Don't send money down the drain

Published: Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 11:19 p.m.

Dishwashers require a significant amount of energy to operate and heat washing water. To avoid using the machine more than necessary, you want to get the best cleaning results when you do use it. Here are some useful tips to help get peak performance from a dishwasher:

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To get peak performance from your dishwasher, be sure it is full, but not overloaded, when you run it. And don't use the "rinse hold" function for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.

McClatchy Newspapers

Read the manual.

Check the dishwasher's manual for manufacturer recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (120 F).

Do some pre-cleaning.

Scrape, don't rinse, large food pieces and bones off of dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. Soaking or prewashing is generally only recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food.

Less is more.

Be sure your dishwasher is full, but not overloaded, when you run it.

Conserve water.

Don't use the "rinse hold" function on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.

Give it a little air.

Let your dishes air dry; if you don't have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open a little so the dishes will dry faster.

Shop for efficiency.

When shopping for a new dishwasher, look for the "Energy Star" label to find a dishwasher that uses less water and 25 percent less energy than required by federal standards.

— McClatchy Newspapers


Three will handle most projects

If you're setting up a basic household-repair and project kit, and are wondering what types of glues to buy, here are the glues to use to make things stick. Although there are hundreds to choose from, you can handle most household repairs and projects with only three:

For starters,

buy some yellow wood glue.

For non-wood gluing

and smaller tasks, get a bottle of versatile and strong polyurethane glue.

For still smaller repairs,

get a tube or two of cyanoacrylate, sold as Superglue or Krazy Glue.

With just these three, you'll have all you need.

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