To increase your machine's longevity, switch to this underutilized setting.
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woman loading putting dishing into dishwashing machine
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The dishwasher is undoubtedly one of the most handy appliances you have in your kitchen. No matter the meal-time mess, loading your dishes into this machine gets them clean again with the touch of a button. The settings you choose during a wash cyle, however, can actually impact how long this appliance will last in your kitchen. According to MyRecipes, the heated-dry setting, in particular, could be shortening the lifespan of your dishwasher.

The reason? This setting pushes hot air onto your wet dishes to steam them; the appliance then blows the hot steam out of your machine. Though this process dries dishes quickly, the intense heat weakens the appliance over time. On average, the cycle takes about 30 minutes and employs the machine's electric heating elements—these parts must overuse their built-in air pumps, which can drastically shorten your dishwasher's longevity.

Luckily, there's a simple alternative: Use your machine's air-dry cycle, instead. This setting takes room-temperature air and pushes it through your dishes for an even drying experience. The only downside here is that you'll likely find a small amount of moisture on plates or bowls once the cycle is complete.

In the event that neither of these options works for you, try opening up the dishwasher after the wash cycle. This way, the dishes can completely dry on their own. This route is best if you plan on washing dishes at night and have the time to let the dishes air out until the morning. Plus, you'll cut your electric bill along the way. Another perk? You won't have heat or steam build-up in your kitchen—which is a major plus as we approach the warm-weather season.

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