Exact temperature to run your dishwasher to save money and clean your dishes

YOUR dishwasher is among the most energy hungry appliances in your home.

But you could save cash by setting the temperature just right.

Along with your washing machine, it accounts for around 16% of total energy bills costs according to the Energy Saving Trust.

These so-called wet appliances can cost more to run than others.

As well as running the device itself, you have to power the heating of the water, pushing up energy consumption.

The trust calculates that the average dishwasher costs between £60 and £80 a year to run.

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That's for a standard dishwasher and the exact cost can vary depending on size, model and how much you pay for electricity.

A slimline version typically costs less, at around £40 to £50 a year.

Your normal dishwasher setting is usually set at a temperature of between 55ºC and 65ºC.

You could save cash running your machine on a lower temperature with the help of different settings.

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An eco wash or energy saving setting generally uses around 20% to 40% less energy, according to Which?.

They generally run at 45ºC to 50ºC, which means it's cheaper to run but still gets your dishes clean.

These settings usually use less water too, but run for longer than a standard wash.

According to Bosch, using eco-mode compared to the auto programme will save you around 523 kWh of energy over a year.

One kWh of electricity currently costs 28p – so that's a saving of £146.44 over a year.

Some dishwashers also have a sensor wash mode that automatically detects the required water temperature based on how dirty the dishes are.

If you use a setting to get very dirty dishes clean this usually runs at a higher than normal temperature, so will cost more.

It's worth checking your user manual to see how the settings work as you could cut your energy bill by choosing one that runs at a lower temperature.

How much you can save will depend on the model you have and how much you use it.

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An inefficient dishwasher could be adding more than £500 to your energy bills over its lifetime, according to Which?.

Choosing an energy efficient dishwasher could save you cash so look out for labels if you're buying a new one.

A rating system from A to G will show you how efficient an appliance is with A the best and G the worst.

Waiting until you have a full load could reduce your running costs, as you're using the same amount of water and energy regardless of how many items are in the machine.

Some dishwashers have a half load option, but this can still use up to 90% of the water and energy used by a full load, Which? says.

Equally over-filling the machine – just like overfilling your fridge – could make it run less efficiently.

The lower level of the dishwasher is where both the highest pressure and temperature are, so load your dirtiest items here.

To make running a dishwasher cheaper, make sure you scrape all the food from your dishes before loading up the machine.

Some energy suppliers offer different day and night rates that make it cheaper to run things like dishwashers at night, but you'll need to be on one a specific tariff.

Modern dishwashers use less water than washing by hand so should be cheaper to run.

A test by Which? in 2020 found the best dishwashers use just a tenth as much water as hand-washing – while cheaper appliances use around half.

On average, washing your dishes by hand uses four times as much warm water as putting the same number of items in the dishwasher.

If you've only got a few dirty dishes, it might be worth washing them by hand rather than putting the dishwasher on though.

If you are doing this, don't leave the tap running while you wash up – this will add another £60 a year to your bill, according to Octopus.

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Here's the exact temperature to run your washing machine to save cash AND clean your clothes.

We also explain the perfect temp for saving cash on bills and staying warm when it comes to setting your thermostat.

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