Friday, 13 August 2010

Automatic Dishwasher

Using an automatic dishwasher can save hundreds of gallons of water when compared to hand washing — assuming you're doing full loads of dishes in a modern machine. Yours should be less than 10 years old; look for the Energy Star label, which ensures an appliance is energy-efficient.

Until recently, it was a challenge to find an environmentally sound automatic dishwashing detergent. Traditional name-brand detergents (powders, liquids, and "tabs") contain both chlorine and phos­phates. In fact, up to a third of the phosphates in U.S. wastewater comes from automatic dishwash­ing detergent. Phosphates are a major cause of algae blooms, which are hazardous to fish, plant life, and water quality. The ecofriendly dishwashing products are all chlorine- and phosphate-free.

Loading the dishwasher properly will save time and help conserve energy. Don't rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher — just scrape any food into the trash or composter. Prerinsing can be a hard habit to break, but it is almost always an unnecessary waste of time and water. Put the most soiled items, such as pots and pans with cooked-on food, on the bottom rack, facing down, so the sprayer arm will be pointed directly at them. Dishwasher-safe plastic-ware, glasses, cups, and mugs go on the top rack, with the glasses in the rows between the tines, not on them. Platters, cookie sheets, and trays go along the sides of the bottom rack, with dishes and bowls between these items and any pots or pans. Utensils go in the basket with handles down, except knives, which go in handle-up.

Running the Dishwasher

Try to run the dishwasher only when it is full — a full load uses less water and energy than two half-loads. Using it at off-peak hours can reduce your community's energy demands and keep your house cooler in the summer. Choose the economy cycle if your machine has one, and avoid the rinse and hold cycle. You don't need the drying cycle — just open the door and let the dishes air dry. (Remove glasses and wipe them with a dry soft cloth if you are wor­ried about spotting.)

Maintaining your Dishwasher

Maintaining your dishwasher properly will keep it at peak energy efficiency. The professionals from cleaning services London advise.

  • Once a month or so, check the drain and reservoir for food scraps, which reduce the dishwasher's effectiveness and create unpleasant smells.
  • Keep the interior of the dishwasher clean by putting a cup of white vinegar in the detergent reservoir and run­ning an empty cycle every week or two.
  • A little baking soda sprinkled on the floor of the washer prevents odors between uses.


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