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In 1886, Josephine Cochran invented the first dishwasher, effectively bringing peace to a country torn by Civil War. Unfortunately Josephine would never see how innovative her dishwasher was because it wasn’t until the 1950″s that dishwashers became a standard kitchen appliance to the delight of housewives everywhere.


Today, doing the dishes still echoes the bloody battles of the Civil War! Spouses and kids are sparring over dishwasher duties. I’ve come up with tips to help save time, and bring peace to asking your family to help load or unload the dishwasher:

Loading to Liftoff…

To achieve a cleaner outcome, start with how you pack the dishwasher. Dishes should face toward the middle of the unit, and bowls and cups should face down to make the most efficient use of the sprayer. Your glasses should go between the tines, not over, otherwise they could break. Pre-sort your silverware to make unloading that much easier.

Lastly, scrape plates before loading, and don’t bother rinsing detergents are designed to attack stuck-on grime, and will make your glasses cloudy if there is no food to attack. Dishwashers are designed to catch food, most models have their own food dispenser. Rinsing can waste both water and time. DO NOT over pack the dishwasher otherwise you might have to re-run the cycle!

Blast Off To The Stars!

Investing in an Energy Star certified dishwashers can save water, energy, and ease your utility bills. Energy Star dishwashers cap out at 5.8 gallons per cycle and only use half the electricity of the older models. As a comparison,  running your faucet for one minute uses about 1 gallon of water along with the electricity to heat it.

In a recent conversation with Eric Brokaw of the Latham, NY location of Earl B Feiden,  he recommended the sleek, user-friendly dishwashers from Bosch. Eric said that they are equipped with up to four wash cycles and save up to 599 gallons of water each year. In fact, Bosch models exceed Energy Star requirements by 35%, making them an ideal, eco-friendly choice.

Bells and Whistles!


There are a few tips and tricks that can make your dishwasher habits even easier. For instance use a magnet to mark whether the dishwasher is clean or dirty. So your minions know when its time to unload. Always unload the bottom rack first otherwise water from the top rack can splash on your sparkly clean dishes as you unload.


Do you know all the items that you can clean in your dishwasher, click on this link for POP SUGAR to see 30 everyday things from your greasy range fan filter to contact cases. Keep your dishwasher fresh by tossing a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of the empty unit and run a normal cycle. Lastly, don’t forget to clean the dishwasher seals and trap every once in a while.

With these tips and tricks, you can speed up the time you spend doing dishes, and save money in the process!

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland at the Home Expo!


Michele Conti


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