Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your crockery and cutlery dry could actually be more arduous for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Dishes and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that could collect water preventing it from evaporating, and as your appliance loses heat water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a variety of different methods to get your dishes dry. Some will use a heating coil to heat up the air in the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some heat up the water to a higher temperature nearing the end of the cycle, some employ a fan, and others employ a mix of all three. There are thus a variety of explanations why your machine may not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than other materials as it cools down more quickly hindering 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 utilize this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more irritating than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it should, regardless of whether its a smartphone, washing machine or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are created equal and some dishwashers perform to a better standard compared to others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your dishwasher is working one of these areas may be the problem.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher is broken you should first check that you haven’t overloaded it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. Also be aware that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

Visually check the rinse aid dispenser for damage and check that there is rinse aid inside.

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a faulty heating coil might be the explanation your machine 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 isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating element you will need to disconnect the appliance, find the heating element, you could need the owners manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your machine getting too hot, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s broken this can result in your machine not reaching a high enough temperature.

If you check the heating coil and do not discover an fault but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be at fault. Again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will make use of 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 plates from drying.

You can employ your user manual to check if your machine has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the appliance is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that might stop it from operating as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Capability

There are a variety of things you can do to boost your appliances drying ability and ensure you need to get the drying up cloth out as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overloading the dishwasher limits the flow of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both cleaning and finishing your dishes. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher won’t hurt. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your plates, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the program has ended. Some new models do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher when the program completes allows warm air to evaporate and prevent water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine uses a heat feature and utilize it. Setting a higher heat will mean improved drying times and it might be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Empty the lower level before the top. This is simply because cups and glasses that are upside down on the top shelf often have a concave bottom where water can pool. Emptying the bottom rack first stops you spilling this water onto the dishes below.

If none of the above solves the problem it may be time to call in the professionals or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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