Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your crockery and cutlery dry may in actual fact be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Dishes and glassware have multiple nooks and crannies that may trap water making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your dishwasher loses heat water droplets form out of the humid air.

Different machines also employ a number of different approaches to get your dishes dry. Certain models opt for a heating coil to warm the inside of the machine and help the water to evaporate, some heat the water further approaching the end of the cycle, some have a fan, and some have a combination of all of these. There are thus a number of explanations why your dishwasher may not be drying dishes optimally and a number of options to rectify 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 use this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more annoying 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 removing the dirt from or drying your crockery and cutlery. 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 built to the same spec and some makes and models perform to a superior standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these issues may be the problem.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault 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 are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your crockery and cutlery and so if you have run out of rinse aid or the 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 rinse aid dispenser for damage and check that it’s full.

Check The Heating Element

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a not working heating coil might be the reason your appliance is not working as it should. If your plates don’t feel hot when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating element is faulty.

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

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t overheat, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s not working this can result in your dishwasher 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 might be at fault. Once again you can check this using a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will make use of a fan and vent to suck moist air out of the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will form droplets on the plates instead preventing them from drying.

You can use your manual to check if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the machine is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that would stop it from operating correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Increase Drying Power

There are a variety of methods you can use to boost how well your machine dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overloading the dishwasher inhibits the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your plates more difficult. Although it’s tempting to try and cram everything in, your machine will be more effective if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher won’t hurt. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glasses a streak-free shine 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 program. Some new dishwashers do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher when the program completes allows warm air to evaporate thus stopping water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance employs a heat feature and utilize it. Setting a higher temperature will lead to improved drying times and you may be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Think about how you unload 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 crockery and cutlery below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it may be necessary to phone the professionals or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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