Dishwasher: Energy Saving Tips

I found the manual to my dishwasher online at the KitchenAid site–hooray for PDFs!.

This is what I learned in “Energy Saving Tips”:

  • Use the ENERGY SAVER DRY (no heat). 
  • Flash dry dishes.  After final rinse, unlatch door and advance Cycle Selection Dial to Pots/Pans Cycle; open door and pull out the racks.  Because of the heat buildup in dishware during the wash cycle, water evaporates quickly from the dishware.
  • Run the dishwasher only with a full load.
  • Do not rinse dishware before loading.
  • Use only the cycle and options that you need.
  • Run the dishwasher at night during the summer to avoid daytime heat load.  [I would say all year-round.]

I also learned about two other energy/water saving options:

  • LIGHT/CHINA Wash Cycle is used to wash and dry daily loads with light amounts of food soil.  This cycle uses less water and time than the Normal Wash Cycle and is the most efficient cycle to use.  (63 minutes and 7.5 gallons water used, versus 78.5 minutes and 10.75 gallons used for the Normal Wash Cycle.)
  • RINSE & HOLD Cycle is used to rinse partial loads of dishes until a full load is accumulated.  No detergent is used.  Dishware is kept moist until a complete wash and dry cycle can be run.  This cycle provides one rinse.  (13 minutes and 2.25 gallons water used.)

Finally, I called KitchenAid and found out that this machine was manufactured in March 1990!  So, it is very old from an energy efficiency perspective.  Hmm. Well, like I said in my last post, I’m renting the place, so the best I can do is to be as efficient as possible in how I use this appliance.  Everyday Sustainable with what I have.

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4 Responses to Dishwasher: Energy Saving Tips

  1. You can also save energy in th house by using energy saving light bulbs (each saves £9 per year), installing double glazing (saves £110 per year) filling wall cavities (saves over £160 per year) and, in the kitchen, try to keep the refrigerator and freezer seals maintained and doors shut when possible.

  2. Lisa says:

    Urghh. I just left you a long comment, but because I forgot to type in my email address I got an error and it deleted my comment!

    Suffice it to say, this is a helpful post. I have a newer model Kitchenaid, but your info is still valid for my machine. I’m going to test some stuff out that you suggested. I’ve always used the energy/saver button, but I haven’t tried using the light/china cycle very often. Our dishes are not that crusty and dirty so I’m going to test this cycle today on our very full load that is in there at the moment.


  3. wako says:

    Lisa, might be interesting to see if you see a change in your water usage over time. Let me know!

  4. Lisa says:

    Wako – we’ve now washed 3 loads of dishes on the light/china cycle. I’m happy to report that all dishes were as clean as when we used the Normal cycle. This is excellent! Since the cycle is shorter we’re using less energy, and hopefully saving a significant amount of water as well. Thanks again for doing the research on this!

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