Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry may actually be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Dishes and glassware have lots of crevices that may trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your dishwasher cools water condenses from the steam.

Different machines also make use of a number of means to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Certain models will use a heating element to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some warm the water to a higher temperature near the end of the cycle, certain models have a fan, and certain models use a mix of all three. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your machine may not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of things you can do to improve 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 noting whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If dishes are coming out wet you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more annoying than an appliance that doesn’t work as it should, regardless of whether its a smartphone, air conditioner or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all appliances are created equal and you will find that some dishwashers perform to a better standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these areas could be the cause.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Plates

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

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

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

To inspect the heating element you will need to unplug the dishwasher, find the heating element, you may need the owners manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher overheating, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s faulty this can result in your appliance not heating up at all.

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

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will employ a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the hot air will remain in the machine preventing the crockery and cutlery from drying.

You can use your user manual to check if your dishwasher uses a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to double check the dishwasher is disconnected before attempting to make repairs.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that might prevent it from operating as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Capability

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

  1. Allow sufficient space between plates. Overfilling the machine limits the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both cleaning and drying your dishes. It might be appealing to stuff everything in but you will get better results if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your plates, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the program has completed. Some newer models have this as an automatic option, but many do not, thus, opening the door when the cycle completes allows warm air to escape and stop water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will lead to improved drying times and you could be able to choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  5. Think about how you empty your machine. 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 necessary to phone the professionals or even upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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