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Why You Should Never Rinse Dishes Before Stacking The Dishwasher

Experts have urged people not to rinse dishes before stacking the dishwasher because it wastes $244.5 million of water every year.
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Experts have urged people to never rinse dishes before stacking the dishwasher because it wastes $244.5 million (£195 million) of water every year.

A poll of 2,000 adults who own a dishwasher found 62% always wash items before loading.

Pre-rinsers are also pouring the equivalent of 95 million liters of cold water down the sink every day.

That’s a total of 7.6 billion gallons washed away annually.

(Photo by Wendelin Jacober via PEXELS)


But 59% of rinsers justify their actions by claiming not doing so clogs up the machine, causing issues later.

But of the 38% who don’t pre-rinse, over half argue it’s pointless as items are washed thoroughly in the machine.

The study, commissioned by energy experts, Utilita, also found 42% load their dishwasher only once the crockery and cutlery are sparkling clean.

Archie Lasseter, head of sustainability, said: “Knowing what our habits are costing us can encourage us to reconsider our behaviors.

“In this case, the savings are significant – so should hopefully make households think twice.

“We can tell households how much money they’ll save.

“But until they load the dishwasher without pre-rinsing and see positive results every time, they won’t be convinced.

“We hope our campaign encourages people to put confidence in their machines. They can save the pocket and the planet in the process.”

Other reasons for rinsing include wanting to keep the machine as clean as possible (39%), ensuring no long-term issues occur (39%), and to make sure it doesn’t start smelling (30%).

But 37% do it out of habit, while exactly a quarter say it’s what they were brought up to do.

It takes 77% up to two minutes to rinse everything off after finishing a typical evening meal.

For 27%, the ‘rinse debate’ causes arguments within their household.

Over half (57%) of respondents said they load the machine themselves, while 24% leave it to their partner.When it comes to settings, 62% have never used the eco-mode.

According to experts, this has the power to save each household £33.88 ($42.49) per year.And only 2% use the “rinse only” program.While 36% claim they have little to no knowledge of their machine settings.And 46% have never changed the machines settings since first using it.

Before taking the poll, 51% weren’t aware of the ‘no need to rinse’ label on dishwasher tablet packs.

(Photo by Castorly Stock via PEXELS)

But encouragingly, of the 49% who had, 70% said this influenced them to stop rinsing before loading.

Four in ten rinsers say they would consider changing their habits before loading the dishwasher in the future.

Paul Hide, chief executive at the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances, said: “Dishwashers are one of the home’s most hard-working appliances.”They are designed to provide a full dishwashing function, which includes rinsing.”So we must put our trust in them to save time, money, and the environment.

“Our own research reveals that most households avoid the eco-mode on home appliances due to it taking longer – we need to help consumers understand the benefits.

“By taking longer to agitate dirt on dishes, the dishwasher doesn’t need to heat the water to such high temperatures.

“This saves around 30% of energy on each dishwasher cycle and it’s the same for washing machines, too.”

Archie Lasseter added: “We’re really motivated by the fact that dishwasher tablet manufacturers are encouraging consumers not to rinse, too.

“Through our behaviour science research, we know these types of visual cues and reminders really help when forming new energy efficiency habits.”


  • Concerned about clogging the dishwasher
  • Want to keep the dishwasher clean
  • To avoid breaking the machine
  • It’s a force of habit
  • To avoid the dishwasher smelling


  • It’s a waste of water
  • Pointless when the machine rinses them
  • My dishwasher has a rinse on the cycle
  • My dishwasher tablets advise not to rinse
  • I can’t stand touching dirty plates

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

Edited by Jessi Rexroad Shull and Kyana Jeanin Rubinfeld

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