Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your dishes might really be more arduous for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Plates and glassware have lots of crevices that may collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, thus as your machine cools down water droplets form from the steam.

Different machines also make use of a number of means to get your dishes dry. Some opt for a heating coil to warm the air in the machine and assist with evaporation, some warm the water further approaching the final rinse, some have a fan, and some employ a mix of all three. There are consequently a number of explanations why your machine might not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of options 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 seeing 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 guide to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

There is nothing more annoying than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, 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 troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the problem.

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

Have a Look at How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the dishwasher is not working you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware 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 plates therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet plates at the end of the cycle.

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

Check The Heating Coil

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

To inspect the heating coil you will need to disconnect the machine, locate the heating element, you may need the owners manual for this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher getting too hot, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s broken this can mean your appliance doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating element appears to be working as it should but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be at fault. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Check The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will utilize a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the dishwasher. 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 find out if your machine has a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to ensure the appliance is disconnected before attempting to make repairs.

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

Ways to Boost Drying Power

There are a number of methods you can use to boost how well your machine dries your dishes and ensure you have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overload the machine. Overloading the machine inhibits the flow of both water and air making cleaning and drying your plates harder. It might be tempting to stuff in as much as possible but you will get better results if you leave enough 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 separate rinse aid to the appliance can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and consequently speeding up drying times.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the cycle has ended. Some newer dishwashers have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the door at the end of the program can help allow the water to evaporate thus preventing water condensing on the plates as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance uses a heat feature and use it. The higher the heat the better the drying and it may be possible to choose which points in the program you add more heat.
  5. Think about how you unload 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 call in an engineer or even upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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