Itty Bitty Bonzai #13

September 30th, 2009 - filed under: Furthermore » Itty Bitty Bonzai

Itty Bitty Bonzai is a collection of tiny tips and tricks for living a life more mindful. Small actions, collectively and compounded, become a powerful force of change.

Lucky Number 13!

So, now that we’ve cut out the toxins by making our own dishwasher detergent, it’s time to consider the energy we’re expending.

Did you know that most dishwashers have an automated drying function built into the cycle? Yes, to be clear: your dishwasher is using energy to move hot air around, in order to dry your dishes a little faster.

Sounds silly when you say it that way, right? So why not make a habit of switching off the drying function (or stopping the dishwasher manually if your model is set up that way). Just crack the door open and let the dishes air dry. You’ll save over 10% of the energy used in each load.



  • Courtney

    You know. I’ve actually been thinking of doing that. We live with friends and they have a new dishwasher. The heated drying warps plastic, and I now know that it’s not good for it either. But the air dry leaves everything wet (and they put things away wet). I should suggest this to them. Although they probably won’t do it because they’ll be afraid of their daughter pulling the door down on herself.

  • sarah

    This reminds me… I keep meaning to post on the homemade dishwasher detergent – I also make my own, but your recipe didn’t work for me. It consistently left water spots on dishes (even with the vinegar), and I’ve discovered the key to preventing this is citric acid. I don’t know about Oregon, but in Missouri we typically have hard water, so I’m guessing that’s why it didn’t work here. The recipe I found online also had coarse salt in it, which besides “scrubbing action” is probably to prevent the mixture from clumping due to the citric acid. At least that’s my guess. Just FYI.

  • Kate

    @Sarah – the water is REALLY hard here in Phoenix coming from an aquifer. Please share your recipe!!

  • Farmingtheburbs

    We have really soft water and used the detergent recipe on this very helpful site and everything, I mean everything is covered in a film of white. Ugh, the same thing happens when I buy 7th gen. dishwasher detergent even with vinegar.

  • Sayward

    @ Courtney – Ah yes, the wee ones can make things difficult. =) Might as well suggest it though!

    @ Sarah, Kate, and Farmingtheburbs – Oh no! Sorry guys! Maybe I’ll experiment with recipes and post a ‘hard water addendum’.