‘Greener You’ Challenge #24 – Green Up Your Dishwashing Routine

We talk a lot about sustainability in the kitchen, but it’s not just what you buy and cook. It’s bigger than that. This week we offer tips and inspiration for greening up your dish-cleaning process.

A couple of years ago we learned that using a dishwasher is actually better for the environment than hand washing. An Energy Star-rated dishwasher uses as little as 3 gallons per load rather than the twenty-seven gallons it takes to hand wash an equivalent number of dishes.

Green Tips for the Dishwasher

  • Thoroughly scrape food scraps into the compost or trash before loading dishes into the dishwasher.
  • Skip the pre-rinse cycle.
  • Only run the dishwasher when it’s fully loaded.
  • Use eco-friendly dishwasher pods—no unnecessary plastic packaging or harmful chemicals. (I use Dropps, Laura uses Attitude.)
  • If your dishwasher has the eco-setting, use it.
  • Avoid the heat-dry setting. Instead, prop open the door when the cycle is done.

Green Tips for Handwashing Dishes

  • Use solid or refillable dish soap, reducing unnecessary plastic. (I refill mine at a local zero waste shop, Mom uses Blueland, and Laura uses block dish soap from Meliora.)
  • Use an eco/compostable sponge or bamboo scrub brush made from natural materials. (Regular sponges are made of synthetic fibers that don’t biodegrade and end up in oceans and landfills around the world.)
  • When not actively washing dishes, turn off the water.

Try making one or two dishwashing swaps. Big or small, these changes add up over time

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