Appliance Myths Busted
December 26, 2008 by Natalie
Say the word ‘myth’ and most people think of the classics like Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman or UFOs. Surprisingly though, there are many myths circulating about the very appliances in our homes. Although these myths won’t make you scream in horror, knowing which ones are fake could save you time and money. And who doesn’t like that?
1. Appliances Don’t Use Power While In Stand-By Mode
You’re not alone if you assume you’re appliance is off and not using power in ‘stand-by’ mode. As concern grows over wasting power, more and more people are learning that “sleeping” appliances consumer a lot of energy, and that goes for home electronics, too.
In some cases appliances can use as much as 15-30 watts per hour – that adds up week after week, month after month. If you want to lower your energy bill, simply make sure to completely power down your appliance or unplug it. Tip: If you turned it off but still see something glowing or blinking, it’s still using power.
Hands down, this myth is the most popular among households, particularly moms. I’m sure we can all remember being scolded for standing too close to the microwave for fear radiation would melt us inside out.
Although microwaves do use radiation to cook food, the truth is, it’s only harmful if you actually got inside, shut the door, and nuked yourself. Microwaves are built to contain this sort of radiation and as long as your microwave doesn’t have any leaks, you’re safe and sound.
3. Dishwashers Completely Fill With Water When Operating
This one may sound funny, but you’d be surprised how many homeowners refuse to open their dishwasher during wash cycle for fear gallons of water will pour onto their kitchen floor.
This concept has plausibility, but again, it’s totally false. Dishwashers simply use a pump to push water through jets that spray all around the inside. If you open the dishwasher during a cycle, the jets stop spraying water so there’s no need to worry about flooding your kitchen.
4. Washing Dishes By Hand Uses Less Water Than A Dishwasher
Many debates have been had over whether washing dishes by hand is better for the environment than using your dishwasher. A lot of people assume their helping conserve water and lowering their bill by washing dishes the old fashioned way, but nothing could be further from the truth.
On average, modern dishwashers use about 1-1.5 kilowatt hours of energy and 3.7 gallons of water, which is actually equal to one full kitchen sink. Now think about how many full sinks you use to wash your dishes and the water you use to rinse them after. Don’t forget that in general, a dishwasher runs every 2-3 days, whereas washing by hand is usually a daily chore. It’s pretty clear which one is less water-efficient.
5. Dishes Need To Be “Pre-Rinsed” Before Being Washed In A Dishwasher
The last myth to be debunked today is a classic and although it sounds ridiculous, there are thousands of homeowners who insist on pre-rinsing dishes before they are put in the dishwasher… to be rinsed, again.
News flash, pre-rinsing does not help your dishwasher clean your dishes. In actuality, it can harm your dishes because the alkaline concentration of the dishwasher detergent will be higher than normal. Detergent needs food to clean and without it, the alkaline level goes up increasing the risk of scratched, etched or cloudy dishes.