Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your crockery and cutlery may in actual fact be harder for your machine than getting them clean. Dishes and glasses have multiple crevices that could collect dishwater preventing it from evaporating, and as your machine cools down water condenses from the steam.

Different machines also utilize a variety of different methods to dry your crockery and cutlery. Some will have a heating coil to heat up the air in the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some heat the water to a higher temperature near the final rinse, others use a fan, and others employ a combination of all of these. There are therefore a number of reasons why your machine may not be drying dishes optimally and a number of options to improve the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than other materials as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth seeing whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If dishes are coming out wet you can call a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more annoying than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, whether that’s a smartphone that really isn’t being that smart, a washing machine that’s churning out dirty clothes, or a dishwasher that is either not removing the dirt from or drying your dishes. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all makes and models are created equal and some makes and models perform to a better standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these faults might be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Dishes

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the dishwasher is broken you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. It’s also worth noting that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

Visually check the rinse aid dispenser for damage and ensure that it’s full.

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating coil could be the explanation your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating element is faulty.

To inspect the heating coil you will need to unplug the machine, locate the heating element, you might need the manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t get too hot, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s faulty this can result in your machine not reaching a high enough temperature.

If the heating coil appears to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be at fault. Once again you can check this with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will utilize a fan and vent to suck moist air out of the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

You can use your instruction manual to ascertain if your dishwasher uses a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to make sure the appliance is unplugged before trying to make repairs.

First look at the fan and vent to see if there is anything lodged that would stop it from functioning as it should. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Power

There are a number of methods you can use to boost your appliances drying ability and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overloading the dishwasher stops the flow of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both cleaning and drying your dishes. It might be tempting to stuff everything in but your dishwasher will be more effective if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and thus speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some new models have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door when the cycle finishes can help allow the water to escape thus preventing water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and you could be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Think about how you unload your machine. This doesn’t affect how well your dishwasher works, but it stop and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If you have checked all the above it may be a good idea to call in the professionals or even replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Not Turning On
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Leaking
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