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The Loneliest Home Appliance

What goes on behind closed dishwasher doors? For many, nothing. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports that dishwashers are the least used home appliance. Of the 80 million U.S. households having a dishwasher, roughly 16 million (20 percent) never use it over the course of a year, according to DOE data.

For these households, that's a costly mistake. Cleaning a typical load of dishes in a dishwasher uses 37 percent less water than washing by hand, saving the average household nearly 5,000 gallons of water per year. Also, using a dishwasher, rather than hand washing, can cut your annual energy costs by more than $40, according to ENERGY STARĀ®.

Stop the drain on your budget

If your dishwasher isn't fulfilling its potential, stop wasting energy and water and start using it. Here are some money-saving tips:

  • Scrape dishes instead of rinsing before loading them into the dishwasher. Pre-rinsing dishes can use up to 20 gallons of water.
  • Only run your dishwasher when there's a full load and use short wash cycles for lightly soiled dishes.
  • Use a rinse agent and the air-dry setting, rather than the heated drying cycle.

If your dishwasher is older or in need of repair, purchase a new ENERGY STAR certified unit. ENERGY STAR dishwashers use less energy and water than standard models.

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