Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry might in actual fact be harder for your machine than cleaning them. Dishes and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that may collect water preventing it from drying out, thus as your dishwasher cools water droplets form from the humid air.

Different machines also utilize a variety of methods to get your dishes dry. Some will employ a heating coil to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some heat the water further nearing the final rinse, others make use of a fan, and others use a combination of all three. There are consequently a variety of reasons why your machine may not be drying dishes optimally and a number of options to rectify the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than glass or ceramics as it cools down more quickly hindering 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 make use of 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 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 removing the dirt from or drying your crockery and cutlery. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all appliances are created equal and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery 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 machine. Before assuming the machine is not working you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Check The Heating Element

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating coil could be the explanation your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your dishes aren’t hot when they come out of the machine this can mean that the heating coil is broken.

To check the heating coil first unplug the dishwasher, then find the heating coil, you may need the manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t overheat, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s not working this can result in your machine not heating up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not uncover an fault but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be the problem. Again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will utilize a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will condense on the plates instead preventing them from drying.

You can use your user manual to ascertain if your appliance uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to make sure the appliance is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

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

Tips to Boost Drying Power

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

  1. Allow sufficient space between plates. Overloading the appliance stops the flow of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. It may be appealing to stuff everything in but you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, 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 the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer machines have this as an automatic option, but many do not, thus, opening the machine at the end of the cycle allows warm air to escape thus stopping water condensing on the contents as the machine cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance uses a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will mean better drying times and it could be possible to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Empty the bottom rack 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 may be a good idea 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