This is a controversial subject, it seems. The internet lit up with righteous indignation when Morgan Brashear, Cascade scientist with Procter & Gamble suggested that it was more beneficial NOT to rinse the dishes before running them through the dishwasher.

People were enraged by this and seemed to take it as a personal attack, going on the website which ran the story in droves to comment on what a bad idea it was.

Is it a bad idea, though? Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute agrees with Brashear. She says you should scrape off food scraps before you wash the plates, bowls and utensils, but that’s the only step you need to take.

Let’s look at their reasons:

1. It can Result in a Less Thorough Wash in Modern Machines

Brashear explained that most modern dishwashers have sensors that can tell how dirty the dishes are, and they set the length and temperature of the cycle accordingly. Brashear says that the dishwasher will think there’s no food present if the dishes are rinsed, and it will run a shorter cycle, which leads to a less thorough clean.

However, this only applies to modern machines that cost over $500.

2. The Dishes Need to be Dirty for the Dishwasher Detergent to Work Properly

The makers of dish detergent Cascade tell customers not pre-wash or rinse the dishes because it inhibits the cleaner from working. Enzymes in Cascade detergent are designed to attach themselves to food particles, and without food, there’s nothing for them to latch on to, explain P & G.

3. The Dishes Don’t Get Any Cleaner

The advanced technology in today’s machines means that they are designed to cope with unrinsed dishes. Research proves that your extra efforts in rinsing don’t actually help your dishes to get any cleaner than the dishwasher alone.

4. Pre-Rinsing at the Sink is a Serious Waste of Water and Energy

If you pre-rinse, you’re wasting around 6,000 gallons of water per year, Consumer Reports says. Today’s dishwashers use just 3 to 5 gallons of water per load, but if you wash your dishes by hand, you’ll use between 8 and 27 gallons, no matter how efficient you are. You’ll also use twice the amount of electricity, too.

The only time when pre-rinsing makes sense is if you’re not going to be running your dishwasher right away, but even then you should let your dishwasher do the heavy work.

5. It Uses up Your Precious Time

Yes, old habits die hard, but this is one thing mom taught you that you can ditch without feeling guilty.

Standing at the sink rinsing dishes is a needless waste of your time – there are box sets waiting for you to catch up with them, after all!

If you are one of those strange people who own a dishwasher but still wash dishes by hand – stop it now! Using an Energy Star rated dishwasher can save you 230 hours – that’s 10 DAYS – over the course of a year, and I’m sure you can find better things to do with your time for that 10 days.

Life is too short to spend it at the sink – do you agree?