Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your plates could actually be harder for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Plates and cups have multiple nooks and crannies that could pool dishwater stopping it from drying out, plus as your dishwasher loses heat water condenses out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a number of approaches to dry your dishes. Some will have a heating element to heat up the air in the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some warm the water more near the end of the cycle, some make use of a fan, and certain models have a mix of all three. There are thus a variety of explanations why your machine could not be drying plates fully and a number of things you can do to improve 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 noting 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 use this troubleshooting guide 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 doesn’t work 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 your dishwasher to discover wet plates here 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 appliances perform to a superior standard compared to others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these areas might be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher is not working you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can mean wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Check The Heating Element

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a broken heating element may be the explanation your machine is not drying plates. If your dishes don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating coil you will need to unplug the appliance, find the heating element, you may need the manual for this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher overheating, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s faulty this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

If you check the heating element and do not discover an issue but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be at fault. Again you can check this with the help of a multimeter.

Check The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will make use of 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 steam will remain in the machine preventing the plates from drying.

You can utilize your manual to ascertain if your machine uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to double check the dishwasher is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

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

Ideas to Boost Drying Power

There are a number of methods you can use to increase your dishwashers effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between crockery and cutlery. Overloading the machine inhibits the flow of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both cleaning and finishing your dishes. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glasses a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and thus speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer machines have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher when the cycle completes can help allow the water to evaporate thus stopping water condensing on the contents as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will lead to better drying times and it may be possible to choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  5. Think about how you unload your dishwasher. This doesn’t affect how effective your dishwasher is, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it might be time to phone the professionals or even buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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