Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your plates may actually be more arduous for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Dishes and glassware have multiple nooks and crannies that can trap water preventing it from evaporating, and as your machine cools down water condenses out of the steam.

Different machines also make use of a variety of different approaches to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models will use a heating coil to heat up the air in the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some heat the water further near the final rinse, others make use of a fan, and some make use of a combination of all of these. There are consequently a number of reasons why your dishwasher may not be drying plates fully and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic is 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 seeing whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

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

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

Few things are more annoying than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, regardless of whether its a smartphone, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some makes and models perform to a superior 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 the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance. Before assuming the appliance is faulty you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

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

The best thing to do is inspect the rinse aid dispenser for cracks and check that it’s full.

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a broken heating coil may be the explanation your appliance is not drying dishes. If your dishes don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating coil is broken.

To check the heating element first unplug the dishwasher, then locate the heating element, you may need the instruction manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t get too hot, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s not working this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating element seems to be working as it should 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 Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will make use of a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the machine. If either of these elements are broken then the water vapor will remain in the machine preventing the dishes from drying.

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

First look at the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that could prevent it from functioning as it is supposed to. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Ability

There are a variety of things you can do to increase your dishwashers drying ability and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between dishes. Overfilling the dishwasher stops the circulation of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your dishes harder. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glassware in particular 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 consequently making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the program has finished. Some new dishwashers have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine when the cycle completes can help allow the water to evaporate and stop water condensing on the dishes as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will lead to better drying times and you may be able to choose which points in the program 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 plates below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it could be a good idea to call in an engineer or perhaps upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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