You shouldn’t have to towel off your dishes after cleaning them in your dishwasher.
But you also shouldn’t write off rinse aid because you think it’s just made to prevent water spots on your dishes.
Dishwashers are actually designed to use the rinse aid to sheet off the water on dishes to assist in the drying process. So without it, you’re handicapping your dishwasher’s drying performance.
I’ve read blog posts about using vinegar and stuff like that in place of rinse aid, but if that actually works for you in terms of helping dry your dishes, I stand corrected (and you can hang me in the comments).
Buy a bottle of rinse aid, and I betcha that’s the missing link. Keep your reservoir full, checking it every few weeks. Your (dry) dishtowels will thank you.
- If you have a new, plastic tub dishwasher, be patient. It’s drying performance will improve over time as the tub “seasons.” Don’t prewash your dishes, as this impedes the seasoning process, manufacturers say.
- Run the tap next to your dishwasher until the water is hot, ensuring that the water entering the dishwasher can get as hot as possible. I do this without fail, because it’s an all-around boost to your dishwasher’s perfomance.
- Limit the amount of plastic items. Plastic doesn’t retain heat as well as say, ceramic, which is why you’ll notice that it’s generally the wettest of all your wet dishes. Because it doesn’t retain heat, it doesn’t condensate the water.