Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your crockery and cutlery could really be more arduous for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Dishes and cups have lots of crevices that may trap dishwater stopping it from drying out, and as your machine cools down water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of methods to get your plates dry. Some will use a heating element to heat up the air in the machine and help with evaporation, some heat the water further near the final rinse, others use a fan, and certain models make use of a combination of all three. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your machine might not be drying plates optimally and a variety of options 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 taking note 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 employ this troubleshooting list to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more irritating than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it should, regardless of whether its a washing machine or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and you will find that some dishwashers perform to a better standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these areas may be the problem.

Check How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the appliance is not working you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. Also be aware that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your plates therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

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

Check The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a broken heating element might be the explanation your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your plates don’t feel hot when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating element you will need to disconnect the dishwasher, locate the heating coil, you could need the owners manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your appliance getting too hot, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s not working this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

If you check the heating coil and do not find an fault but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be at fault. Once again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many machines will employ a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the dishwasher. If either of these elements are faulty then the steam will form droplets on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

You can use your instruction manual to ascertain if your appliance has a fan and find its location. Again you need to make sure the appliance is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

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

Ways to Boost Drying Capability

There are a number of methods you can use to improve your dishwashers drying ability and ensure you have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between dishes. Overcrowding the appliance stops the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. Although it’s tempting to try and cram everything in, your dishwasher will work better if you leave sufficient 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 dishwasher can only improve matters. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your dishes, 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 cycle. Some newer models have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door when the program completes can help allow the water to evaporate thus preventing water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance has a heat feature and utilize it. Setting a higher temperature will lead to better drying times and you might be able to choose which points in the program you increase the temperature.
  5. Empty the lower level 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 dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it might be a good idea to call in an engineer or even replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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