Hints on dishwasher economy

The amount of energy a dishwasher uses is very small. It's the use of hot water that accounts for the main operating cost. The Soap and Detergent Association offers some ways to minimize energy consumption and still obtain good washing results:

* Start with the proper water temperature, a key factor in dishwashing performance. The temperature should not be lower than 130 degrees F. at the dishwasher. As the temperature is reduced, the removal of greasy and oily soils becomes more difficult, so spotting, filming, and improper drying may result. Some dishwasher models feature a cycle that automatically heats water to the proper temperature before washing begins. In this way, satisfactory results can still be achieved despite a reduced temperature setting at the water heater.

* Operate dishwasher only when a full load is accumulated, but avoid overloading.

* Use the ''rinse-hold'' or ''rinse'' cycle to hold partial loads before washing.

* Prerinsing dishes is not necessary. Simply scrape off large food particles and bones, and presoak dishes and casserole dishes with baked-on foods.

* Load dishwater correctly, being careful not to block the spray arms or the detergent dispenser.

* Keep the dishwasher in top operating condition and clean the filter regularly.

* If necessary, insulate water heater and delivery pipes to avoid heat loss between the supply and the dishwasher.

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