The Real Reason You Should Probably Run Your Dishwasher Late At Night

The dishwasher is one of man's modern wonders. Your mother or grandmother probably remembers when doing the dishes meant washing and drying them by hand. But today, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, approximately 80 million homes in the United States have a dishwasher. And we are so glad they do because scrubbing last night's lasagna off dinner plates or taking care of the morning breakfast cups and plates is just not fun. And while the dishwasher is also the least used appliance (as compared to all the other conveniences you might have in your home), it is estimated that 54% of those U.S. households that have a dishwasher use it at least once a week. 

But using your dishwasher is actually a good thing and you should feel no guilt in choosing the easier option to get your dishes clean. Per Natural Resources Defense Council, if you are utilizing an Energy Star rated appliance, you will use as little as three gallons of water compared to the 27 gallons of water you use when you wash them by hand. But if you are not running your dishwasher at night, you may be wasting something else that will ultimately affect your bottom line. 

Running your dishwasher late at night can save you money

According to Food & Wine, when you run your dishwasher in the early evening, you are more likely to pay more. Why? Because energy companies charge peak prices during those times of the day when everyone is on the energy grid using their appliances. They suggest checking with your energy company to find out exactly when those peak hours are.

Food & Wine's writer of the article found the prices for her Brooklyn residence had a wide and varied range depending on the time of day. During her research, she discovered the hours from midnight to 8 a.m. offered her the most economical time to run her dishwasher. In fact, she found that running her dishwasher any other time of the day during those peak hours resulted in her paying 14 times more for clean dishes. 

This advice isn't just good for when you are using your dishwasher, either, as it goes for all large appliances that require more energy to run. However, the writer also notes that, while midnight to 8 a.m. might be the ideal time to run your dishwasher, you should not do so unless you plan to be awake until it completes the cycle, citing potential fire hazard safety. That said, if you are not a fan of late night life and don't want to be boogying with your appliances in those wee hours, consider going to bed a little earlier and running your appliances before you head out for work and school for the day.