Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your crockery and cutlery dry could actually be harder for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Dishes and cups have multiple nooks and crannies that may collect water making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your dishwasher loses heat water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also make use of a number of methods to get your dishes dry. Certain models will employ a heating coil to heat up the inside of the machine and assist with evaporation, some warm the water more near the end of the cycle, certain models employ a fan, and others have a mix of all of these. There are thus a variety of reasons why your dishwasher might 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 other materials as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth seeing 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 guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more frustrating than an 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 plates. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. But if you notice a change in how well your machine is working one of these issues could be the cause.

Inspect How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the machine is broken you should first check that you haven’t overloaded it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. It’s also worth noting that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can result in wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a not working heating element may be the explanation your machine is not working as it should. If your dishes aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil you will need to disconnect the dishwasher, find the heating coil, you may need the manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

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

If the heating element appears to be working as it should but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be at fault. Again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will make use of a fan and vent to suck moist air out of the appliance. If either of these elements are broken then the hot air will remain in the machine preventing the plates from drying.

You can employ your manual to check if your machine has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to ensure the appliance is unplugged before attempting to access the fan.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that could stop it from functioning as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Increase Drying Power

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

  1. Allow ample space between crockery and cutlery. Overcrowding the dishwasher limits the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your plates more difficult. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher can only improve matters. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery, 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 program has ended. Some newer machines have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine when the cycle finishes can help allow the water to evaporate and stop water condensing on the dishes as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and you could be able to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Empty the bottom rack before the top. This doesn’t affect how well your dishwasher works, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If none of the above solves the problem it could be a good idea to phone the professionals or even replace your dishwasher.

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