Anybody who’s replaced a dishwasher more than ten years old knows that the performance of today’s dishwashers has advanced by leaps and bounds. But while cleaning, quietness, and energy efficiency has improved substantially, many customers have questions about the operation of their new dishwasher. Here are some nuggets of knowledge to help you get the most out of your new dishwasher.
Most dishwashers run for longer: Old dishwasher cycle times were approximately 45 to 60 minutes, while most models purchased today require over two hours to complete a cycle. The biggest reason for this increase in time has to do with the composition of modern detergents. Older dishwasher detergents were phosphorous based and very potent, however they were not as environmentally safe. Modern detergents are much more environmentally safe than earlier incarnations, but are weaker at cleaning as well.
In order to compensate for weaker detergents, most dishwashers must run for longer in order to properly clean. Contrary to most people’s beliefs, today’s dishwashers are still substantially more energy efficient even with longer cycles. In fact, part of the impaired cleaning suffered by older dishwashers stems from the fact that their programs were calibrated for a much stronger detergent, and do not run long enough to properly clean.
Avoid prewashing: Another component of modern dishwasher detergents is that the cleaning enzymes are activated by residual proteins found in leftover foods. If you’ve cleaned all or most of the food off of your dishes, detergent cannot activate and stays in its crystal format, scratching your dishes on a microscopic level. This is the number one factor that contributes to etching and fogging of glassware.
People with old dishwashers face a Catch-22. If you don’t prewash, the dishwasher doesn’t run long enough to clean properly, but if you do prewash, detergents can’t activate resulting in etching. With any new dishwasher, scrape off the large chunks, but put them in dirty. Your faith will usually be rewarded. In addition, eliminating prewashing can save over 55,000 gallons of water over the life of a dishwasher!
A new dishwasher relieves us from the tiresome chore of hand washing dishes, and modern Energy Star dishwashers use 41 percent less energy than is mandated by the Federal Government. If your dishwasher is delivering results that leave you considering a switch to paper plates and plastic ware, investigate how much an Energy Star dishwasher can save you, and shop Warners’ Stellian’s line of Energy Star dishwashers.