Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your plates dry may really be more arduous for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Plates and glassware have multiple crevices that can trap water making it more difficult for it to evaporate, and as your machine cools down water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a number of different approaches to dry your crockery and cutlery. Some opt for a heating element to warm the air in the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some warm the water further near the end of the cycle, some use a fan, and some use a combination of all three. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your machine might not be drying plates optimally and a number of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than glass or ceramics as it cools down more quickly hindering 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 list to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

Few things are more frustrating than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it should, regardless of whether its a smartphone, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a number of places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are created equal and you will find that some dishwashers perform to a superior standard compared to others. However, if you notice a change in how well your machine is working one of these areas might be the problem.

Check How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

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

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your dishes thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can result in wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a faulty heating element could be the reason your dishwasher is not drying dishes. If your plates aren’t hot when they come out of the machine this can mean that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil you will need to disconnect the dishwasher, locate the heating element, you could need the instruction manual for this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your appliance getting too hot, regulating 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 the heating coil appears to be working as it should but your appliance isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be at fault. Again you can test this with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many machines will employ a drying fan and vent to suck 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 condense on the dishes instead preventing them from drying.

You can use your manual to find out if your appliance has a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to make sure the dishwasher is unplugged before trying to make repairs.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that would prevent it from functioning correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Increase Drying Power

There are a variety of things you can do to improve your machines effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the machine. Overfilling the machine inhibits the flow of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine won’t hurt. 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 consequently allowing them to dry faster.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some new machines have this as an automatic option, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program can help allow the water to escape and prevent water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and utilize it. The higher the heat the better the drying and you could be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Think about how you empty your machine. 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 crockery and cutlery below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it could be time to phone an engineer or perhaps upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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