What Cannot Be Used To Dry Utensils

What Cannot Be Used To Dry Utensils? (Essential Facts & Tips)

Washing and drying seem to be easy-peasy tasks that everyone does on a daily basis. However, instead of putting the freshly-washed dishes in a drying rack and waiting for them to dry, some people are tempted to grab a towel for speedy drying.

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But do you think it’s a good idea to do so? What cannot be used to dry utensils? If this is something you’re concerned about, let’s delve deeper into our article to find a favorable answer to the question.

What Cannot Be Used To Dry Utensils?

Surprisingly, a towel or any form of fabric is not advisable to be used to dry utensils. The reason is relatively straightforward. A towel can harbor all sorts of germs and bacteria. Hence, when you wipe utensils with a towel, you risk spreading the bacteria around those kitchen items that you’ve made an effort to clean.

Furthermore, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona stated that the coliform bacteria were detected in nearly all of the towels (89%), while 25.6% had a detectable signal of E.coli bacteria. 

Significantly, these figures mean that the common occurrence of bacteria in the towels contributes to the cross-contamination in the home environment. As a result, there is no doubt that sanitation and people’s health are significantly influenced at some points.

How To Dry Utensils Correctly? (3 Simple Methods)

1. Air drying

This is the most effective method without motivating the growth of bacteria. Also, this method requires little effort at all.

Here’re a few basic instructions for you to do at home:

  • First, wash the dishes and utensils in hot and soapy water. Rinse with water after washing.
  • Then, place these items in a container and soak them in a sanitizing solution for a recommended time.
  • Lastly, put dishes and utensils in a dish rack and allow them to air dry until they are ready for storage and use.
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2. Dishwasher drying

If you have a dishwasher, this is a down-to-earth solution to ensure your utensils are dry and germ-free. 

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When selecting the heated dry option in the dishwasher, the machine uses energy to pump hot air onto clean dishes and utensils, causing the moisture on the kitchen items to evaporate into steam.

However, while it seems that this method speeds up drying and saves your time, it can cause damage to your machine and essentially doubles the electric bill.

The reason is that the heated drying cycle often adds extra 30 minutes to the overall washing cycle, thus putting more pressure on the machine. Therefore, to extend the life of your dishwasher, consider using this method carefully.


Instead of the heat-drying cycle, opt for the air-dry option. Several new dishwashers have this feature, and it is proven to reduce energy consumption since it doesn’t require much power. 

Unlike the first option that promotes heating elements, the air dry cycle uses pumps to draw room-temperature air and circulates it around the dishwasher to encourage even drying.

Note: In case your dishwasher doesn’t have any of these functions, choose a wash cycle that doesn’t include a complete drying process. Once the rinse cycle is done, crack the dishwasher open a couple of inches to allow the utensils to dry naturally. 

Wonder if your dishwasher isn’t drying properly? Check out this video to figure out how to fix it!

3. Paper towel drying

A paper towel is an effective alternative to a dishcloth. Since paper towels are single-use, they are less likely to spread bacteria around the dishes or utensils in the same way as a dishcloth does. 

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Wiping with a paper towel is essential for drying pots and pans, especially when they contain traces of grease.

However, the only downfall of this method is that it would be a wasteful habit to dry every utensil or dish.

Read More:

How To Remove Grease From Stainless Steel (4 Fast Methods)

How To Clean A Samsung Dishwasher? (3 Main Steps)


  1. Should I leave dishes or utensils in the dishwasher overnight?

Generally, no. It’s not recommended to run a dishwasher overnight or when you’re sleeping because it is a fire risk due to a significant amount of electricity being generated.

Therefore, it’s best to put your items into the dishwasher immediately after being used so that you can pay attention to the washing and drying process.

  1. Can I put away wet utensils and dishes?

Absolutely no. Putting utensils or dishes away while they’re wet creates an ideal environment for mold and bacteria to grow. A study indicates that after 48 hours, bacteria start to spread on wet plates and utensils.

Therefore, it is essential to dry all the stuff right after washing. After that, place it into a drying rack for a natural drying process.

  1. In which case can I use a towel to dry utensils?

While a towel is not a desirable option to dry utensils, you can use it in some cases to speed up drying. However, make sure to have a stack of dry, sanitized, and single-use towels on your hands to avoid ​​cross-contamination. 

Set the towel aside when it gets wet and change to a fresh one to continue drying the remaining dishes and utensils. All wet towels should then be washed thoroughly by hand or using laundry.


It’s vital to boil your towel to sterilize and keep it fresh and clean. Here’re basic steps to try:

  • Firstly, fill a large pot with water.
  • Then, add a teaspoon of liquid dish soap and a half cup of vinegar.
  • Put the towel in the pot and bring it to a boil. 
  • Keep it in the boiling water for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Put the towel in the direct sun to dry.

Wrapping Up

You’ve reached the end of the article. Hopefully, this article has provided you with sufficient knowledge regarding what cannot be used to dry utensils. Also, now you’re equipped with some practical solutions to dry utensils and dishes at home.

While washing and drying are quite simple, make sure to follow proper techniques to keep your dishes, utensils, and equipment sanitary.

If you find this article helpful, feel free to share it with your friends or family members. Also, don’t forget to leave us some comments or thoughts on how you wash and dry your utensils.