Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your dishes dry might really be harder for your machine than removing the dirt. Crockery and cutlery and cups have multiple nooks and crannies that could trap water stopping it from drying out, plus as your appliance loses heat water condenses from the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of approaches to get your dishes dry. Some opt for a heating element to warm the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some warm the water to a higher temperature approaching the end of the cycle, others use a fan, and some employ a combination of all three. There are therefore a number of explanations why your machine may not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic items are more difficult to dry than other materials as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth taking note whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

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

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more irritating than an appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, 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 crockery and cutlery. 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 appliances are built to the same spec and some appliances do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these issues might be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. 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. It’s also worth noting that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your crockery and cutlery thus, if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

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

Inspect The Heating Element

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

To inspect the heating coil first disconnect the appliance, then find the heating coil, you might need the instruction manual for this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your machine overheating, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s broken this can mean your dishwasher doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating coil appears to be working as it should but your appliance isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be the problem. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many machines will employ a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will form droplets on the plates instead preventing them from drying.

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

You can look at the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that might stop it from operating as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Increase Drying Capability

There are a variety of methods you can use to increase how well your machine dries your dishes and make sure you have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overfill the dishwasher. Overfilling the dishwasher inhibits the circulation of both water and air making cleaning and drying your plates harder. It might be appealing 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. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and consequently allowing them to dry faster.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some new dishwashers have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the machine at the end of the cycle allows warm air to evaporate thus stopping water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will mean better drying times and you may be able to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you unload your dishwasher. This doesn’t affect how effective your machine is, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it could be time to call in the professionals or perhaps replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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