Wait for full load to maximise usage of dishwasher

A two-bedroom apartment kitchen.
A two-bedroom apartment kitchen.PHOTO: OAKWOOD ASIA-PACIFIC

In these days of rising water costs, we should relook how we use water, particularly in the kitchen.

According to Bosch Home Appliances, hand-washing dishes uses 40 litres of water on average. This is nearly six times more than the seven litres needed to wash the same load in a dishwasher.

I use a dishwasher, but I either wait a couple of days for a full load to maximise usage or, if there is space, I will wash dishes that I have not used in a long time. These dishes need periodic washing to get rid of the dust that has collected.

But you need to load dishes correctly so that minimal water is used. You should place larger and heavily-soiled crockery in the bottom basket for a more intensive wash than the crockery in the upper baskets.

You do not need to pre-rinse the dishes. While you could scrape off debris on plates with a knife or a used serviette, dishwasher detergents are designed to break down stubborn food remains, says Bosch.

Plus, the attached food remains actually protect dishes from abrasive cleaners by giving them something to latch onto during a dishwasher cycle.

I also do not wash under a running tap. Instead, I wash vegetables and dishcloths in a basin of water, and water the plants with it later.

Sylvia Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2017, with the headline 'Wait for full load to maximise usage of dishwasher'. Print Edition | Subscribe