Promptly repair cut or chipped plastic coating on racks to prevent rusting. Repair kits are available.
When shopping for a dishwasher, find one that features advanced sensors that sense and adjust for the amount of soil on your dishes, using only as much water as necessary.
Look for a dishwasher that allows you to choose between heat-drying and air-drying. Heath-drying elements draw considerable electricity; circulation fans for air-drying use very little.
When shopping for a dishwasher, look for features that will reduce water use, such as booster heaters and smart controls. Ask how many gallons of water the dishwasher uses during different cycles. Dishwashers that use the least amount of water will cost the least to operate.
Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer's recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater to a lower temperature.
Scrape, don't rinse, off large food pieces and bones. Soaking or prewashing is generally only recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food.
Avoid using the "rinse hold" on your dishwasher for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
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.
Remember that dishwashers use less water than washing dishes by hand, about 6 gallons less per load; dishwashers also use hotter water than you would use if you were washing the dishes by hand, so they can do a better job of killing germs.