Most of us don’t pay too much attention to the buttons on our dishwasher beyond “start.” But if you select “air dry” you can drastically reduce the energy it takes to run your dishwasher—how much depends on your make and model. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions, the use of non-renewable resources, and will save money, too. Not bad for pushing one little button.
Couple air drying with only washing full loads, not pre-rinsing your dishes, and using a plant-based detergent, and your dishwashing routine will be as green as it gets.
Check to see if your dishwasher has a heat dry button to turn off or an air dry button or setting to turn on. Choose the one you’ve got.
Make it a habit—and share this habit with housemates, kids, partners, and spouses—to always select this option.
If your dishwasher doesn’t offer either option, wait until the final rinse and open the door to let it air dry naturally. This may increase indoor air pollution. You can minimize the possibility by using a natural, chlorine bleach-free detergent, and by not opening the door until the machine has had a chance to cool off. Cracking a window for ventilation can help, too.
If air drying naturally, give the racks a shake to get water droplets off your dishes.