Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your crockery and cutlery may actually be harder for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Plates and glassware have lots of crevices that may collect dishwater stopping it from drying out, and as your machine cools down water condenses from the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different approaches to dry your plates. Some opt for a heating coil to heat up the air in the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some heat the water further approaching the end of the cycle, certain models have a fan, and others use a combination of all of these. There are therefore a number of explanations why your machine might not be drying dishes fully and a number of options to rectify the situation.

Plastic items are more difficult to dry than other materials as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth noting whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If dishes are coming out wet you can call a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

Few things are more annoying 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 dishes. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a number of places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are created equal and you will find that some dishwashers do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. But if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these areas might be the cause.

Have a Look at 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 first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. It’s also worth noting that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid 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 ensure that it’s full.

Check The Heating Element

Without enough heat your crockery and cutlery will not dry so a faulty heating coil may be the reason your appliance is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating element is broken.

To inspect the heating coil you will need to disconnect the dishwasher, locate the heating element, you might need the owners manual to do this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t overheat, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s broken this can mean your dishwasher doesn’t heat up at all.

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

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will utilize a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the dishwasher. If either of these elements are faulty then the steam will form droplets on the plates instead leaving them wet.

You can employ your manual to ascertain if your appliance has a fan and find its location. Again you need to double check the machine is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

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

Ways to Increase Drying Power

There are a variety of methods you can use to boost your dishwashers drying ability and ensure you need to get the drying up cloth out as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the dishwasher. Overfilling the machine limits the circulation of both water and air making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery harder. It may be tempting to cram everything in but you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even so, adding a little extra to the machine can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and consequently making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the cycle has finished. Some new models have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the door at the end of the cycle allows warm air to evaporate thus preventing water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher uses 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 cycle.
  5. Empty the lower level before the top. 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 dishes below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it may be time to call in the professionals or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

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