If an average dishwasher uses between four and six gallons of water per cycle, the amount of water used every month adds up pretty quickly. By waiting until you have a full load, you can conserve water and put a significant dent in your monthly water usage, which will translate to more dollars in your pocket. It can also reduce your electric bill; heating dish water to hot is costly.
It's pretty straightforward: wait until the dishwasher is full, then run it.
If you find you have a habit of pressing start when it’s not full, figure out what’s driving it. Do you need more bottles, spoons, or cups? Is it to get a frequently used pan? Does the thought of leaving dirty dishes in the dishwasher overnight gives you the heebie-jeebies?
Whatever the reason, take action! Stock up on the eco-friendliest versions of your high demand items or quickly hand wash that favorite pan. Don’t go overboard—buy only enough extra items to get you to the desired full load. And be mindful of using too much water when washing by hand.
Storing dirty dishes isn’t a bad thing, truly! That said if you’re combating something like a roach infestation, you could give the dishes a quick rinse before loading. To conserve H2O, try doing this with reused water—like the pasta water or leftovers in the salad spinner.