Lets Dish: or How Hard Can It Be to Load the Dishwasher??
I recently thought of posting this great NY Times article in the office kitchen as inspiration. I like that it spells out how to stack dishes and that it corroborates the fact that you don’t need to rinse your dishes beforehand,something I’ve always suspected. (Soap needs something to grab onto to really clean your dishes, so pre-rinsing – in addition to wasting water and the electricity to heat it – actually contributes to a permanent, cloudy effect called etching, which is when the detergent attacks the glass itself, rather than the food on it.)
There’s a lot more good, straight-forward advice about how to maximize space and energy with your dishwasher — including a tip suggesting that utensils should alternate pointing up and down to avoid nesting. Since I work with a lot of visual learners I thought it might help to compile the stacking tips from Consumer Reports and other online guides into one friendly diagram…
My favorite new piece of information from this article was that the best setting on the machine is the most basic – i.e., no speed drying, heat adding, turbo-powering. The normal wash setting is the one that has been most tested by the manufacturer and is therefore the most effective and efficient. In addition my Times expert recommends a technique called “flash drying”, which entails opening the dishwasher as soon as the dishwasher shuts off. The dishes are at their hottest, so the water will evaporate quickly as the colder outside air hits them, drying them in about 5-10 minutes. Fast, and no extra energy wasted by using the heat-dry setting.
And of course, only run full loads because it’s a better use of resources– less soap and water wasted on 2 or 3 dishes – but also because in half-loaded machines things can get knocked around, and that would further chip our office IKEA-ware.
I’m going to make the above suggestions to our Office Services crew, and maybe try to post the stacking guide and that very informative Times article next to the office dishwasher. I imagine the creative types in our office improving on it graffiti-style, which would be all well and good. After all, designing the best way to make a space work is what they’ve been trained to do.
– by Briana