I am all about convenience and doing what I can to make my life simpler. One way I do that is to just load up the dishwasher after dinner each night. Some say that it can be more expensive to run your machine, but here are a few tips you can use to save money (and time):
Use Vinegar for The Rinse Aid.
Rather than spending your heard earned money on special rinse aids, you can use vinegar. It helps rinse away residue and also take care of those pesky odors which can build up in your machine.
Make Sure Your Load is Full.
Since your machine uses the same amount of soap and water no matter how many dishes are loaded, it can be a waste to wash only partial loads. Make sure your machine is fully loaded so you are getting the full value of the water and detergent used.
Energy Savings Works.
If your machine has this cycle, try to use it as often as possible. It can help to reduce your energy consumption.
Run the Disposal.
Take around 30 seconds and run your disposal with cold water before you start your dishwasher. This can help to flush out any food particles, which might actually back up into your machine (which means a second run on those dishes with food residue stuck on them).
Make Your Own Detergent.
Who says you have to opt for the expensive brands to get clean dishes? Why not make your own detergent. Here is a simple recipe you can make yourself:
- 1 Cup of Borax
- 1/2 cup of Citric Acid
- 1 Cup of Washing Soda
- 1/2 Cup of Kosher Salt
Just mix together and use around 1 tsp per load. The good thing is you can multiply this recipe to make a larger amount if you so desire. You might want to add a tsp of rice to your detergent to help it absorb moisture. Make sure that you only add the citric acid when putting the detergent into the machine (this can help keep down on clumping). While you may have to spend a little more up front for your items, in the end you will pay less per load than if you use the store brand products.
The biggest argument I hear from people is the amount of water they think they are wasting. If you consider how much water you would use to run sinks full of dishes, and rinse them, 2 or 3 times a day, you may find that you are using more water than if you ran your machine just once. Make sure that you consider your time to wash the dishes as opposed to loading them – as your personal time also has value.
What tips do you have to add?