Dish Drying - with a dishwasher
You can save money with dish drying when you're using a dishwasher. It won't be much of a savings, but anything that's a recurring savings is in my frugal living "cross hairs," and today it's drying dishes.
Consider that anything using electricity for heating is a big user of power. If we can eliminate a few things that use electricity to heat with, then we can make a dent in our electric bill.
Drying dishes with electricity is one item that can be eliminated.
Let's look at how a dishwasher normally dries the dishes, and then let's look at how we can dry dishes in a different manner to save energy and reduce our electric bill.
Dishwasher Drying - how it works
A dishwasher typically uses an electric heater loop in the bottom of the machine to dry your dishes. That's why some products are labeled as "top rack only" because the heat from this electric resistance heater can melt plastics.
There is no fan or other circulating system inside the dishwasher to help with evaporation, it simply uses dry heat from the heater to evaporate water off of the dishes.
While dish drying, you'll notice steam flowing out of the vents in the front of the machine. It looks like a vaporizer in the kitchen, but it's really just steam coming off of your dishes as you use electricity to for dish drying inside that enclosure.
The reason the dishwasher needs an electric heater to dry the dishes is that it needs to overcome the difference in humidity between the moist dishwasher environment and the ideal humidity for drying dishes - dry air.
So, the main problem is that the dishwasher remains closed, and this traps moisture inside, therefore making an electric heater necessary for dish drying...if you keep the door closed.
"Flash" Dish Drying - how it works
My approach to dish drying with the dishwasher is to "flash dry" the dishes. It's a method that makes use of the stored heat in your dishes to dry themselves.
When you start a load of dishes, turn off the dryer mode. It's really not necessary.
During the wash and rinse cycles, hot water is used. This heat is captured by the dishes due in part to their density, and the length of time they sit in the dishwasher. Pick up a thick glass bowl right after it comes out of the dishwasher - it's warm if not hot. The idea behind "flash drying" is to make use of stored energy to dry the dishes.
Immediately after the rinse cycle stops, open the door and pull out the racks. You'll be exposing all the surface areas of the dishes to much dryer room temperature air that will greedily suck up the moisture that resides on your dishes.
With the dry air "pulling" and the warm dishes "pushing," the moisture on your dishes will quickly evaporate without spotting. Be sure that pools of water on dishes and glasses are dumped, jostled off, or soaked up with a towel because they'll never "flash dry" like mere water droplets.
To shake off some pools of water, I slide the racks out quickly and then move them back and forth a bit. I'll tip wine glasses upright so they don't have puddles drying on the inside lip that causes unattractive mineral deposits.
That's all there is to it. Open things up, get rid of the excess water through movement, repositioning or toweling of the dishes a bit, and let the heat stored in the dishes drive off the moisture that hasn't dripped off the dishes.
After a short while, the dishes should be sufficiently dry to return to the cabinets. And, your frugal living checkbook will thank you for it as your electric bill will be a bit lower each month.
Done with Dish Drying, take me back to Frugal Living Tips