How to Conserve Water when Doing Dishes
With every meal comes a stack of dirty dishes. There is no need to run the hot water full blast, holding each plate to rinse it under the hot water blast for a minute before placing each plate into the dishwasher. Take a bit of care when washing dishes and cut down on your water use.
1 Scrape solids (bones, peels, crumbs, and uneaten tidbits) into the trash or (if they are vegetable matter like watermelon rinds) the compost . You can usually use the utensils that were used to eat.
2 Gather all the dishes together near the sink. Having them all in one stack will save time, and time saved while the water is running is water saved.
3 Rinse only as necessary. Whether you're washing by hand or in a dishwasher, you may need to do less pre-rinsing than you think. Experiment to find out how little you can get away with. It can also save you some time, not to have to handle each dish several times. Ideally, scrape the large stuff off a dish and place it either in the dishpan or in the dishwasher.
- Know the limits of your dishwasher, if you have one. Some dishwashers will get off most dried-on gunk, especially if you use a good detergent. If you have a dishwasher and it's this type, you may only need to pre-wash very heavy burnt-on gunk and protein that is cooked to the dish.
4 Run the shortest dishwasher cycle that will clean dishes satisfactorily. Try the different buttons and cycles on your dishwasher with medium-dirty dishes. Start at the shortest and work up.
5 Wash full loads. If you're filling a dishwasher , add as many dishes as will fit comfortably and get properly clean. Leaving excess space in each load just means more loads. Don't pack them in to the point where they're not getting enough water to get clean.
6 Wash dishes by hand by placing a stack at a time into a dishpan and filling it with warm soapy water. Use that water for as many dishes as you can, as long as it's still warm and sudsy. Let them soak for a few minutes to loosen up the gunk. Then swish them with a brush, dish mop, or dish cloth. Stack the washed dishes aside, but don't let them dry out.
- Don't overdo it on the dish soap, either. Use just enough to keep the water sudsy with whatever amount of grease is on your dishes. Start with just a little and add more if you need to.
7 Rinse dishes in a separate bowl of warm to hot water - this will help the dishes dry and save water. Change the water in the bowl when required. #Air dry, if possible. This is not about saving water so much as saving energy and time. Washing dishes by hand, you can stack them in a dish drainer. A tray underneath will keep the water from dripping all over the counter. In a dishwasher, choose the air dry cycle and leave the door cracked open a bit after the cycle runs if necessary