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Sure, dishwashers can use a lot of energy, but they are just so darn convenient. Who wants to spend hours in the kitchen elbow deep in greasy dishwater, when it can be as simple as rinse, load, and shut the door?  Not only are dishwashers more convenient than the old fashioned soap and scrub routine, but they are many times more sanitary.

Give it up? Never
With hand washing, you will have to take the extra step of disinfecting with bleach or antibacterial soap to ensure a completely germ free surface, whereas, a dishwasher can be set to finish with a final heat sanitising steam rinse. With so many benefits, giving up using your dishwasher all together to save on energy costs just isn’t worth it; instead, how about trying these easy tips to save energy and money.

Replace it? Maybe
Your trusty old dish washer may have served you well for ages, and may still be leaving your dishes just as sparkly clean as the day you bought it; but there have been many innovations in dishwasher design in the past few years alone and you may be missing out on huge money saving potential if you don’t consider making the upgrade. New energy efficient dish washers are designed to not only limit the amount of electricity needed to do a load, but cut down significantly on water usage as well. A new washer could be a big investment, but is one definitely worth making. In the long run it will pay for itself, not to mention you would be doing your part in protecting the environment.

Clean it? Of course
Another very helpful thing you can do to limit the energy used by running your dish washer is to make sure that all of its components are kept clean and free of hard water build up or soap residue. It is especially important to keep the heating element clean. This way it will not have to use as much energy heating the water to the correct temperature.

Use it half full? What me?
This one is true with many appliances; you wouldn’t run your clothes washer with only a t-shirt or two in it, and the same goes for a dish washer. Not that you would put your t-shirt in the dish washer, but the idea is, only run a wash cycle if you have a full load to do. Sure, those few dirty plates and glasses that are just sitting in the sink from dinner may be driving you crazy; but resist the urge to just throw them in the washer and be done with it. Just give them a quick rinse and off too bed.  Worry not; come around breakfast there will be plenty of dirty dishes to fill that dish washer up to the brim.

Settings? Hmmmm
Last, but definitely not least, let’s check out the settings you are running your washer on.  Many washers are equipped with an energy efficient setting that really does make a difference in saving energy; without compromising washing power one bit. A lot of washers also come with an air dry setting, which is definitely something you’ll want to use.  Stay away from long rinse cycles intended for heavily soiled loads. Instead, consider giving the dishes a good long soak in a sink full of warm water before loading them.

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This post is contributed by Phil Turner who never had a dishwasher until he was 54 years old and now wonders how he ever managed without one.