Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry could really be harder for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Plates and glasses have multiple crevices that may pool water stopping it from evaporating, thus as your appliance cools down water droplets form from the steam.

Different machines also make use of a number of methods to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models will have a heating element to heat up the air in the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some heat the water to a higher temperature approaching the final rinse, others employ a fan, and others employ a combination of all of these. There are thus a number of reasons why your dishwasher could not be drying plates optimally and a variety of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than glass or ceramics 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 guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more frustrating than a home appliance that isn’t working as it should, regardless of whether its a tv, air conditioner 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 number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

Not all makes and models are created equal and some appliances perform to a superior standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these areas may be the cause.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Dishes

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. 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.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can mean wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

Visually check the rinse aid dispenser for cracks and check that it’s full.

Inspect The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a broken heating coil might be the explanation your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your dishes don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating coil is broken.

To inspect the heating coil you will need to disconnect the dishwasher, locate the heating coil, you could need the instruction manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t get too hot, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s not working this can result in your dishwasher not heating up at all.

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

Check The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will utilize a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the machine. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead preventing them from drying.

You can use your instruction manual to check if your appliance has a fan and find its location. Again you need to double check the appliance is unplugged before attempting to access the fan.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that could stop it from operating as it should. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Increase Drying Ability

There are a variety of things you can do to boost your machines effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between plates. Overloading the appliance inhibits the flow of both water and air making cleaning and drying your plates more difficult. It might be tempting to cram in as much as possible but you will get better results if you leave enough space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery helping the water to run off them and consequently speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine at the end of the cycle can help allow the water to evaporate and prevent water condensing on the plates as the machine cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the heat the better the drying and you could be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Empty the bottom rack 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 plates below.

If none of the above solves the problem it might be necessary to call in the professionals or perhaps upgrade your dishwasher.

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