Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your crockery and cutlery could actually be harder for your machine than getting them clean. Plates and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that may collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your appliance cools down water droplets form from the steam.

Different machines also make use of a variety of means to dry your plates. Certain models will employ a heating coil to heat up the inside of the machine and help the water to evaporate, some heat the water to a higher temperature approaching the end of the cycle, certain models have a fan, and others make use of a mix of all three. There are thus a variety of explanations why your dishwasher may not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic items are more difficult to dry 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 hire a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more frustrating than a home appliance that isn’t working 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 dishes. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a number of places you can look 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 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 could be the cause.

Have a Look at How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the appliance is not working you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. It’s also worth noting that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your dishes and so if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a faulty heating element might be the reason your appliance is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your dishes don’t feel hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil you will need to unplug the dishwasher, find the heating coil, you could need the owners manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your machine getting too hot, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s not working this can result in your appliance not heating up at all.

If the heating coil appears to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be at fault. Again you can test this using a multimeter.

Check The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will use a 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 hot air will form droplets on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

You can utilize your user manual to check if your dishwasher uses a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to ensure the machine is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

You can look at the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that could stop it from operating as it should. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Increase Drying Capability

There are a variety of methods you can use to increase how well your appliance dries your dishes and make sureyou need to get the drying up cloth out as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the machine. Overloading the appliance limits the circulation of air and water making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery harder. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, your appliance will work better if you leave enough space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even so, adding a little extra to the machine won’t hurt. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and therefore making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some new machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program allows warm air to evaporate and stop water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your appliance uses a heat feature and make use of it. The higher the heat the better the drying and you might be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Empty the lower level first. This doesn’t affect how effective your dishwasher is, but it prevent and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If you have checked all the above it may be a good idea to phone the professionals or perhaps replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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