Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your dishes might really be more arduous for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Plates and glassware have lots of crevices that could collect water making it more difficult for it to evaporate, thus as your dishwasher cools water droplets form out of the humid air.

Different machines also make use of a number of methods to dry your plates. Some opt for a heating coil to warm the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some warm the water further approaching the final rinse, certain models employ a fan, and some employ a mix of all three. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your dishwasher could not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than glass or ceramics as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth noting whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying effectively you can enlist the help of 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 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 dishes. If you open your dishwasher to discover 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 makes and models perform to a better standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these faults may be the cause.

Check How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

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

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

Visually check the rinse aid dispenser for cracks and ensure that it’s full.

Check The Heating Element

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a faulty heating coil may be the reason your appliance is not drying dishes. If your plates aren’t hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating element first disconnect the dishwasher, then find the heating coil, you could need the instruction manual to do this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

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

If you check the heating element and do not uncover an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be at fault. Again you can check this with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will employ a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will remain in the machine preventing the crockery and cutlery from drying.

You can use your user manual to check if your machine uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to make sure the machine is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

You can look at the fan and vent to see if there is anything lodged that could prevent it from operating as it should. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Ability

There are a number of methods you can use to boost your machines drying ability and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overfilling the appliance inhibits the circulation of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your plates more difficult. It might be tempting to cram everything in 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 if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your plates, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your appliance as soon as the cycle has finished. Some newer machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine at the end of the program allows warm air to escape thus stopping water condensing on the plates as the appliance cools down.
  4. Check if your machine has a heat feature and use it. Setting a higher heat will lead to better drying times and you might be able to choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  5. Think about how you empty your dishwasher. 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 none of the above solves the problem it may be necessary to phone the professionals or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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