I thought I'd never write this post but I want to tell you about my new dishwasher and why I have it. As many of you know, five years ago we gave away our dishwasher when I realised it was using a lot more water than when I washed up in the sink. I was happy washing up at the sink. It was a soothing task, warm hands in warm water, looking out the window.
But our water bill started going up and I looked into what we could cut back on. I measured how much water I was using by washing up by hand - it was minimum 8 litres per wash, plus extra for rinsing. I started out washing up once a day but the mess on the sink bugged me, so I was washing up three times a day and using a minimum of 24 litres + rinse water a day.
I looked at the water and electricity consumption of the newer dishwashers. I'd read that the Bosch dishwashers were good but I wanted a drawer type. When we went to check them out at the shop, the retail assistant steered us clear of them and we decided to look at another German brand, Miele. We have other Miele products and they're good quality and last a long, long time. We ended up buying the Miele 3D Cutlery Tray Dishwasher G6100SCU. It's Eco wash uses 11.3 litres of water. Using the sensor wash, it will detect how much water and heat is needed and adjusts itself accordingly; on that sensor wash, it might use as little as 6 litres a wash. There is also a fast wash that takes 30 minutes.
We've had the machine for a week now and we're using it once a day. If we're using the maximum of 11.3 litres of water instead of the 25 litres a day in the sink we used to use, we're saving 13.7 litres a day and about 100 litres a week. We're actually using less than the maximum because we're using either the fast wash or the sensor wash.
One of the other problems I had with our old machine was the dishwasher powder I used. It was very corrosive and expensive. Now I'm happily using Ecostore's dishwasher powder and rinse aid and I have to say that even if they weren't my sponsor, I'd still be buying it. I asked Liz at Ecostore for some information about the powder and this is her response:
Ecostore’s Autodish Powder and Autodish Tablet formulations incorporate two types of enzymes. Their presence enables us to boost the cleaning performance particularly on protein-based stains (such as from dairy and poultry products which includes meat, milk and egg, etc…) and on starch-based stains (such as from cereals, gravy, potato and pasta dishes, etc. We use detergents (used to remove oil-based stains such as salad dressings, olive oil, butter, etc., and builders (that enhances the performance of the detergents when used in hard water).
Optimizing cleaning performance while limiting the total amount of active ingredients allows us create formulations where the waste water discharge from the dish wash machine can be made suitable as grey water re-use for gardens and lawns and also reduce the impact to water pollution if discharged directly to the environment from unnecessary chemical loading.
So it looks like dish powder has improved a lot too over those five years. Woolworths is currently selling the 1kg bottle of Autodish powder at $8.99 but keep an eye on it because they have Ecostore specials every so often. Buy then and stock up when it's cheaper.
We all have to be careful when we simplify to make sure we never have the attitude that there is no need to change. We should always look for ways to improve what we do. Technology and circumstances change all the time and by looking at how we do our housework with a critical eye we can take advantage of those changes. Sometimes when you look at your systems, it doesn't make sense to change for a variety of reasons. But when it does make sense, don't get stuck in your old ways. Do your research, think about how those changes might effect you and how you work and if it makes sense and you can afford it, make some adjustments and change.