Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your dishes dry may in actual fact be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Plates and glassware have lots of nooks and crannies that could pool dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, thus as your dishwasher cools water droplets form from the steam.

Different machines also utilize a variety of different approaches to get your dishes dry. Certain models opt for a heating coil to warm the inside of the machine and assist with evaporation, some warm the water further nearing the final rinse, others employ a fan, and certain models have a mix of all of these. There are thus a number of reasons why your machine may not be drying plates optimally and a number of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than glass or ceramics 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 call a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more irritating than an 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 removing the dirt from or drying your crockery and cutlery. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

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 dishes in the past one of these issues may be the cause.

Check How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the dishwasher. Before assuming the machine is not working you should first check that you haven’t overloaded 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.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your crockery and cutlery therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

The best thing to do is check the rinse aid dispenser for cracks and check that it’s full.

Check The Heating Element

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating element may be the reason your machine is not working as it should. If your plates aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating element you will need to unplug the dishwasher, locate the heating element, you may need the owners manual for this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your appliance getting too hot, adjusting the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s broken this can mean your dishwasher doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not find 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 Fan and Vent

Many machines will employ 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 remain in the appliance preventing the plates from drying.

You can utilize your manual to check if your appliance has a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to ensure the appliance is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

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

Tips to Increase Drying Ability

There are a number of methods you can use to increase your machines effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between dishes. Overloading the machine inhibits the circulation of both water and air 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, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your dishes, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the program has finished. Some new dishwashers do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door at the end of the program allows warm air to escape and stop water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Find out if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will lead to better drying times and it might be possible to choose which points in the program you add more heat.
  5. Think about how you unload your dishwasher. This doesn’t affect how effective your machine is, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If none of the above solves the problem it could be a good idea to call in an engineer or even replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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