Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry could in actual fact be harder for your machine than removing the dirt. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have lots of nooks and crannies that can pool dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, plus as your machine cools water droplets form from the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of means to dry your dishes. Certain models opt for a heating element to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some heat up the water more near the end of the cycle, some employ a fan, and some make use of a mix of all three. There are therefore a variety of reasons why your dishwasher may not be drying plates fully and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are 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 noting 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 make use of this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more irritating than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, regardless of whether its a smartphone, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. 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 dishwashers perform to a better standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these faults may be the problem.

Have a Look at How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

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

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

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

Check The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a not working heating element may be the explanation your dishwasher is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your dishes don’t feel hot 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 first disconnect the dishwasher, then 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 ensures your machine doesn’t get too hot, adjusting the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s faulty this can result in your dishwasher not reaching a high enough temperature.

If the heating element appears to be in working order but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be the issue. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the dishwasher. If either of these elements are faulty then the hot air will condense on the plates instead leaving them wet.

You can make use of your manual to check if your appliance uses a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to double check the dishwasher is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

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

Ways to Boost Drying Ability

There are a number of things you can do to improve your machines effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between crockery and cutlery. Overfilling the machine limits the circulation of both water and air making cleaning and drying your dishes harder. It might be appealing to cram everything in but your appliance will work better if you leave enough space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher can only improve matters. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery, 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 cycle. Some newer models have this as an automatic option, but many do not, thus, opening the machine at the end of the program allows warm air to evaporate and stop water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your machine has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and it may be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Think about how you empty your dishwasher. 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 plates below.

If none of the above solves the problem it might be necessary to phone the professionals or even upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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