Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your crockery and cutlery may in actual fact be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Dishes and glasses have lots of crevices that could collect dishwater stopping it from drying out, and as your appliance loses heat water condenses out of the humid air.

Different machines also utilize a number of different approaches to dry your dishes. Some opt for a heating coil to heat up the inside of the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some heat the water to a higher temperature near the final rinse, others use a fan, and some have a combination of all three. There are consequently a variety of reasons why your dishwasher might not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic items are 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 items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If dishes are coming out wet you can call a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more irritating 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 removing the dirt from or drying your dishes. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are created equal and you will find that some dishwashers do a better job of drying your plates than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these faults might be the problem.

Inspect How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance. Before assuming the dishwasher is broken you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your plates thus, if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can result in wet dishes 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.

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a broken heating coil might be the reason your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating element first disconnect the appliance, then find the heating element, you could need the instruction manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t overheat, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s faulty this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not uncover an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be the problem. Once again you can test this with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will make use of a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the machine. If either of these elements are broken then the water vapor will remain in the appliance preventing the crockery and cutlery from drying.

You can employ your manual to check if your dishwasher uses a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to make sure the machine is disconnected before attempting to make repairs.

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

Ideas to Boost Drying Capability

There are a variety of things you can do to improve how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and ensure you have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the machine. Overloading the dishwasher inhibits the circulation of air and water making cleaning and drying your plates harder. It could be appealing to cram everything in 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 little extra to the machine 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 program. Some new machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher at the end of the cycle can help allow the water to escape and stop water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your machine has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will result in better drying times and it may be possible to choose which points in the program you add more heat.
  5. Think about how you unload your machine. 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 you have checked all the above it could be time to call in the professionals or even replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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