Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your dishes could actually be harder for your machine than removing the dirt. Plates and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that may trap dishwater preventing it from drying out, and as your machine cools water droplets form out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different means to dry your crockery and cutlery. Some opt for a heating element to heat up the air in the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some warm the water more approaching the end of the cycle, certain models have a fan, and some make use of a mix of all of these. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your dishwasher could not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a number of things you can do 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 seeing whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

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 here are a number of places you can look to help you figure out the issue.

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

Check How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the dishwasher 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 plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your crockery and cutlery therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can mean wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a broken heating element might be the reason your appliance is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your plates aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating coil is faulty.

To inspect the heating coil first unplug the appliance, then locate the heating element, you may need the manual for this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t overheat, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s faulty this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

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

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will employ a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will form droplets on the crockery and cutlery instead preventing them from drying.

You can employ your manual to check if your dishwasher uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to make sure the machine is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that could stop it from functioning as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Increase Drying Ability

There are a variety of things you can do to boost your dishwashers drying ability and ensure you have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between dishes. Overcrowding the machine stops the flow of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both cleaning and finishing your dishes. It may be tempting to cram in as much as possible but your dishwasher will work better 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 appliance will do no harm. 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 the door at the end of the cycle. Some new models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the door at the end of the cycle allows warm air to evaporate thus stopping water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and it might be possible to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Unload the bottom rack first. This doesn’t affect how effective your machine is, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If none of the above solves the problem it may be necessary to call in an engineer or even buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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