You've Been Washing Up Wrong Your Entire Life

It's a dirty job but somebody's got to clear up after dinner. But while you're right to scrape off any food scraps before you load your plates into the dishwasher, Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute has revealed that rinsing them can actually prevent your dishwasher from cleaning effectively.

Credit: Unsplash/izzier
Credit: Unsplash/izzier

Turns out your crockery and cutlery need to be dirty in order for the dishwasher detergent to do its job. Makers of dishwasher detergent Cascade are on a mission to discourage their customers from rinsing.

The makers of the Procter & Gamble dish detergent Cascade discourage customers from pre-washing or rinsing dishes because it actually inhibits the cleaner from working. "Enzymes in Cascade detergent are designed to attach themselves to food particles," they said in an interview. "Without food, the enzymes have nothing to latch onto."

Credit: Unsplash/jacekdylag
Credit: Unsplash/jacekdylag

In other words if your dishes are too free of dirt then that premium detergent you invested in might just go to waste.

Your mum might bawk at the thought of not rinsing but today's dishwashers are not the same as the one your mum was using in the eighties and nineties. They now have advanced sprayer technology and sensors that can detect how dirty their contents are. And research proves that extra rinsing efforts won't get your dishes get any than your smart dishwasher alone.

Being environmentally-woke means that knowing that pre-rinsing can waste 6,000 gallons of water per year is reason enough not to. And today's energy-efficient machines save far more than your hand washing efforts too.

The National Resource Defense Council reports that the average modern dishwasher uses just three to five gallons of water per load, but the most efficient hand-washer will use eight. "Regular" hand-washers typically use 27 gallons and twice as much electricity as a modern machine per load.

Credit: Unsplash/brookelark
Credit: Unsplash/brookelark

The only time you might pre-rinse dishes is when you're not going to run the dishwasher right away because it's harder to clean the longer it sits. But even then use a 'rinse only' cycle on the machine to avoid waste.

The best part: an Energy Star-rated dishwasher instead of scrubbing by hand can save you 230 hours per year. That's 10 days.

We've never heard of a better excuse to avoid the washing up.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash/rawpixel

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