Easy, Eco-Friendly Dishwashing

Doing the dishes is one of those unfortunate housekeeping tasks that needs to be done every day. If you've ever missed a day of dishes, you know how quickly they stack up! It takes a lot of soap and hot water to wash dishes, so if you're trying to conserve water and energy, you might be stumped on how to minimize its impact.

There's actually a bonus to washing dishes the green way: it's easier and faster by a large margin. If you're not sure where to start, here are a few ideas:

The Dishwasher. Believe it or not, the dishwasher uses less energy and less water than hand washing for an equal number of dishes. A lot of this has to do with the way people wash dishes, but even the most careful, sparing hand washer can't compete with the dishwasher's efficiency. If you have a dishwasher, you can rest easy--it really is best to use it!

The Half Sink. Whether you don't have a dishwasher or just don't have enough dishes to warrant running it, there are still some steps you can take to make your handwashing as efficient as possible. This starts with using less water. Don't fill the sink—you can effectively wash all of your dishes with only half a sink of water. Fewer dishes, less water!

Skip the Full Sink Entirely. Instead of using a sink of water, what if you took one bowl or one large cup, filled it with water and soap, and used it to scrub? One bowl of water is always going to be less than half a sink full!

Rack & Rinse. Generally, people wash one dish, rinse that dish, and put it to the side to dry before picking up a new dish and starting the process over. Change your mindset on this, and not only will the dishes be easier to rinse an dry, but you'll also conserve a lot of water.

Clear your rack before you start and make sure it's positioned for water to run back into the sink. Then, put the dishes in as you wash them. When the rack is full of washed dishes, gently spray all of the dishes with your sprayer until the soap is washed off.

The dishes have to get washed anyway, so if you can save energy, water, and a little bit of money while you do it, that's extra!