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 dishwasher than removing the dirt. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have multiple crevices that may pool water making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your appliance loses heat water droplets form from the humid air.

Different machines also make use of a number of different methods to get your plates dry. Some will use a heating coil to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some heat the water more near the end of the cycle, others have a fan, and certain models make use of a combination of all of these. There are consequently a variety of reasons why your dishwasher could not be drying plates fully and a number of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than other materials as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth taking note whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of 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 frustrating 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 plates. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are created equal and you will find that some dishwashers do a better job of drying your dishes than others. However, if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these issues may be the cause.

Inspect the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong 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.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your plates therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

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

Inspect The Heating Element

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

To inspect the heating element you will need to unplug the machine, locate the heating element, you could need the instruction manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t overheat, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s not working this can result in your dishwasher not heating up at all.

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

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will utilize a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the dishwasher. If either of these elements are faulty then the steam will remain in the machine preventing the plates from drying.

You can utilize your instruction manual to find out if your appliance uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to ensure the machine is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that would stop it from working correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Increase Drying Capability

There are a variety of methods you can use to improve your machines effectiveness at drying and ensure you have to hand dry as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overloading the machine limits the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both cleaning and drying your dishes. It may be tempting to cram in as much as possible but your machine will be more effective if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher won’t hurt. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your plates, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some new models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the machine at the end of the cycle allows warm air to evaporate thus stopping water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance has a heat feature and utilize it. The higher the heat the better the drying and it may be possible to choose which points in the program you increase the temperature.
  5. Unload the lower level first. 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 dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it might be time to call in the professionals or perhaps buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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