Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry might in actual fact be more arduous for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Plates and glassware have lots of nooks and crannies that could pool water making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your dishwasher cools water condenses out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different approaches to get your plates dry. Some opt for a heating element to warm the inside of the machine and help with evaporation, some warm the water more near the final rinse, certain models make use of a fan, and certain models have a combination of all three. There are thus a number of reasons why your dishwasher may not be drying plates optimally and a variety of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than other materials as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth noting whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

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

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more annoying than an 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 dishes. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a number of places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all appliances are created equal and some makes and models perform to a superior standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these areas might be the cause.

Have a Look at How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the appliance is not working you should first check that you haven’t overloaded it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. Also be aware 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 crockery and cutlery and so if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet plates at the end of the cycle.

Visually check the dispenser for cracks and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a broken heating element could be the reason your machine is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot to touch 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 coil first disconnect the dishwasher, then locate the heating element, you might need the manual for this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

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

If the heating coil seems to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be the issue. Once again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

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

You can use your user manual to ascertain if your machine uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the appliance is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

First look at the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that could prevent it from operating 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 boost how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overfill the dishwasher. Overcrowding the dishwasher inhibits the flow of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both cleaning and drying your dishes. It might be tempting to stuff everything in but your appliance will work better if you leave sufficient space so that crockery and cutlery are not touching.
  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 can only improve matters. 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 therefore making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer dishwashers have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the cycle allows warm air to evaporate and prevent water condensing on the plates as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and make use of it. The higher the temperature the better the drying and you might be able to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you unload your machine. This doesn’t affect how effective your dishwasher is, but it stop and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it could be time to call in the professionals or even buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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