The One Tonne Life project has ended and the content on this web page is static and is not updated any more. The project was unique and pioneering, making the conclusions and all information connected to the project just as interesting and up-to-date today as when it was run. Read more about the project and get inspired! (March 2017)

One Tonne Life

Tag: dishwashing

Multi-tablets – expensive and unnecessary

More and more dishwashers are being sold as “green” machines. Today’s dishwashers do a good job and they are economical with both electricity and water. The tests to which they are subjected by Swedish consumer magazine Råd o Rön are tougher than those conducted previously. Plastic containers and stainless steel saucepans are nowadays included in the tests because they are more difficult to dry properly. If we look at the Siemens machine with which the house is equipped, its electricity consumption is 0.73 kWh/wash. The average in the test that Råd o Rön carried out at the end of last year was 0.98 kWh/wash. Dishwashers are becoming increasingly efficient with every new model on the market. The reason is that they use very little water. The Siemens machine uses just seven litres of water, which is recirculated through the machine more than 600 times during the washing sequence. When it is time to retire your old dishwasher, take into account energy consumption as one of the selection parameters – not just colour and design. NOISE is another important consideration to bear in mind. If it weren’t for the gently glowing blue lamp, the Lindells would never know if the machine is on or not. A difference of ten dB(A) means a doubling of the noise level.

Why do we buy multi-tablets? They are up to four or five times more expensive than dishwashing powder and do not make the dishes any cleaner.

Multi-tablets are popular but they cost. The idea is that the tablets should melt slowly to keep pace with the dishwashing cycle. First out is the detergent and last out of the tablet is the rinse aid agent that gives the dishes their clean sparkle. But how can the tablet know when it is time to release the rinse aid when actual dishwashing time varies with the type of washing programme that is selected? The tablets also contain substances such as salt to soften hard water, but bearing in mind that eight out of ten homes in Sweden do not have hard water, it is unnecessary to flush thousands of tonnes of salt down the drain. The best choice is to buy dishwasher powder, fill the machine’s compartment with rinse aid and, for those homes that need it, fill up the container for water softener. The next piece of advice is not to overdose. Read the instructions and never use more than instructed. Dishwashing powder is effective so there is no need to overdose. Want to look after the environment and your wallet? Start using dishwashing powder instead of multi-tablets. The tablets are four to five times more expensive than the powder. The cost of multi-tablets per wash is almost twice that of the electricity used.

Lars Ejeklint, Vattenfall

Will Sweden win the dishwashing championship?

Researchers have compared dishwashing practices in Sweden, Italy, Germany and Britain and concluded that we Europeans have widely differing dishwashing habits and that, irrespective of country, we all tend to take work away from our dishwashers. Our bad washing-up habits waste money and impact the environment.

The Italians are worst, unnecessarily wasting 5600 litres and 100 kWh of electricity every single year. We Swedes are not all that good either, flushing 3100 litres of water down the sink and using up 60 kWh of electricity for no reason at all. In comparison with the Lindell family’s Siemens dishwasher, the average Italian wastage corresponds to four and a half months of dishwasher use. The corresponding wastage figure for Sweden is almost three months of dishwashing.

So what’s the big reason?
And it gets worse, according to the study. Between two and four out of every ten plates never gets to the dishwasher but is instead washed by hand, and we only half-fill our dishwashers.

Fill the machines to the top and stop hand-washing – that way you’ll reduce water consumption by about 50% and electricity consumption by 28%, according to the researchers in Bonn.

Wash wisely – by machine.

Lars Ejeklint, Vattenfall

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