Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry might actually be more arduous for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Plates and cups have multiple nooks and crannies that may pool dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, plus as your dishwasher cools water condenses out of the steam.

Different machines also employ a variety of different means to dry your plates. Some will use a heating coil to warm the inside of the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some heat up the water more near the final rinse, some make use of a fan, and others make use of a combination of all of these. There are consequently a number of reasons why your machine might not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a variety of options to rectify the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than glass or ceramics 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 hire a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more annoying 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 few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

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. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these issues might be the problem.

Check the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance. 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.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your crockery and cutlery therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet plates at the end of the cycle.

The best thing to do is inspect the dispenser for damage and check that there is rinse aid inside.

Inspect The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a broken heating element may be the reason your machine is not drying dishes. If your plates aren’t hot 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 first unplug the appliance, then find the heating coil, you may need the owners manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

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

If the heating coil seems to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be at fault. Again you can test this with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many machines 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 hot air will form droplets on the dishes instead preventing them from drying.

You can utilize your manual to find out if your dishwasher has a fan and find its location. Again you need to make sure the machine is unplugged before attempting to access the fan.

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

Tips to Increase Drying Ability

There are a number of methods you can use to increase your machines drying ability and ensure you need to get the drying up cloth out as little as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the machine. Overloading the dishwasher stops the circulation of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your plates harder. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery 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 models have this as an automatic function, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door when the program completes can help allow the water to evaporate thus preventing water condensing on the plates as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance has a heat feature and make use of it. Setting a higher heat will result in improved drying times and you could be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  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 dishes below.

If none of the above solves the problem it may be time to phone an engineer or perhaps replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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