Sadly, we haven't had the luxury of a dishwasher in the four places we've lived in the past four years. We always had dishes on the counter- either waiting to be washed, waiting to be put away or both. After our wedding we were gifted with some money at Sears.... and a dishwasher shopping we went.
We considered apartment sized washers, but they were more expensive, wouldn't hold half of our larger bowls and cooking stuffs and appeared cheaply made. So a large, hook up to the sink dishwasher it is. And we LOVE it.
According to a study at University of Bonn, dishwashers use half the energy, one sixth the water and less soap than washing dishes by hand. New energy star dishwashers use 25% less energy than basic models (our dishwasher is an energy star).
This study tested 113 hand-washers in seven European countries (for variation in handwashing styles) vs modern machines. The average person used 103 litres of water, 2.5 kWh of energy and 79 minutes' time. The machines used 15 litres of water, a bit over 1 kWh of energy for a full load. (Ecoholic, 2006, Ecoholic Home 2009). WOOT!
Features to keep in mind if you too find yourself in a fortunate monetary moment:
- Make sure you have an air dry button (or just open the door the moment it's done!)
- Energy Star... all the way. It assures that the dishwasher uses 41% less energy and less water.
- Read the EnerGuide papers in the washers when looking. We did- and based our choice on the one that used less energy.
- Run full loads and scrape instead of double washing. I mean, if your brand new dishwasher can't handle washing your dishes..... ahem.
Okidoki, we got the basics covered- what about detergent. I was SO happy with our dishwashing liquid, and I really really hate the little pre-wrapped tab dealys. From what I had read on Crunchy Chicken that the best out there was truly Ecover. Which sucks because I'm not a huge fan of the company. Thank goodness for Adria Vasil of Ecoholic and her new book- Ecoholic Home. I adore this book, as it actually RATES products....
Bio-Vert, a Canadian company, was the hands down winner- against Ecover, Attitude, Seventh Gen and Nature Clean (woo!). I adore Bio-Vert, awesome clean products, their dish liquid and laundry detergent are fabulous too. Made in Quebec, mixed sources Forest Stewardship Certified packaging. The sad part is the pre-wrapped tabs, which they say are recyclable... but with no number on the package and restricted to recycling #1 and #2 plastics in HRM it's annoying.
My solution? If the dishes aren't that dirty we cut the tablet in half (which is most of the time). And you know what? I don't notice a difference. The dishes are spotless and perfect every time. The cheapest place to buy Bio-Vert in HRM is, weirdly enough, at Zellers in Bayers Lake. Yep, big box store... but money is money.
We adore our new dishwasher and although Andrew still has dishes to wash (like the bamboo stuff) the minimal amount means less water, less soap and money saved.
article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com