CR Quick Recommendations
Repairs & reliability
Less work, less water

Do less work and save more water when running your dishwasher

Last reviewed: June 2009
Person rinsing dishes

When it comes to washing dishes, doing less work can save you more money as it helps the environment.

Don't wash dishes by hand

An efficient dishwasher can use less water than washing dishes by hand, no matter how frugal you are at the faucet. If you don't like leaving dirty dishes around between washing, run the dishwasher' s rinse-and-hold cycle, which uses only about two gallons of water compared with four gallons typical for hand-washing.

Don't prerinse your load

Unnecessary rinsing can waste nearly 20 gallons of water per load. That comes to some 6,500 gallons per household per year if you use your dishwasher almost daily. Our tests have shown that most dishwashers can handle even the dirtiest dishes. So instead of prerinsing your dinnerware, simply scrape off the excess food, load everything into your dishwasher, and let the machine do the rest of the work.

Use rinse aids and enzyme-based detergents

Both tend to yield cleaner results. Rinse aids reduce spotting, while enzyme-based detergents help dissolve food starches and proteins.