Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your plates may really be more arduous for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Crockery and cutlery and cups have lots of crevices that can collect water preventing it from drying out, thus as your appliance loses heat water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a number of different methods to get your plates dry. Some will use a heating element to warm the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some heat the water to a higher temperature approaching the final rinse, some make use of a fan, and others have a mix of all of these. There are thus a number of explanations why your dishwasher might not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a variety of things you can do to rectify 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 your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying effectively you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting list to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more annoying than an 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 cleaning or drying your crockery and cutlery. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out the issue.

Not all appliances are created equal and some makes and models perform to a better standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these issues might be the cause.

Check the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

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

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates thus, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

The best thing to do is check the dispenser for cracks and ensure that it’s full.

Check The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a faulty heating coil might be the explanation your appliance is not drying plates. If your dishes aren’t hot to touch 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 unplug the dishwasher, find the heating element, you could need the owners manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher overheating, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s broken this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

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 test this with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

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

You can make use of your manual to find out if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to make sure the machine is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

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

Ways to Boost Drying Power

There are a variety of methods you can use to increase your dishwashers drying ability and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between crockery and cutlery. Overloading the dishwasher limits the circulation of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your plates more difficult. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets 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 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 the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer machines have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the machine at the end of the cycle allows warm air to evaporate and stop water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Find out if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and use it. The higher the heat the better the drying and you might be able to choose which points in the program you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you empty your dishwasher. 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 this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it might be a good idea to phone the professionals or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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