Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry might actually be harder for your machine than cleaning them. Plates and glasses have multiple nooks and crannies that can pool water making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your appliance loses heat water condenses out of the steam.

Different machines also make use of a variety of methods to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Certain models opt for a heating element to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some heat up the water more approaching the end of the cycle, certain models use a fan, and certain models have a combination of all three. There are thus a variety of reasons why your machine could not be drying dishes optimally and a number of options to improve 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 taking note whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If dishes are coming out wet you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting list to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more frustrating than an appliance that isn’t working properly, regardless of whether its a tv, washing machine or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a few troubleshooting tips 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 plates than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these issues could be the problem.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the machine is faulty you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

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

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating element might be the explanation your machine is not drying plates. If your plates don’t feel hot when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating element first unplug the machine, then find the heating coil, you may need the instruction manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t overheat, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s not working this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

If you check the heating element and do not find an fault but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be at fault. Once again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

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

You can use your user manual to ascertain if your machine has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to ensure the appliance is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that would stop it from operating as it should. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Ability

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

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overfilling the machine inhibits the flow of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your crockery and cutlery harder. It may be tempting to stuff everything in but your machine will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even so, adding a little extra to the machine can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glasses a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery helping the water to run off them and thus speeding up drying times.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the cycle has finished. Some new machines have this as an automatic option, but many do not, thus, opening the machine when the cycle finishes can help allow the water to escape thus stopping water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher employs a heat feature and use it. Setting a higher temperature will result in better drying times and it might be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Think about how you unload your dishwasher. This doesn’t affect how well your machine works, but it stop and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

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

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