Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your plates dry might in actual fact be more arduous for your machine than getting them clean. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have multiple crevices that can pool water making it more difficult for it to evaporate, and as your appliance loses heat water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a number of different approaches to dry your dishes. Some opt for a heating element to warm the inside of the machine and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water to a higher temperature nearing the end of the cycle, some have a fan, and some use a combination of all three. There are thus a number of explanations why your machine might not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a number of things you can do to rectify the situation.

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

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying effectively you can enlist the help of 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 Plates

Few things are more irritating than an appliance that doesn’t work as it should, regardless of whether its a smartspeaker, air conditioner or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are created equal and you will find that some appliances perform to a higher standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these faults might be the cause.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance. Before assuming the dishwasher is broken 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 are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry 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 inspect the dispenser for damage and check that it’s full.

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a faulty heating coil could be the reason your machine is not working as it should. If your dishes don’t feel hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil first disconnect the dishwasher, then locate the heating element, you could need the instruction manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t overheat, regulating the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s faulty this can result in your appliance not heating up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not discover an fault but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be at fault. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will make use of a fan and vent to suck moist air from the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the hot air will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

You can utilize your user manual to find out if your machine uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to make sure the appliance is unplugged before trying to access the fan.

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

Ways to Boost Drying Capability

There are a number of things you can do to improve how well your machine dries your dishes and make sure you need to get the drying up cloth out as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overloading the appliance stops the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your dishes more difficult. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid 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 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 do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door at the end of the cycle can help allow the water to evaporate and stop water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine uses a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and you might be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Empty the lower level before the top. 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 none of the above solves the problem it may be a good idea to call in an engineer or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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