HomeCleaning TipsBest Ways to Dry Dishes(With & Without Dishwasher)

Best Ways to Dry Dishes(With & Without Dishwasher)

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Nowadays, cleaning the dishes have become easier and effortless, thanks to the invention of the dishwasher. Also, many people purposely wash dishes by hand for sanitary reasons. And it is all fine unless it’s time to dry the dishes. Then, a thought comes to mind, which is the best way to dry dishes?

Am I drying the dishes the right way? Should I air dry or use a dishwasher for the drying dishes? Yes I know there are many questions and below are the answers to all your questions. But first, let us understand the importance of drying dishes after washing them.

You must never put away wet dishes in your kitchen cabinet immediately. Drying dishes is the essential part after washing them. And you must give proper time to dry them.


Because a wet plate serves as the perfect ground for bacteria to thrive. There are high chances of falling ill when you serve food on those plates. Also, wet plates inside the cabinet for too long smell funny. You might feel the dishes are not washed at all.

Best Ways to Dry Dishes(With & Without Dishwasher)

So it is important to properly dry the plates before storing them away. No matter whether you own a dishwasher or not, you’ll be learning about the best way to dry dishes at home.

Best Way to Dry Dishes in a Dishwasher:

It is common for a house or apartment to have a dishwasher. It is a quick and convenient way to washing dishes. However, all machines are different and so does their functions. Take a look below for a more clear idea.

Drying dishes with Dishwasher

1. Select Sanitize Cycle on Dishwasher

If your dishwasher offers a ‘sanitize’ cycle then press the function for even sanitation of all your dishes. Now, this is a function that you won’t need every day. Press the mode after washing a heavy load or occasional deep cleaning to remove an odd smell from the plates and mugs inside the machine itself.

2. Dish-drying Feature in Dishwasher

All the dishwashing machines features ‘air drying’ mode whether or not they have a ‘sanitize’ cycle. The air dry mode pumps in room temperature air to dry the dishes. This might not be the best way to sanitize dishes but the mode helps dry them. But on a positive note, you can use airdrying after every wash cycle for quick drying of dishes once they’re out of the dishwasher.

[Tip: Use heat-dry cycle occasionally or only when necessary. Heat-drying dishes use extra energy.]

Best Way to Dry Dishes Without a Dishwasher:

Certain utensils cannot be washed properly using a dishwasher. And some might not even fit inside the machine. Also, it is good to hand wash plates and glasses occasionally to remove stains and spots that your machine failed in removing.

1. Sun Drying (is the Best)

If you got an outdoor space or balcony that receives adequate sunlight, then it is best to keep the dish rack there after washing the dishes. Sunlight will help in the quick drying of dishes as well as kill the harmful bacteria on the surface. Plus, it also takes away the strong odd smell of soap.

2. Air Drying

Air Drying Dishes

Letting the utensils air dry after handwashing them is a common practice. Mostly, there is a rack over the sink or on the side, where you arrange all the washed plates. Then, you let the utensils air dry naturally till they’re good to organize inside the kitchen cabinets. Keeping a good space between dishes will help them air dry quickly. Also, do not overload the dish rack.

The best way to do air drying is by using an over-the-sink dish drying rack. It helps you organize them and keep them in one place while they dry up naturally.

3. Using Paper Towels

Need a plate or pot immediately? Then use paper towels to dry the surface. I would recommend using paper towels only when you need a certain mug or plate immediately after washing it. Using paper towels to dry dishes and mugs after every wash is not practical or feasible.

4. Drying Using a Dishtowel

Cleaning Dishes with Dishtowel

Using a dish towel for drying plates would be the least sanitary of all the above methods. You might be spreading germs and bacteria into your freshly washed dishes by using an unclean dishcloth. But if you’re out of all the other drying options, then I would recommend using a microfiber or lint-free towel. Also, wash the dishcloth properly after every use to keep bacteria at bay.

Bottom Line

Drying dishes after washing them is crucial. It doesn’t matter whether you have a dishwasher or not, you must only stack plates inside your cabinet once they’re properly dried. And now that you know the best ways of drying plates, I’m sure you’ll complain less about odd smells coming off your well-washed plates or mugs.

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