Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry might really be more difficult for your machine than cleaning them. Dishes and glasses have lots of crevices that can pool water preventing it from drying out, thus as your machine cools water condenses out of the steam.

Different machines also utilize a number of different approaches to get your plates dry. Certain models opt for a heating coil to warm the air in the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some heat the water to a higher temperature approaching the final rinse, certain models use a fan, and certain models use a combination of all of these. There are therefore a variety of reasons why your machine may not be drying plates optimally and a number of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than glass or ceramics as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth seeing 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 make use of this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more annoying than an appliance that isn’t working 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 crockery and cutlery. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the problem.

Not all makes and models are created equal and you will find that some appliances perform to a higher standard compared to others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these issues could be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the machine is broken you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your dishes and so if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your crockery and cutlery will not dry so a not working heating coil may be the reason your appliance is not working as it should. If your dishes don’t feel hot when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating element first unplug the dishwasher, then find the heating element, you might need the manual for this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your machine overheating, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s broken this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

If you check the heating coil and do not find an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be the problem. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Check The Fan and Vent

Many machines will employ a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the machine. 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 employ your instruction manual to check if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to ensure the dishwasher is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that would prevent it from operating correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Increase Drying Ability

There are a variety of methods you can use to increase your dishwashers drying ability and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between crockery and cutlery. Overloading the dishwasher limits the flow of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. It could be tempting to stuff everything in but your dishwasher will work better if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the appliance will do no harm. 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 allowing them to dry faster.
  3. Open your appliance as soon as the program has finished. Some new dishwashers have this as an automatic option, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program allows warm air to escape thus stopping water condensing on the dishes as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your machine employs a heat feature and make use of it. The higher the heat the better the drying and it may be possible to choose which points in the program you add more heat.
  5. Empty the bottom rack first. This doesn’t affect how effective your dishwasher is, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it might be time 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