Have you looked around your (mostly) energy-efficient home, realized something about it hasn’t yet been optimized for green living and wondered, “What is the most efficient way to wash dishes?”

You’re not alone! Follow these tips to save water and electricity when running your dishwasher:

  • Save water by scraping, not rinsing, dishes when loading the dishwasher.
  • Turn off the drying cycle on the dishwasher to reduce power usage — you don’t need it!
  • Only wash a full load of dishes to save on detergent in addition to water and electricity.
  • Finally, follow directions in the dishwasher’s manual for loading and running the dishwasher. They have helpful hints about your specific appliance’s operation!

Watch the video above to learn more.


Joe Truini: When it comes to saving energy around the house, the dishwasher might not be the first thing you think of; but you’d be surprised how much water and electricity you can save with a few simple tips.

For example, if you scrape the dishes clean instead of rinsing them, you can save up to 20 gallons of water. Also, be sure to turn off the electric dryer because that’s just a waste of energy.

Also, read the instruction manual carefully. In this particular model, for example, I discovered that this hole in the lower rack allows the wash tower to extend up during the rinse and wash cycles, so the dishes come out nice and clean.

They also recommended not putting a bowl or a large platter in this front right corner, because it’ll block the circulation of the detergent. Now, I never would have known either of those, if I didn’t read the instruction manual.

So you follow these simple tips, the dishes will come out nice and clean. And you don’t have to wash them in the sink a second time and waste water and electricity.

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avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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