Experts reveal best way to wash your dishes – are you doing it right? | The Sun

EXPERTS have revealed you should never rinse dishes ahead of stacking the dishwasher – because it costs an unnecessary £195million of water every year.

A poll of 2,000 adults who own a dishwasher found 62 per cent always wash items before loading.

Those who needlessly rinse are also pouring the equivalent of 95 million litres of cold water down the sink every day – seeing 7.6 billion gallons washed away annually.

However, 59 per cent of those who rinse justify their actions by claiming it clogs up the machine – causing it to have issues in the long run.

But of the 38 per cent who don’t pre-rinse their dishes, 53 per cent argued it's pointless as the items will be washed thoroughly once they're in the machine anyway.

The study, commissioned by energy experts, Utilita, also found 42 per cent load their dishwasher only once the crockery and cutlery is ‘sparkling clean’.


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Archie Lasseter, head of sustainability, said: “Knowing what our habits are costing us can encourage us to reconsider our behaviours, and in this case, the savings are significant, so should hopefully make households think twice.

“We can tell households how much money they’ll save, but until they load the dishwasher without pre-rinsing, and see positive results every time, they won’t be convinced.

“We hope that this informative campaign will encourage people to put confidence in their machines and save the pocket and the planet in the process.”  

Other reasons for rinsing include wanting to keep the machine as clean as possible, ensuring no long-term issues occur, and to make sure it doesn’t start smelling.

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But 37 per cent simply do it as a force of habit, while exactly a quarter say this is just what they were brought up to do.

Despite these reasons, 39 per cent of those who rinse say their crockery and cutlery come out in the same condition as they went in.

It takes 77 per cent up to two minutes to rinse everything off after finishing a typical evening meal.

Of those who use hot water to do this, this is costing them £37.53 per year and sets back those who opt for cold water, £11.05 – amounting to an average of £25.48 spent on pre-rinsing.

More than three in 10 of all those surveyed, via OnePoll, will typically put their dishwasher on more than once a day – meaning the associated costs will double to £76 and £22, respectively.

For 27 per cent, the ‘rinse debate’ causes arguments within their household with 57 per cent responsible for loading the machine themselves, while 24 per cent leave it to their partner.

When it comes to settings, 62 per cent have never used the ‘eco’ mode which, according to experts, has the power to save each household £33.88 per year.

And only two per cent use the ‘rinse only’ programme with 36 per cent claiming they have little to no knowledge of their machine settings.

What’s more, 46 per cent have never changed the machine's settings since first using it.

Before taking the poll, 51 per cent weren’t aware of the ‘no need to rinse’ label on the back of dishwasher tablet packs.

But encouragingly, of the 49 per cent who had, 70 per cent said this influenced them to stop rinsing before loading.

What’s more, 45 per cent of people who rinse say they would consider changing their habits before loading the dishwasher in the future.

Paul Hide, chief executive at the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances, said: “Dishwashers are one of the home’s most hard-working appliances – they are designed to provide a full dishwashing function, which includes rinsing, so we must put our trust in them to save time, money, and the environment.

“Our own research reveals that most households avoid the eco-mode on home appliances due to it taking longer – we need to help consumers understand the benefits.

“By taking longer to agitate the dirt on dishes, the dishwasher doesn’t need to heat the water to such high temperatures, which saves around 30 per cent of energy on each dishwasher cycle and it’s the same for washing machines, too.”

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Archie Lasseter added: “We’re really motivated by the fact that dishwasher tablet manufacturers are encouraging consumers not to rinse, too.

“Through our behaviour science research, we know these types of visual cues and reminders really help when forming new energy efficiency habits.”


1.    Concerned about clogging the dishwasher

2.    Want to keep the dishwasher clean

3.    To avoid breaking the machine

4.    It’s a force of habit

5.    To avoid the dishwasher smelling


1.    It’s a waste of water

2.    Pointless when the machine rinses them

3.    My dishwasher has a rinse on the cycle

4.    My dishwasher tablets advise not to rinse

5.    I can’t stand touching dirty plates

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