The One Dishwasher Setting You Should Stop Using

Dishwashers save us tons of time in the kitchen, so instead of scrubbing pots and pans, we can focus on mastering Julia Child recipes, baking a perfect chocolate cake, and learning how to cook juicy steaks every time. But if you're as attached to your dishwasher as we are (anything to avoid touching that nasty kitchen sponge), then you should be aware of this one setting that you should never use. 

Like any appliance, dishwashers can be a little finicky, and just because you can use a setting, that doesn't mean you always should. Case in point? Choosing between air dry or heated dry when using your dishwasher can make a huge difference in how long the machine lasts. We don't know about you, but we definitely don't want to have to do back to washing our dishes by hand. 

Why you should always air dry your dishes

Choosing the air dry setting in your dishwasher may take longer than opting for the heated dry, but it could also extend the life of your dishwasher (via MyRecipes). 

During the heated drying cycle, the dishwasher's electric heating elements get super hot, while the dishwasher's air fans work to pump out the hot, steamy air generated inside the dishwasher. This puts a big strain on the machine, and if you use the heated dry option too often, it could shave years off of the lifespan of your dishwasher. 

Air dry is far more gentle on your machine. While it does activate the air fans to pump air around the machine so things dry evenly, it uses room temperature air to do so, saving the electric heating elements the stress of turning on.

Now, it will take longer for your dishes to dry using the air dry method, but if it saves you from the woes of a broken dishwasher, it seems well worth it. 

If you want to do even more to preserve the life of your dishwasher, you can skip the drying cycle altogether. After your dishwasher goes through the final rinse cycle, just open the door and let nature do its thing. This option will take the longest to dry your dishes, but it's also the most environmentally friendly, energy-saving, and least stressful on your dishwasher's mechanisms.