Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your dishes might really be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Plates and glassware have lots of crevices that can pool dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your machine loses heat water droplets form out of the humid air.

Different machines also make use of a variety of different means to dry your dishes. Certain models will employ a heating element to heat up the air in the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some heat the water more nearing the end of the cycle, certain models employ a fan, and certain models have a mix of all three. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your dishwasher may not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a variety of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than other materials as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with 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 use this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

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 removing the dirt from or drying your plates. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all makes and models are created equal and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these issues might be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the dishwasher 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 appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can result in wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

Visually check the rinse aid dispenser for damage and ensure that it’s full.

Check The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a not working heating element could be the explanation your appliance is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your plates aren’t hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil you will need to unplug the appliance, locate the heating coil, you could need the instruction manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t get too hot, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s broken this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

If you check the heating element and do not discover an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be the issue. Once again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will utilize a 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 water vapor will form droplets on the crockery and cutlery instead preventing them from drying.

You can employ your instruction manual to ascertain if your machine uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to double check the dishwasher is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

First look at the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that could stop it from functioning correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Ability

There are a variety of things you can do to increase how well your machine dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overcrowding the machine inhibits the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your plates more difficult. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, your appliance will work better if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even so, adding a little extra to the machine can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glassware in particular 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 consequently speeding up drying times.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the cycle has finished. Some new machines have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine at the end of the program allows warm air to escape thus stopping water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and utilize it. Setting a higher heat will result in improved drying times and it might be possible to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Unload the lower level before the top. This doesn’t affect how well your dishwasher works, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it might be a good idea to phone an engineer or perhaps buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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