Energy Efficiency
A Full Dishwasher Can Save a Load
Save money with your holiday cleanup

Svetl | iStock.com

Chances are, you’ll run your dishwasher several times on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Each time, stuff it as full as a turkey. If your dishwasher is loaded to capacity instead of half-full when you run it, you’ll use less water and electricity.

Here are more energy-saving dishwasher tips:

Stop rinsing. Newer dishwashers do such a good job that you’re simply wasting water and time by rinsing dishes before you load them. A surprise: Loading unrinsed dishes could save you up to 55,000 gallons of water over the life of your dishwasher.

Air-dry. Selecting the heat-dry option is unnecessary. If your dishwasher doesn’t have an air-dry option, prop open the door once the wash cycle completes and let the load dry naturally.

Want to avoid spots during air-drying? Use a rinse aid. It speeds drying time and prevents spots on glasses and silverware.

Run the dishwasher after dark. Most families wash dishes right after dinner, so the demand on your electric cooperative is greatest then. Also, after a long day of cooking and a house full of company, the last thing your kitchen needs is the heat your dishwasher produces.