Top 10 tips

10 things to do while your dishwasher's on

A dishwasher could give you up to four extra hours a week. Check out our ideas for how to put them to best use.

We’ve worked out that you can save, on average, four hours a week by letting the dishwasher drawers do all the hard work for you. That’s over 200 hours – well over a week – a year. Just think of all things you could be doing instead of washing up. 

  1. Learn a language: With an online or audio program you could use your washing-up time to speak any language you choose in a year.

  2. Homework: Junior school children should do 30 minutes supervised homework a day and senior school children should do an hour. Helping the kids work through their daily dose of homework could give them the confidence boost they need come exam time.

  3. Cook: Try something new, maybe something you’ve always thought you’d cook if you had the time. Now you’ve got the time. And you don’t even have to wash up afterwards.

  4. Stay in touch: A phone call, an email, an online chat or even a letter to a friend or relative has to be a better way to spend an hour than dicing with dirty dishes. Go on, make someone’s day.

  5. Dancing: From the cha-cha to capoeira. Take a class a week, add a few practice sessions in the hallway or kitchen, and you could be dancing up a storm.

  6. A trip to the park: An hour of fresh air with the family is a great way to de-stress and counter screen-heavy lifestyles.

  7. Through the classics in no time – and it won’t even cost you anything: you can get most of them free to read on your tablet or e-reader.

  8. Get physical: Half an hour of exercise a day, be it a run, a jog, an exercise DVD or a brisk walk, is enough to have a beneficial effect on your heart, immune system and general wellbeing. Go for it!

  9. Sort out your photos: You’ve always meant to. Now you can do it little by little. Put those old prints in albums. Delve into your digital archive and print and frame the best – and send copies to the grandparents. 

  10. Play: If you’ve got little ones, spend some extra time with them. Get caught up in make-believe or construction. Older kids love it if you watch their favourite programme with them or play a computer game. No kids? Indulge in some catch-up TV or treat yourself with a box-set episode.