Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry might actually be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Plates and cups have multiple nooks and crannies that can pool water preventing it from drying out, plus as your dishwasher cools down water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a number of different means to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models opt for a heating coil to heat up the inside of the machine and assist with evaporation, some heat up the water to a higher temperature approaching the end of the cycle, others have a fan, and certain models use a combination of all three. There are thus a number of reasons why your machine might not be drying dishes optimally and a number of things you can do to improve 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 dishes are coming out wet you can call a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting list to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing 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 cleaning or drying your crockery and cutlery. 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 built to the same spec and some makes and models do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these faults might be the problem.

Check How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the machine is faulty you should first check that you haven’t overfilled 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 plates therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a faulty heating element could be the reason your appliance is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your dishes don’t feel hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating element is broken.

To check the heating element first unplug the appliance, then locate the heating coil, you may need the owners manual to do this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t overheat, regulating the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s faulty this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

If the heating coil seems to be in working order but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be at fault. Again you can test this using a multimeter.

Check The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will employ a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will remain in the machine preventing the plates from drying.

You can utilize your manual to check if your machine uses a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to double check the dishwasher is disconnected before attempting to make repairs.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to see if there is anything lodged that might prevent it from functioning as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Power

There are a variety of methods you can use to improve your appliances effectiveness at drying and make sure you need to get the drying up cloth out as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overfill the dishwasher. Overloading the appliance limits the circulation of both water and air making cleaning and drying your plates harder. It may be appealing to stuff everything in but your dishwasher will work better if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your dishes, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the program has finished. Some newer models have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program can help allow the water to evaporate thus stopping water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance uses a heat feature and use it. Setting a higher heat will mean better drying times and it may be possible to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Empty the bottom rack first. This doesn’t affect how well your dishwasher works, but it does stop water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it may be time to phone the professionals or perhaps replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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