Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry could actually be more difficult for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Crockery and cutlery and cups have multiple crevices that could pool dishwater preventing it from drying out, and as your machine cools down water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of approaches to get your plates dry. Some opt for a heating coil to heat up the air in the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water to a higher temperature nearing the final rinse, others employ a fan, and some employ a mix of all three. There are thus a number of explanations why your machine could not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of things you can do to improve 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 items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If dishes are coming out wet you can call a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting guide 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 irritating than a home 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 plates. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the problem.

Not all makes and models are created equal and some appliances do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your dishwasher is working one of these faults could be the cause.

Check How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher is not working you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t too full. 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 and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a faulty heating element may be the explanation your dishwasher is not drying plates. If your plates don’t feel hot when they come out of the machine this can mean that the heating element is faulty.

To inspect the heating element first disconnect the appliance, then find the heating element, you might need the instruction manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t overheat, adjusting the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s broken this can mean your appliance doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating coil appears to be in working order but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be the problem. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many machines will make use of a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will remain in the machine preventing the dishes 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 attempting to make repairs.

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

Ways to Increase Drying Capability

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

  1. Don’t cram the dishwasher. Overloading the dishwasher inhibits the flow of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. It may be tempting to cram everything in but your appliance will be more effective if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting 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 therefore making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the program has completed. Some newer dishwashers have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher when the program finishes allows warm air to evaporate and prevent water condensing on the plates as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine employs a heat feature and use it. The higher the heat the better the drying and you might be able to choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  5. Think about how you unload your machine. This doesn’t affect how well your machine works, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it might 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