10 Ways to Save Energy With Your Dishwasher

Last Updated on September 5, 2020 by Ellen Christian

Why should you worry about ways to save energy with your dishwasher? Like most busy moms, time-saving appliances and gadgets are high on my list of must-have items.  If something can save me 30 minutes a day without sacrificing quality, I’m all for it.  That’s 30 more minutes a day I can do something else – like grab a latte or read a good book at the end of the day.  Just because I’m looking to save time, doesn’t mean that I am willing to waste energy.

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10 Ways to Save Energy With Your Dishwasher


10 Ways to Save Energy With Your Dishwasher

When Marty and I were remodeling the kitchen, we gave some serious thought to installing a dishwasher. With six people in the house, I spend a lot of time washing dishes. Yes, I could delegate but I like the way they come out when I do them. A dishwasher would save a lot of time, but ultimately we decided our kitchen was just too small to accommodate even the smallest dishwasher. If you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher, here are a few ways to save.


Set the dishwasher on low temperature or eco-saving mode. You don’t need to run the dishwasher on the highest water temperature in order to get clean dishes.

Energy Rating

When you replace your machine choose one that is rated high in energy and water efficiency. Each dishwasher sold should have an energy rating with an Energy Star sticker on the front. Compare carefully to choose the best choice for your family.

Fill Completely

Fill the dishwasher completely before you run it to make the most of the energy, water, and detergent you use. If you only need one or two dishes or bowls from the dishwasher and it isn’t full yet, wash them by hand to save energy.


Perform regular maintenance to ensure hoses are not plugged and drains are clear. If you notice a problem, call a repairman immediately rather than waiting until the dishwasher leaks all over the kitchen. You will save money in the long run.

Skip Pre-wash

Skip the pre-wash cycle.  Wipe off any existing food pieces into the trash before you load the dishwasher. You should not have to run a pre-wash on a normal cycle if you rinse the dishes off before you add them to the dishwasher.

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Air Dry

Reduce the amount of heat you use by selecting the no heat or energy saver cycle during drying time. When the cycle is done, allow the dishes to dry naturally by opening the door rather than running a drying cycle.

Off Peak Rates

Run your dishwasher in the evening during off peak electric rate cycles. Keep in mind that not all electric utilities offer off-peak rates. Be sure to call your electric company to see if they do.

Load Carefully

Load dishes according to the manufacturer’s directions to ensure you’re fitting the most dishes possible in the dishwasher. If you have an oddly shaped item that will block most of the other dishwasher slots, consider washing it by hand.

Don’t Block the Water

Don’t put any large pots or pans over the water distribution outlet. This will prevent the dishwasher from working properly. If the water cannot properly reach all of the dishes, they won’t come clean.

Best Detergent

Choose a dishwashing detergent made to work in eco-saving mode that has enough power to remove any stuck on food.  Running your dishes through twice is never a way to save money.

Do you have any ways to save energy that I’ve missed?

10 thoughts on “10 Ways to Save Energy With Your Dishwasher”

  1. I keep paper and plastic storage bags in my dishwasher! Just for myself, I clean dishes and pans as I use them. I've always been a huge water miser and probably always will be! We didn't have a dishwasher growing up, so I don't miss it at all.
  2. Great tips! I already do most of these, but am really looking forward to buying a more energy efficient dishwasher when we have to replace our old one - although not looking forward to the price tag of a new appliance!

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