Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your crockery and cutlery may actually be harder for your machine than cleaning them. Crockery and cutlery and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that can trap water stopping it from evaporating, and as your appliance loses heat water condenses from the steam.

Different machines also utilize a number of different means to dry your dishes. Certain models opt for a heating element to warm the inside of the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some heat the water more approaching the end of the cycle, others use a fan, and certain models use a mix of all three. There are consequently a number of reasons why your dishwasher may not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a variety of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully 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 items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying effectively you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more annoying 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 removing the dirt from or drying your dishes. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a number of places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all dishwashers are created equal and you will find that some dishwashers do a better job of drying your dishes than others. But if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these areas could be the problem.

Inspect How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the appliance is broken you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastics don’t dry as well as 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 the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can result in wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a broken heating element may be the reason your appliance is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t 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 coil first disconnect the appliance, then locate the heating element, you might need the manual for this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t overheat, 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 heating up at all.

If the heating coil seems to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be the issue. Again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Check The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will utilize a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the machine. If either of these elements are broken then the water vapor will remain in the appliance preventing the plates from drying.

You can make use of your user manual to check if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to make sure the dishwasher is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

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

Tips to Boost Drying Ability

There are a number of methods you can use to increase how well your machine dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between dishes. Overloading the appliance inhibits the circulation of both water and air making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery harder. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance 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 your dishwasher as soon as the program has completed. Some newer dishwashers do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door at the end of the program can help allow the water to escape and stop water condensing on the dishes as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will result in better drying times and it could be possible to choose which points in the program 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 plates below.

If none of the above solves the problem it could be a good idea to phone an engineer or perhaps buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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