News Analysis

DOE Improves Dishwasher Test

A year ago we reported that a flawed U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test resulted in misleading reports on the efficiency of residential dishwashers (

Vol. 11, No. 9). The trouble was that while some dishwashers adjust their wash cycles to match the dirtiness of their loads, all dishwashers were tested by washing a load of already clean dishes. The result was that “soil-sensing,” or “smart,” dishwashers were using very little water and energy under test conditions and came out of the tests looking far more efficient they are in the real world. Information from these tests is used in the Federal Trade Commission’s EnergyGuide labels to compare the efficiency of various dishwasher models. Now we’re happy to report that DOE has addressed the problem by amending their test procedures.

Published October 1, 2003

(2003, October 1). DOE Improves Dishwasher Test. Retrieved from