Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your crockery and cutlery may in actual fact be harder for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Crockery and cutlery and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that may pool water making it more difficult for it to evaporate, thus as your dishwasher cools down water condenses from the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of different means to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models opt for a heating element to heat up the inside of the machine and help with evaporation, some heat up the water more near the end of the cycle, others employ a fan, and some employ a mix of all of these. There are thus a number of explanations why your dishwasher could not be drying plates fully and a variety of things you can do to rectify 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 items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more frustrating 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 your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and you will find that some makes and models do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. But if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these faults could be the cause.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the dishwasher. Before assuming the appliance is not working you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware 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 and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can result in wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

Visually check the dispenser for cracks and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Check The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a faulty heating coil might be the reason your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil first unplug the dishwasher, then locate the heating coil, you could need the manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t get too hot, adjusting the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s faulty this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

If you check the heating coil and do not uncover an fault but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be the issue. Again you can check this using a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many machines will use a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will remain in the dishwasher preventing the dishes from drying.

You can use your user manual to ascertain if your appliance has a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to ensure the appliance is unplugged before attempting to access the fan.

First look at the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that could prevent it from working correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Increase Drying Ability

There are a number of things you can do to boost your machines drying ability and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overload the dishwasher. Overloading the machine stops the circulation of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both cleaning and drying your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, 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 include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and consequently allowing them to dry faster.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the cycle has finished. Some new models have this as an automatic function, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program allows warm air to escape thus preventing water condensing on the plates as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will result in improved drying times and you may be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Empty the bottom rack first. 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 a good idea to phone the professionals or perhaps replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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