In 1886, Josephine Cochran invented the first dishwasher, effectively bringing peace to a country torn by the Civil War. But it wasn’t until decades later, in the 1950s, that dishwashers became a standard kitchen appliance to the delight of housewives everywhere. Today, kitchen clean-up echoes the bloody battles of the Civil War, with spouses, kids, and pets alike sparring over dishwasher duties. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With these choice tips, you can save time, hassle, and once again bring peace to your dishwasher’s hallowed throne:
Loading to Liftoff
A better clean starts with how you pack the dishwasher. Dishes should face toward the sprayer in the middle of the unit, and bowls and cups should face down to make the most efficient use of the sprayer. Your glasses should go between the tines — not over, otherwise they could break. Pre-sort your silverware to make unloading that much easier, just be sure to alternate the direction you store cutlery so silverware doesn’t nest.
Lastly, scrape plates before loading, and don’t bother rinsing — detergents are designed to attack stuck-on grime, and will make your glasses cloudy if there is no food to attack. Modern dishwashers are designed to catch food and pump it down the drain or have their own food dispenser to grind food, rendering rinsing a waste of both water and time. Remember not to over-pack your dishwasher, otherwise you might have to re-run the cycle!
Investing in an Energy Star certified dishwasher can save water, energy, and ease your utility bills. Energy Star dishwashers cap out at 5.8 gallons per cycle and only use half the electricity of older models. As a comparison, “running your faucet for just one minute uses roughly 1 gallon of water,” along with the electricity to heat it.
The sleek, user-friendly dishwashers from Bosch are equipped with up to four wash cycles and save up to 599 gallons of water each year. In fact, Bosch models exceed Energy Star requirements by 35%, making them an ideal, eco-friendly choice.
Bells and Whistles
There are a few tips and tricks that can make your dishwasher habits even easier. For instance, use a magnet to mark whether the dishwasher’s contents are dirty or clean, so your minions know when it’s time to unload. Unload the bottom rack first, otherwise used water from the top rack could splash on your sparkly-clean bottom dishes as you unload.
It’s also useful to know that there are a variety of knick-knacks that you can clean in your dishwasher, from sponges to your kid’s plastic toys. Keep your dishwasher fresh by tossing a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of the empty unit and run a normal cycle. Lastly, don’t forget to clean the dishwasher seals and trap every once in a while.
With these tips and tricks, you can speed up the time you spend doing dishes, and save money in the process!