid mistakes you make when loading your dishwasher, consider other things you are probably doing wrong.
Going an extra mile
If you want to make sure your water-saving efforts see full fruition, contact Plumbing Plus, your San Diego plumbing expert. We can help you choose and set up energy-efficient appliances and introduce improvements such as whole house water filtration, for a better quality of life.