Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your plates dry might actually be more arduous for your machine than getting them clean. Crockery and cutlery and cups have multiple crevices that may trap dishwater stopping it from evaporating, and as your appliance loses heat water condenses out of the humid air.

Different machines also employ a variety of methods to get your plates dry. Some opt for a heating coil to warm the inside of the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some heat the water further near the end of the cycle, certain models use a fan, and some use a combination of all of these. There are thus a variety of explanations why your machine might not be drying dishes fully and a number of options to rectify the situation.

Plastic items are more difficult to dry than glass or ceramics 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 your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying properly 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

There is nothing more frustrating than a home appliance that isn’t working 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 your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and you will find that some makes and models perform to a higher standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these areas might be the cause.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Dishes

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. 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. Also be aware that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery thus, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can result in wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating element might be the reason your dishwasher is not drying plates. If your dishes aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating coil is faulty.

To inspect the heating element first unplug the dishwasher, then locate the heating coil, you may need the manual for this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

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

If you check the heating coil and do not uncover an fault but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be the issue. Once again you can test this with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will use a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the dishwasher. If either of these elements are broken then the hot air will form droplets on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

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

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

Ways to Increase Drying Capability

There are a number of things you can do 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 sufficient space between dishes. Overfilling the appliance inhibits the flow of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your dishes 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 water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the dishwasher can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and therefore speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer models have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the cycle allows warm air to evaporate thus preventing water condensing on the plates as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will mean improved 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 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 this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it could be a good idea to phone an engineer or even replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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