Dishwashers are meant to provide convenience at home, saving you time and effort. So it’s always frustrating when you still need to hand-dry your dishes after the dishwashing’s complete, even after running the drying cycle. Most dishwashers on the market have difficulty in drying plasticware, often leaving plastic cups, plates and cutlery with water residue.
Here are a few common pitfalls to avoid when it comes to making sure your dishes come out of the dishwasher dry enough to put way immediately:
Open the door as soon as the wash cycle is over
Dishwashers clean using hot water, and when their wash cycles are over, the residual steam from this water remains trapped inside the machine. If this steam can’t escape, the moisture will settle back on your dishes, leaving them slippery and damp.
If your dishwasher doesn’t do this, keep an ear out for an End Of Cycle alarm, or wait for the Time Remaining indicator to count down to zero. Even setting a simple countdown on your phone’s stopwatch can help remind you that it’s time to open your dishwasher.
Check that your dishes and cutlery aren’t touching
You should try to leave a bit of room around each dish that you load into your dishwasher. Points where two dishes touch one another are ideal areas for water and steam to collect and pool, and can leave you with residual drips of moisture when the wash cycle is over.
While dishwashing detergent does a good job of getting your dishes clean, rinse-aid helps water to run smoothly off your dishes. This prevents spots of residual water from marring fine glassware, and also helps to make sure the water slides off the dishes, leaving them nicely dry.
Are you washing plastic dishes?
It’s usually not a great idea to wash plastic items in the dishwasher, due to the risk of damage from the high temperatures involved. But even tough, dishwasher-safe plastic items don’t conduct heat in quite the same way a glass, metal or ceramic dishes. This means that the water used to clean plastic items ends up at a lower temperature than the water that cleans the other items, and cooler water doesn’t evaporate as readily as hotter water. In turn, this means that plastic dishes are far more likely to end up still damp at the end of a dishwashing cycle.
Stop pre-rinsing dishes
Pre-rinsing your dishes before they go into the dishwasher isn't necessary as dishwasher detergent needs some grime to cling to in order to function properly and provide a thorough clean.
What’s more, some smart dishwashers use sensors to detect just how dirty your dishes are, and will automatically adjust the wash settings to provide them with the most efficient clean.
So if you’ve already pre-rinsed your dishes of food, it’s possible that your dishwasher will use a shorter, lower-temperature wash to give them a less-intense clean. And as mentioned earlier, fast, low-temperature washing means less evaporation, which means more dampness on your dishes at the end of the cycle.