Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry could in actual fact be harder for your machine than getting them clean. Plates and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that may trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, plus as your appliance cools down water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different approaches to get your dishes dry. Some opt for a heating element to warm the inside of the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some heat the water to a higher temperature near the final rinse, others use a fan, and others employ a combination of all three. There are consequently a number of reasons why your machine could not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than other materials as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth taking note whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If dishes are coming out wet you can hire 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 Dishes

Few things are more annoying than a home appliance that isn’t working properly, 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 dishes. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out the issue.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some makes and models perform to a higher standard compared to others. But if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these faults might be the problem.

Inspect How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance. Before assuming the appliance 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 don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet plates at the end of the cycle.

The best thing to do is check the rinse aid dispenser for damage and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Check The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a not working heating element might be the explanation your appliance is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your dishes 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 you will need to unplug the machine, find the heating coil, you might need the owners manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t overheat, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s broken this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not uncover an issue but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be the problem. Once again you can test this with the help of a multimeter.

Check The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will use a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the hot air will remain in the dishwasher preventing the dishes from drying.

You can use your manual to ascertain if your dishwasher uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to ensure the appliance is unplugged before trying to make repairs.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that could stop it from operating as it should. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Increase Drying Power

There are a number of things you can do to boost your appliances drying ability and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the machine. Overloading the machine inhibits the flow of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, your dishwasher will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the cycle has completed. Some newer dishwashers do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the door at the end of the program can help allow the water to escape and prevent water condensing on the contents as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance uses a heat feature and make use of it. The higher the heat the better the drying and you could be able to choose which points in the program you increase the temperature.
  5. Empty the bottom rack first. 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 this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it might be a good idea to call in an engineer or even replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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