Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your plates may really be more arduous for your machine than cleaning them. Plates and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that can collect water making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your machine cools water droplets form out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a number of different means to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Certain models opt for a heating coil to warm the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some heat up the water to a higher temperature nearing the end of the cycle, some have a fan, and others use a mix of all three. There are consequently a number of explanations why your machine could not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of options to rectify the situation.

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

If your dishwasher isn’t drying effectively you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting list to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

There is nothing more annoying than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, 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 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 appliances are created equal and you will find that some dishwashers perform to a superior standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these issues might 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 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

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your plates and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating element might be the reason your appliance is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating element is broken.

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

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your appliance getting too hot, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s not working this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not discover an fault but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be the issue. Once again you can check this using a multimeter.

Check The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will make use of a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will form droplets on the plates instead leaving them wet.

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

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that might stop it from functioning correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Capability

There are a variety of methods you can use to boost how well your appliance dries your dishes and make sure you have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the machine. Overfilling the dishwasher inhibits the flow of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both cleaning and finishing your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and consequently allowing them to dry faster.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the program has ended. Some new machines have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher when the cycle finishes allows warm air to escape and stop water condensing on the dishes as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine employs a heat feature and use it. Setting a higher heat will mean better drying times and you could be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Think about how you unload your dishwasher. 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 none of the above solves the problem it could be time to call in an engineer or perhaps buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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