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Wash dishes once, not twice

You can save water and energy simply by using your dishwasher the way the manufacturer intended because you won’t have to wash the dishes twice. Here are five often-ignored best practices:

1. Stop washing your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. Instead, scrape leftover food from plates and bowls; rinse them; and then load the dishes into the dishwasher.

2. Place dishes, glasses, and flatware in the dishwasher compartments designed for them. If you do, the machine will clean them properly the first time. A tip: Load sharp knives with their tips down.

3. Don’t jam dishes in. Leave enough space between plates and bowls to allow the water to circulate freely. Likewise, don’t let a large bowl or lid block the water spray so it can’t reach the inside of other dishes and glasses.

4. Select the “hot water” setting to remove dried-on food. 

5. If your home has “hard” water, use twice as much soap plus a rinsing agent

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