Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your plates could in actual fact be more arduous for your machine than cleaning them. Plates and cups have multiple crevices that could trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your dishwasher cools water condenses out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different means to get your plates dry. Certain models opt for a heating element to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some heat the water further nearing the end of the cycle, others have a fan, and some have a mix of all of these. There are therefore a variety of reasons why your dishwasher may not be drying plates optimally and a number of options to rectify 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 seeing whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

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

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing 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 cleaning or drying your plates. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the problem.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec and some appliances do a better job of drying your dishes than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these issues could be the cause.

Check the Placement of Your Dishes

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

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery and so if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

Visually inspect the dispenser for damage and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Inspect The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a broken heating coil might be the explanation your appliance is not working as it should. If your plates don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

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

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your machine getting too hot, 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 the heating element seems to be in working order but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be the issue. Once again you can check this using a multimeter.

Check The Fan and Vent

Many machines will make use of a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the appliance. If either of these elements are broken then the steam will remain in the machine preventing the dishes from drying.

You can use your instruction manual to find out if your machine uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to double check the machine is disconnected before attempting to make repairs.

You can look at the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that would stop it from functioning correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Ability

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

  1. Don’t overcrowd the dishwasher. Overfilling the dishwasher limits the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. It could be tempting to stuff in as much as possible but your dishwasher will work better if you leave sufficient space so that crockery and cutlery are not touching.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the appliance can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and thus making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open your appliance as soon as the cycle has completed. Some new dishwashers do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program allows warm air to evaporate and stop water condensing on the dishes as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will mean improved drying times and it could be possible to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  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 dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it could be necessary to call in an engineer or even upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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