Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry may really be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Dishes and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that could collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, and as your machine cools down water droplets form from the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of different means to dry your plates. Some opt for a heating element to warm the air in the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some warm the water more approaching the final rinse, others use a fan, and certain models have a mix of all three. There are thus a variety of reasons why your dishwasher might not be drying plates fully 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 noting 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 use this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more annoying than an appliance that isn’t working properly, 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 removing the dirt from or drying your plates. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

Not all makes and models are created equal and you will find that some appliances do a better job of drying your dishes than others. However, if you notice a change in how well your machine is working one of these faults could be the cause.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Dishes

It might be that there is no fault with the dishwasher. Before assuming the appliance is faulty you should first check that you haven’t overloaded 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’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your dishes coming out properly dry.

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

Inspect The Heating Element

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a not working heating coil may be the reason your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating coil is broken.

To check the heating coil you will need to disconnect the machine, find the heating element, you might need the manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t get too hot, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s not working this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

If the heating element seems to be in working order but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be the problem. Again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will make use of a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the machine. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the hot air will condense on the dishes instead preventing them from drying.

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

First look at the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that would prevent it from working as it should. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Ability

There are a number of methods you can use to increase how well your machine dries your dishes and ensure you need to get the drying up cloth out as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between dishes. Overcrowding the machine stops the flow of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both cleaning and drying your dishes. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, your appliance will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that crockery and cutlery are not touching.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine can only improve matters. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the program has finished. Some newer models do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine at the end of the program allows warm air to evaporate thus preventing water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Find out if your dishwasher employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the heat the better the drying and you might be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Unload 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 crockery and cutlery below.

If you have checked all the above it could be a good idea to call in an engineer or even upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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