Are you hesitant of using a dishwasher? Are you using it as a dish rack instead of using it to actually wash...dishes? We’re sure you have plenty of excuses to decide against using one. But we’re here to clear the waters and tell you, without a shred of doubt, that you’re probably wrong. Many preconceptions that people have regarding dishwashers and their use in the kitchen just aren’t true.
Dishwashers are actually here to help you and make your life easier, not hurt you or the environment. So don’t fret. We’ve done the research for you and have debunked 7 popular myths, so you can breathe and relax and let your dishes get washed.
- I need to pre-rinse or scrub my dishes to really get them clean.
Stop doing that. Dishwasher detergents are scientifically designed to break down and remove all the guck and dirt on your dishes. Actually, if you wash your dishes without anything for these cleaners to latch onto, it could end up being very damaging and abrasive to your dishware. Many dishwashers even have high-pressure jets and rinse cycles to power-clean dishes from multiple angles to reach every nook and cranny. Technology has really come a long way.
- Using a dishwasher is more damaging to the environment than washing by hand.
Actually, the opposite is true. Washing by hand can consume twice as much water as using a dishwasher, (even more if you leave the water running!) A dishwasher uses a surprisingly small amount of water that gets cleaned and reused in the same wash to be super-efficient. Additionally, energy is also better conserved because your appliances consume far less energy when heating far less water.
- Dishwashers are filled with bacteria.
Bacteria can grow anywhere, but you’re likely to find more of it in a kitchen sink than a dishwasher. Wet towels, sponges, and sink drains harbor food remnants and humidity that can become germy breeding grounds if not kept in check and are the perfect environment for the proliferation of bacteria. On the other hand, the cleaning detergents and super-heated steam used in each cycle on a dishwasher help to ensure a more sterile, clean and safe environment.
- I don’t use enough dishes to justify using or turning on a dishwasher.
Dishwashers come in all shapes and sizes as well as feature different functions, washing cycles and durations to fit your specific washing needs. This actually leads to myth number:
- I always wash using shorter cycles because it saves more energy.
It’s no accident that your dishwasher has different cycles that are geared to certain types of loads, based either in quantity or how much dirt and gunk is on your plates. It’s more efficient to group your loads accordingly, to save time and energy. Otherwise, you’ll end up having to additionally wash by hand some of the dishes or worse, run your dishes through another cycle. Now that’s a waste.
- Completely filling the dishwasher will leave some dishes dirty.
This one is just flatly not true. Although overfilling is never a good idea on any of your many households appliances, your dishwasher is actually at its most efficient when it’s full. Most modern dishwashers sense and adjust their water spray systems accordingly when they recognize different sized loads, much like modern HE washing machines.
- Adding more detergent is better.
Too much of anything is never a good thing. Excess detergent can lead to cloudy and stained dishes and glassware. So if you use gel dishwasher detergent and notice some of these stains, they could be the result of tiny abrasions made to its surface caused by too much detergent.
How about now? Are you convinced? Will you put down the sponge and press the ‘start’ button on your dishwasher?