These days I always hear that you don’t need to rinse your dishes before putting them into the dishwasher. They say with modern dishwashers and dishwasher detergents, it’s not only unnecessary, it makes it harder for the detergent to work correctly. They say the detergent breaks down the bits of food.
Does it work for you? It sure doesn’t for me!
It doesn’t matter if I use an eco friendly dishwasher detergent such as the one from Seventh Generation, or one of the usual suspects. If the dishes have more than an insignificant amount of food on them, I get food dust all through the glasses on the top shelf. It’s disgusting.
I do still need to try Ecover, which is well rated on Amazon.
My way of handling this is to scrape first. I have a good scraper my mother gave me, and spoons do a fair job on some surfaces too. Sometimes the flat and flexible surface of the scraper does a better job, though. An alternative to buying a scraper is to use an expired credit card – they’re flexible and have a good enough edge for the job.
Then a sink of water for rinsing, rather than running the faucet, at least if several are being done at once. Running the water is wasteful if there’s more than a few dishes to rinse.
Honestly, I’d love it if dishes only needed to be scraped to get clean in the dishwasher. A big part of why they’re supposed to be more water efficient is that you shouldn’t always need to rinse dishes now. Too bad it doesn’t work that way for me.
Does it work that way for anyone?
Is it true that using a dishwasher (provided you don’t rinse them before) saves more water than washing by hand? I’ve heard different accounts…and don’t mind hand washing dishes, so wanted to check!
It depends some on your dishwasher and how you tend to wash dishes. If you run a lot of water to hand wash and rinse your dishes, you’re using a lot of water. If you fill a sink to wash and a sink to rinse, you may not be using too terribly much. But you have to count any water you use to pre-rinse your dishes for the dishwasher as part of the water used. Older dishwashers use more water than newer models.
Theoretically, the dishwasher wins out. Treehugger has a good analysis at http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/built-in-dishwasher-vs-hand-washing-which-greener.php