Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your crockery and cutlery might in actual fact be more difficult for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Plates and cups have multiple nooks and crannies that may collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your machine loses heat water condenses from the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of methods to get your plates dry. Certain models opt for a heating element to heat up the air in the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some heat the water to a higher temperature near the end of the cycle, some make use of a fan, and others employ a combination of all of these. There are thus a number of explanations why your machine could not be drying plates fully and a number of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than other materials as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth taking note whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more irritating than a home appliance that isn’t working properly, 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 plates. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some appliances perform to a superior standard compared to others. But if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these areas may be the problem.

Inspect How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher is faulty you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. Also be aware that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your dishes coming out properly dry.

Visually inspect the dispenser for cracks and check that it’s full.

Have a Look at The Heating Element

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

To check the heating coil you will need to unplug the appliance, locate the heating coil, you might need the owners manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t get too hot, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s faulty this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not discover an fault but your appliance isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be the problem. Again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will utilize a drying 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 steam will condense on the dishes instead preventing them from drying.

You can employ your manual to check if your appliance uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to ensure the appliance is unplugged before attempting to access the fan.

First look at the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that might prevent it from working correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Power

There are a number of methods you can use to improve your dishwashers drying ability and make sure you have to hand dry as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between plates. Overfilling the dishwasher limits the flow of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your crockery and cutlery harder. It might be appealing to stuff in as much as possible but your dishwasher will work better if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your dishes, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some new models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the door when the cycle completes allows warm air to evaporate thus preventing water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your machine employs a heat feature and use it. The higher the heat the better the drying and you may be able to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you empty your dishwasher. This doesn’t affect how well your dishwasher works, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it might be necessary to call in an engineer or perhaps replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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