5 Appliance Myths Busted
Don't fret over superstitions. Find out the truth about your appliances.

Everybody has their own myths and assumptions about the world. Whether they come from family or from the internet, it's easy to pick up beliefs that may not be totally accurate, and the kitchen is no exception. So which myths are true, and which are false? Well, we've collected some of the most common myths we've encountered and researched whether or not they are true.

To find out which myths are true and which are false, check out the video we've prepared or our written explanation below.

MYTH 1

Microwaves emit radiation that can harm you: FALSE

This is easily the most popular of all the appliance myths. After all, microwaves can seem a little bit strange if you don't know how they work. It's easy to worry that the radiation inside your microwave may be affecting things outside of it. Fortunately, this is only a myth.

Microwaves do use radiation to cook, but only affect objects which come into direct contact. Microwave radiation is very specific, which is why food can sometimes come out unevenly cooked. To be affected by this radiation, you would need to be inside the microwave yourself!

Since most of us have enough sense not to climb inside the microwave, there's no need to fear. The only way microwave radiation can escape is if there is a leak in the door seal. Knowing this, you need to keep your microwave properly maintained and never try to repair it yourself.

MYTH 2

Dishwashers completely fill with water when operating: FALSE

Repair technicians should be familiar with this myth, as many homeowners express concern about opening their dishwasher during the wash cycle for fear that gallons of water will pour out like a waterfall onto their kitchen floor.

While this myth does actually sound quite plausible, again, it's totally false. Only the bottom of the dishwasher tub (below the level of the door) fills with water. A pump-driven impeller, located in the bottom of the dishwasher tub, pushes water through tiny jet-holes located in spray arms that rotate during the wash and rinse cycles, spraying water on everything inside the dishwasher.

So, the next time you need to open your dishwasher mid-cycle, don't hesitate! The most you'll get is a bit of steam in your face.

MYTH 3

Dishes need to be "pre-rinsed" before being washed in a dishwasher: FALSE

Many people swear by the "pre-rinse" method, but we are happy to report it's not necessary. Your dishwasher should be able to handle the whole job by itself.

What may surprise consumers is that pre-rinsing can actually harm your dishes because the concentration of alkaline in the dishwasher detergent becomes higher than normal. After all, detergent is made to clean stuck-on grease and grime, so without bits of food to attack, the alkaline level can start to damage your dishes, leaving them cloudy, or scratched. Let's be realistic though, don't leave a half-eaten sandwich on your plate and put in the dishwasher.

MYTH 4

Appliances don't use power while in stand-by mode: FALSE

Many people assume an appliance in stand-by mode doesn't consume any power. However, stand-by modes still require some energy in order to keep the appliance partially powered on. Almost all home appliances and electronics continue to consume power when in "stand-by".

Check out these stand-by power consumption rates:

  • Microwave oven: up to 6 watts per hour
  • Ranges: up to 4.1 watts per hour
  • Telephone: up to 5 watts per hour

In some cases, appliances in stand-by mode can consume as much as 15-30 watts per hour; that's a lot of power usage day after day, week after week.

You can reduce or eliminate excess power consumption, do your part to save the environment, and save yourself some money by simply powering down your appliances completely or unplugging them when they're not in use.

MYTH 5

Washing dishes by hand uses less water than a dishwasher: FALSE

Many homeowners believe they're helping the environment and reducing their water bill by washing dishes the old-fashioned way rather than using a dishwasher. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Modern dishwashers use, on average, 1-1.5 kilowatt-hours of energy and 3.7 gallons of water (an amount equal to one full kitchen sink). Take into consideration how many full sinks you use to wash a pile of dishes and the amount of water you use for rinsing the dishes and it's easy to see how wrong this myth is. Washing by hand consumes much more water than using your dishwasher, especially when you consider that washing dishes by hand is a daily affair whereas you may only run your dishwasher every 2 or 3 days. So if water consumption is a concern, just let your dishwasher take care of it

Many myths can make our lives more complicated, as we take unnecessary steps to solve problems that may not be totally real. Just use your appliances properly and you have nothing to worry about. If you have a concern about one or more of your appliances, do your research and read your appliance manuals. It's always a good idea to double-check your assumed beliefs.

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