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Dishwasher Drying: Common Questions

Dishwasher Drying: Common Questions

Dishwashers may dry at some level, but good practices help it further.

All dishwashers come with some element of drying capacity. These mundane household appliances clean and sanitize dishes better than if done by hand, but they also have some ability to dry your plates and glasses as well. Many have noticed that newer dishwashers do not dry as expected, but several do. Even so, there are several tips to follow to speed the drying process.

How Dishwashers Dry Dishes

Manufacturers use at least two different methods for drying dishes. Some brands, like Whirlpool, GE, and Maytag, have appliances with heated drying. Here, a fan blows warm air around the interior to dry the dishware off. This method has been more common in American dishwashers. 

Another type of drying is called “condensation drying.” Begun by Bosch and Miele, it is the most common form today. The appliance rinses the dishes with hot water; then, the cool, stainless steel walls of the washer draw the moisture off. Condensation drying does not work so well with plastic items, since they do not retain heat well. Also, keep in mind that the drying function does not work with all washing settings. If you see water on your bowls and cups, do not be alarmed. The appliance is working properly.

Why the Dishes Don’t Completely Dry

Some may assume that the dishwasher will completely wash, sanitize, and dry the dishware for them. While it may do the first two, the latter is lower on the list of manufacturer’s priorities today. Energy efficiency and quietness are what consumers are looking for the most. Therefore, while dishes may not be sopping wet, they won’t always be dry to the touch either. Some models that do an excellent job, according to Consumer Reports, are Whirlpool WDF520PADM, Ikea Renlig, and Kenmore 14573.

Ways to Boost Drying

The way a user manages the dishwasher affects how well the dishes dry off, too. To get the best drying effect from your appliance, load your drinkware and bowls on the top rack and have them face downward. That way, liquid will not pool in them. Next, use a rinsing aid. This chemical breaks down water molecules and keeps them from sticking onto your dishware. Leave space between your dishes, so there is room for water to trickle into the drain. When the load is finished, crack the door so the steam can escape. You can then empty the bottom rack first to prevent further drippage from the top. 

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