Dishwashers are certainly a big help in the kitchen, but there are still some misconceptions out there about how to use them and even over whether they’re more efficient than handwashing! Let this little article clear everything up.
Myth #1: "Dishwashers use more water than handwashing"
Not true! Even the largest dishwashers will only use around 12 litres of water per cycle, while most kitchen sinks need 20-30 litres of water to fill them. Plus, you’ll likely need to exchange the water if you’re taking on as much handwashing as a 12-place setting dishwasher can handle. In terms of cost, you’ll spend seven times more on water if you handwash than if you use a dishwasher over a 10-year period.
Myth #2: "Dishwashers use more energy than handwashing"
Again, not true—especially if you count the elbow grease! A dishwasher uses electricity to heat the water it needs, and since it needs less water than a kitchen sink, it’s going to use less energy than handwashing.
Over a 10-year period, a dishwasher will use roughly half the energy that handwashing will and will save you hours of hard work.
Myth #3: "You need to pre-rinse cookware and crockery by hand first"
What’s the point of a dishwasher if you practically have to clean everything before you put it in, right? Well, you don’t. You just need to scrape off leftovers and any large pieces of food debris and load the machine.
If you’re worried about food drying on in the dishwasher while you’re filling it up over a day or two, just run a rinse programme.
Myth #4: "Delicate glassware gets damaged in the dishwasher"
While you always need to make sure your glassware is dishwasher safe, there’s no reason it’ll be damaged in your dishwasher. To avoid clouding on glasses, make sure you’re using good quality detergent and rinse-aid. Some dishwashers offer programmes specifically for delicate glassware too.
Myth #5: "Dishwashers are breeding grounds for bacteria"
You certainly need to take care of your appliance to make sure its always clean, but a dishwasher is far more hygienic than a kitchen sink. High washing temperatures and dedicated cleaning programmes mean the majority of germs and bacteria are killed during every cycle. Just how many germs and bacteria do you think are sitting on that sponge?
Myth #6: "It doesn’t matter how you load your dishwasher"
Oh yes it does! Glasses, mugs and tumblers all go on the top rack, as do larger utensils like spatulas and ladles. Smaller bowls can also go on the top rack, as long as they’re tilting forward and exposed to the spray arm. Make sure items are positioned so they won’t “capture” any water. The bottom rack is for plates (they rest in between the tines), or larger items like pots and pans.
Myth #7: "Completely filling the dishwasher will leave some items dirty"
While you certainly don’t want to overload any household appliance, filling your dishwasher to capacity actually makes for more efficient cleaning. Just be conscious that loading the dishwasher incorrectly may prevent some items from being washed properly. Make sure all surfaces are exposed to the spray arms.