Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry could actually be more arduous for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Dishes and glasses have multiple crevices that may pool water stopping it from evaporating, and as your machine cools water condenses out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a number of approaches to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models will have a heating element to warm the air in the machine and assist with evaporation, some heat up the water more near the end of the cycle, some employ a fan, and certain models employ a mix of all three. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your machine may not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully 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 enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

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 crockery and cutlery. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these areas might be the problem.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher is not working you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t too full. It’s also worth noting that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

Visually check the dispenser for damage and check that it’s full.

Inspect The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a not working heating coil might be the explanation your appliance is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot when they come out of the machine this can mean that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating element first disconnect the dishwasher, then find the heating coil, you might need the instruction manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your appliance getting too hot, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s faulty this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating element appears to be in working order but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be at fault. Once again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will make use of a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the dishwasher. If either of these elements are faulty then the steam will remain in the dishwasher preventing the plates from drying.

You can utilize your manual to find out if your machine has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the appliance is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that would prevent it from functioning as it is supposed to. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Ability

There are a number of things you can do to increase how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the machine. Overloading the machine inhibits the circulation of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. It might be appealing to stuff in as much as possible but your machine will work better if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and thus making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some new dishwashers do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the door when the program finishes can help allow the water to evaporate and prevent water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine has a heat feature and use it. The higher the temperature the better the drying and it might be possible to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  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 crockery and cutlery below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it could be necessary to call in the professionals or perhaps replace your machine.

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