Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your crockery and cutlery may really be harder for your machine than cleaning them. Crockery and cutlery and glasses have multiple nooks and crannies that can pool dishwater stopping it from drying out, thus as your machine cools down water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a number of methods to get your dishes dry. Some will use a heating coil to warm the air in the machine and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water more near the end of the cycle, some make use of a fan, and some have a combination of all of these. There are consequently a variety of reasons why your machine may not be drying plates optimally and a number of options to improve the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than glass or ceramics as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth noting 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 help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

There is nothing more irritating than an 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 cleaning or drying your plates. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a number of places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec and you will find that some dishwashers do a better job of drying your dishes than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past 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 machine. Before assuming the appliance is faulty you should first check that you haven’t overloaded it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. It’s also worth noting that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

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

Visually inspect the rinse aid dispenser for cracks and ensure that it’s full.

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a broken heating element could be the explanation your appliance is not drying plates. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil first disconnect the machine, then locate the heating coil, you could need the instruction manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher overheating, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s faulty this can mean your appliance doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not uncover an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be the issue. Again you can test this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will utilize a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will form droplets on the crockery and cutlery instead preventing them from drying.

You can employ your manual to ascertain if your appliance has a fan and locate it. Again you need to make sure the dishwasher is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

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

Ways to Boost Drying Capability

There are a number of things you can do to boost how well your machine dries your dishes and make sure you need to get the drying up cloth out as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overloading the appliance stops the circulation of air and water making cleaning and drying your plates more difficult. It may be appealing to stuff in as much as possible but your dishwasher will be more effective if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the appliance 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 allowing them to dry faster.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine at the end of the program can help allow the water to escape thus stopping water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your dishwasher employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and you may be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  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 you have checked all the above it may be time to phone an engineer or even replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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