Why your dish­washer isn’t dry­ing ev­ery­thing prop­erly

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Business -

Dishes that come out of the dish­washer al­most as wet as they went in is one of the top com­plaints con­sumers make about their dish­wash­ers. And tests per­formed by Con­sumer Re­ports have con­firmed that some dish­wash­ers are much bet­ter at dry­ing than oth­ers.The best get plas­tic dry, which is tough, and the worst have you reach­ing for a towel. In Con­sumer Re­ports’ tests of more than 100 mod­els, very few are bet­ter at dry­ing than at clean­ing. And isn't clean­ing the harder part? Maybe not.

“Dry­ing is harder than clean­ing be­cause dishes and glasses have ar­eas that trap water, and the water doesn't evap­o­rate,” said Larry Ci­ufo, the en­gi­neer who runs Con­sumer Re­ports' dish­washer tests. “Dish­wash­ers also con­tain a lot of hu­mid air. As it cools, water droplets form on the dish­washer's in­te­rior and on­the dishes.”

To find out how well a dish­washer dries, testers place plas­tic sippy cups on the top rack and run them through our­test cy­cle. They use plas­tic be­cause it's harder to dry than glass and ce­ramic. Plas­tic doesn'tre­tain heat, which con­trib­utes to the dry­ing process, so the water doesn't evap­o­rate as eas­ily. That's where the dish­washer’s heat comes into play.

Dish­wash­ers dry dishes in sev­eral ways. Some mod­els rely on an elec­tric coil that heats the air; a fan that blows the hot air around; an in­crease in water tem­per­a­ture near the end of a cy­cle or a com­bi­na­tion of all th­ese meth­ods. None guar­an­tees dry dishes, or stands out as a bet­ter dry­ing method in our tests, so Con­sumer Re­ports can’t rec­om­mend one type.

Some on­line user re­views com­plain about dish­wash­ers' dry­ing per­for­mance. Man­u­fac­tur­ers have taken note over the years and con­tinue to of­fer pos­si­ble so­lu­tions.

The lat­est is a dish­washer door that au­to­mat­i­cally pops open in the last 10 to 15 min­utes of the cy­cle, al­low­ing the mois­ture to es­cape. Oth­er­wise, it’s trapped and ends up drip­ping down on your dishes.

Five ways to boost dry­ing

Even with­out a pop-open door, there are steps you can take to im­prove dry­ing per­for­mance. Here’s what Con­sumer Re­ports’ dish­washer ex­perts rec­om­mend.

1. Al­low space between dishes. They shouldn't touch, and don’t over­load your ma­chine. The idea is to im­prove the cir­cu­la­tion of the water and air, which im­proves dry­ing.

2. Use a rinse aid. It pre­vents spot­ting and en­hances dry­ing. The rinse aid breaks the bond between the water mol­e­cules and dishes, caus­ing water to form sheets and slide off.

3. Use the heat fea­ture. The more heat, the bet­ter the dry­ing. Depend­ing on your dish­washer, the heat may be added dur­ing wash­ing, rins­ing or dry­ing.

4. Open the dish­washer door a few inches as soon as the cy­cle ends. This al­lows the moist air to es­cape.

5. Empty the bot­tom rack first. Water col­lects on con­cave sur­faces, such as mugs and glasses that are placed up­side down on the top rack. Empty the lower rack first to avoid spilling any water be­low.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.