Did you know that you can save water and electricity by using your dishwasher? I would never had believed this if it were not for a recent stumbling upon an article which said: “Doing only full loads of laundry and –this one is a surprise – using your dishwasher instead of hand-washing dishes saves water. A fully loaded dishwasher cuts the water used to do dishes.” (Gregg Horn, Living Green)
Another study put out by a U.K non-prodit organization called Waterwise found that: “the average dishwasher uses between 3 and 4.5 gallons of water per load, while hand dishwashing can use over 16 gallons.” Interesting! Not only can you use less water, but your dishes will get cleaner!
Replacing Dishwasher Soap
Another report showed that dishwashers can save water but the soap can be a problem. Most dishwasher soap includes phosphate. “Where sewage plants discharge phosphate into streams and bays, it contributes to algae blooms. When the algae dies and begins to rot, the oxidation process of decay uses up the water’s dissolved oxygen required by fish, and they suffocate as a result.”
Bio-Kleen & Seventh Generation are recommended replacements OR make your own: mix one part borax, one part baking soda and 1/4 part salt. Add white vinegar to the rinse cycle to get them squeaky clean! A reader recommended recently to use Dr. Bronner’s: “Regarding the Dr. Bronner’s liquid soaps, I use a teaspoon each of liquid soap and baking soda in the cup of my dishwasher.”
Another recipe: Mix equal parts of borax and washing soda, but increase the washing soda if your water is hard.