Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your dishes may actually be more difficult for your machine than removing the dirt. Dishes and cups have lots of crevices that can collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your machine cools water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different methods to get your dishes dry. Certain models will employ a heating coil to warm the air in the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some heat up the water further approaching the final rinse, certain models have a fan, and certain models use a mix of all three. There are thus a variety of explanations why your dishwasher might not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of options to rectify the situation.

Plastic is 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 noting whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying properly you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting list to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more frustrating than a home 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 dishes. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all appliances are created equal and you will find that some dishwashers do a better job of drying your dishes than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these faults might be the cause.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Plates

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the appliance is faulty you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastic items 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 plates and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can mean wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a broken heating coil might be the reason your dishwasher is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating coil is broken.

To check the heating coil you will need to unplug the dishwasher, find the heating coil, you may need the owners manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your dishwasher getting too hot, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s not working this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not uncover an fault but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be at fault. Once again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Check The Fan and Vent

Many machines will make use of 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 steam will condense on the plates instead preventing them from drying.

You can make use of your manual to ascertain if your dishwasher has a fan and find its location. Again you need to double check the appliance is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

You can look at the fan and vent to check 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.

Ideas to Boost Drying Capability

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 infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overloading the machine limits the flow of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. Although it’s tempting 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. Use rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine 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 your machine as soon as the program has finished. Some newer dishwashers do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door when the cycle finishes allows warm air to escape and prevent water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will result in better drying times and it might be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Think about how you unload your dishwasher. This doesn’t affect how well your dishwasher works, but it stop and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If none of the above solves the problem it could be a good idea to call in the professionals or even buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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