Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry could really be more arduous for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Dishes and glassware have multiple nooks and crannies that could pool dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your appliance cools water droplets form from the steam.

Different machines also make use of a variety of approaches to dry your plates. Some will employ a heating element to warm the inside of the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some heat up the water more nearing the end of the cycle, certain models employ a fan, and others use a combination of all of these. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your dishwasher might not be drying dishes fully and a variety of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic items are 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 taking note whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

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

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more annoying than a home 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 removing the dirt from or drying your plates. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are created equal and you will find that some makes and models do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these areas may be the cause.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the machine is faulty you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t too full. It’s also worth noting that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates and so if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can stop your dishes coming out properly dry.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a faulty heating element might be the reason your machine is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating element is broken.

To check the heating coil you will need to unplug the dishwasher, find the heating element, you may need the manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t overheat, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s broken this can mean your appliance doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not find an fault but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be at fault. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many machines will use a fan and vent to suck moist air out of the appliance. If either of these elements are faulty then the hot air will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

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

You can look at the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that could prevent it from working as it is supposed to. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Increase Drying Power

There are a number of things you can do to increase your appliances effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between crockery and cutlery. Overcrowding the dishwasher limits the circulation of both water and air making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery harder. Although it’s tempting 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 already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your dishes, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer machines do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the machine at the end of the cycle can help allow the water to evaporate thus stopping water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and it might be possible to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Think about how you unload your machine. This doesn’t affect how well your machine works, but it stop and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it may be a good idea to call in the professionals or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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