Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your crockery and cutlery might in actual fact be more difficult for your machine than getting them clean. Plates and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that could collect water making it more difficult for it to evaporate, plus as your appliance loses heat water condenses from the humid air.

Different machines also employ a number of different approaches to dry your plates. Some will employ a heating element to heat up the air in the machine and assist with evaporation, some warm the water further near the final rinse, some make use of a fan, and certain models employ a mix of all of these. There are thus a variety of explanations why your dishwasher might not be drying plates fully and a number of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than other materials as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth noting whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying effectively you can call a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting list to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

There is nothing more irritating than an 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 crockery and cutlery. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out the issue.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and some makes and models do a better job of drying your dishes than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these faults may be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

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

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can result in wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a broken heating element could be the reason your machine is not working as it should. If your dishes don’t feel hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating element you will need to unplug the appliance, find the heating coil, you may need the manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t overheat, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s not working this can result in your appliance not heating up at all.

If the heating element appears to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be at fault. Once again you can check this with the help of a multimeter.

Check The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will use a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the appliance. If either of these elements are faulty then the water vapor will condense on the plates instead preventing them from drying.

You can make use of your manual to find out if your dishwasher uses a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to double check the machine is unplugged before attempting to access the fan.

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

Ideas to Boost Drying Capability

There are a number of methods you can use to boost your dishwashers drying ability and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t overcrowd the dishwasher. Overcrowding the dishwasher inhibits the flow of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your dishes harder. It could be tempting to stuff in as much as possible but you will get better results if you leave enough space so that crockery and cutlery are not touching.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your plates, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the cycle has finished. Some newer models do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine when the program finishes can help allow the water to escape thus preventing water condensing on the plates as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine uses a heat feature and make use of 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. Think about how you unload your dishwasher. This doesn’t affect how effective your machine is, but it stop and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If you have checked all the above it could be necessary 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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