Tips & tricks to get dishes dryer in dishwasher

Posted at 10:47 AM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 17:23:25-04

Drying ability is not necessarily something you think about when buying a dishwasher. But Consumer Reports tests find some dishwashers dry better than others.

After testers load dishwashers with grimy plates and cups caked with all sorts of tough-to-clean foods, they also place two plastic cups inside the top rack. They use plastic because it’s harder to get completely dry. After the cycle is finished, testers check the cups; some models get them dry, but others don’t.

Manufacturers use different methods to dry dishes. Some use heating coils, others use a fan. Others heat the water at the end of the cycle and use the residual heat to dry the dishes. Consumer Reports finds you can’t tell by the drying method which dishwasher will do the best job.

Some good dishwashers are:

  • KitchenAid KDtM354DSS for $1,000, which offers excellent drying and cleaning.
  • Bosch Ascenta SHX3AR7(5)UC for $700. It cleans just as well as the KitchenAid and offers very good drying.

Whatever dishwasher you have, Consumer Reports recommends using a rinse aid. That will help get your dishes drier. Rinse aids help break the bond between the water and the dishes. Plus they help prevent spotting.

These tips will also help get your dishes drier:

  • When loading, place dishes so they don’t touch.
  • Try using the high-heat option on your dishwasher.
  • As soon as the drying cycle is finished, open the door a crack to let the moist air escape.

You can get more of Consumer Reports’ dishwasher-buying advice here.

Consumer Reports also tests dishwasher detergents. Top ratings go to Cascade Complete Action Pacs. It does a great job on dirty pots and caked-on food.

And as always, remember it’s important to keep any detergent products out of the reach of children.


Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to