Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your plates may in actual fact be harder for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Crockery and cutlery and cups have multiple nooks and crannies that can collect dishwater preventing it from drying out, plus as your appliance loses heat water condenses from the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different approaches to get your plates dry. Certain models opt for a heating element to warm the inside of the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some warm the water to a higher temperature nearing the final rinse, others make use of a fan, and others have a mix of all of these. There are consequently a number of reasons why your dishwasher might not be drying dishes fully and a number of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than other materials as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth seeing whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting guide 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 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 cleaning or drying your dishes. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are created equal and some makes and models do a better job of drying your dishes than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these issues may be the cause.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the machine is faulty you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t too full. 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 crockery and cutlery therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can mean wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Element

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a broken heating element might be the explanation your dishwasher is not drying dishes. If your plates aren’t hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can mean that the heating coil is faulty.

To check the heating element you will need to disconnect the machine, find the heating coil, you may need the manual for this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your dishwasher overheating, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s not working this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

If you check the heating coil and do not uncover an fault but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be the problem. Again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Check The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will employ a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the dishwasher. If either of these elements are faulty then the hot air will condense on the plates instead preventing them from drying.

You can make use of your user manual to find out if your machine has a fan and find its location. Again you need to make sure the dishwasher is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to ascertain if anything is blocking it that might prevent it from operating as it should. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Increase Drying Ability

There are a number 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. Allow ample space between crockery and cutlery. Overcrowding the appliance inhibits the flow of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the machine won’t hurt. 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 thus speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer dishwashers have this as an automatic option, but many do not, thus, opening the machine when the cycle finishes can help allow the water to escape thus preventing water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your appliance uses a heat feature and utilize it. Setting a higher temperature will mean improved drying times and you might be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Unload the bottom rack first. 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 dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it may be necessary to call in the professionals or perhaps replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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