Home & Garden

Skip the pre-wash and save time, water

This is part of a new weekly feature in Home & Garden, highlighting ways residents can save water.

•  Let the dishwasher do the work.

Almost everyone prewashes dishes before they put them in the dishwasher. This could be a waste of both time and water. According to a new survey by the makers of Cascade detergent and Marie Claire magazine, 96 percent of those surveyed spent an hour or more a week prewashing dishes before loading. They used an estimated 12.5 gallons each time they prewashed – an unnecessary step, according to dishwasher manufacturers. That extra step can add up to more than 87 gallons a week.

If every American household with an automatic dishwasher stopped prewashing before loading, the potential water savings could exceed 130 billion gallons a year, according to Cascade research.

Modern dishwashers are a lot more efficient than doing dishes by hand. Energy Star-rated dishwashers use on average 4.25 gallons per load, compared to 27 gallons for hand dishwashing that same load.

For more tips, visit www.bewatersmart.info.

Debbie Arrington