Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your plates dry could actually be more difficult for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have lots of crevices that can trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your appliance cools down water droplets form out of the humid air.

Different machines also utilize a variety of means to dry your plates. Some will employ a heating element to heat up the air in the machine and help the water to evaporate, some heat the water further nearing the end of the cycle, some have a fan, and others have a mix of all of these. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your machine might not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of options to rectify 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 seeing whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying effectively you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more frustrating 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 cleaning or drying your dishes. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some dishwashers perform to a higher standard compared to others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these issues may be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Plates

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the machine is not working you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. It’s also worth noting that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery therefore, 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.

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

Inspect The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a not working heating coil may be the reason your dishwasher is not drying plates. If your plates aren’t hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating element you will need to unplug the dishwasher, locate the heating element, you might need the owners manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t get too hot, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s broken this can result in your dishwasher not reaching a high enough temperature.

If the heating coil seems to be in working order but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be the issue. Once again you can test this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead preventing them from drying.

You can utilize your instruction manual to find out if your appliance has a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to make sure the machine is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

First look at the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that might prevent it from functioning correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Power

There are a variety of methods you can use to boost how well your appliance dries your dishes and ensure you have to hand dry as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t overfill the dishwasher. Overloading the machine inhibits the circulation of both water and air making cleaning and drying your dishes more difficult. It might be tempting to cram everything in but your dishwasher will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher 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 dishes helping the water to run off them and consequently speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer machines have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door when the program completes can help allow the water to evaporate thus stopping water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine has a heat feature and utilize it. The higher the temperature the better the drying and you could be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  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 plates below.

If you have checked all the above it may be time to phone an engineer or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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