Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your plates may really be more arduous for your machine than getting them clean. Plates and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that may pool dishwater stopping it from evaporating, and as your machine cools water condenses from the humid air.

Different machines also make use of a number of means to dry your plates. Certain models opt for a heating element to warm the inside of the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water to a higher temperature near the final rinse, certain models employ a fan, and some employ a combination of all of these. There are consequently a number of reasons why your machine might not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than glass or ceramics as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth seeing whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

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

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more frustrating than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it should, 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 cleaning or drying your plates. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the problem.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and you will find that some appliances do a better job of drying your dishes than others. However, if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these faults could be the cause.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the appliance is broken you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can result in wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

The best thing to do is check the dispenser for damage and ensure that it’s full.

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your crockery and cutlery will not dry so a faulty heating element may be the explanation your machine is not drying plates. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating element first unplug the machine, then find the heating coil, you might need the owners manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t overheat, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s not working this can result in your machine not heating up at all.

If the heating coil appears to be in working order but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be the problem. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will remain in the dishwasher preventing the dishes from drying.

You can utilize your instruction manual to ascertain if your appliance has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to ensure 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 operating correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Capability

There are a number of things you can do to boost how well your machine dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between crockery and cutlery. Overloading the appliance stops the circulation of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your dishes harder. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, your machine will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher won’t hurt. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glasses a streak-free finish 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 do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the machine at the end of the cycle allows warm air to escape and stop water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your machine has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will lead to improved drying times and you may 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 effective your dishwasher is, 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 might be time to phone an engineer or even replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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