Most of the energy used by a dishwasher is for water heating. The EnergyGuide
label estimates how much power is needed per year to run the appliance and
to heat the water based on the yearly cost of natural gas and electric water
Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer's
recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements
that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature
Scrape, don't rinse, off large food pieces and bones. Soaking or prewashing
is generally only recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food.
Be sure your dishwasher is full, but not overloaded, when you run
Don't use the "rinse hold" on your machine for just a few soiled dishes.
It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
Let your dishes air dry; if you don't have an automatic air-dry switch,
turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open
a little so the dishes will dry faster.
$ Long-term savings tip: When shopping for a new dishwasher,
look for the ENERGY STAR label to find a dishwasher that uses less water
and 25% less energy than required by federal standards.