Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your crockery and cutlery might really be more difficult for your machine than removing the dirt. Dishes and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that could trap water preventing it from evaporating, and as your dishwasher cools down water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different means to dry your plates. Certain models opt for a heating element to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some warm the water further near the end of the cycle, some use a fan, and certain models make use of a mix of all three. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your dishwasher may not be drying plates optimally and a number of options 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 drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If dishes are coming out wet you can call a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more annoying than a home appliance that isn’t working properly, regardless of whether its a smartphone, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a number of places you can look to help you figure out the issue.

Not all makes and models are created equal and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your dishes than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these areas may be the cause.

Check the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the appliance is faulty you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes thus, if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can mean wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a faulty heating coil may be the explanation your appliance is not drying plates. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating coil is faulty.

To inspect the heating element you will need to disconnect the machine, find the heating element, you may need the owners manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your appliance overheating, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s broken this can result in your machine not heating up at all.

If the heating coil appears to be in working order but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be the issue. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will make use of a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the appliance. If either of these elements are broken then the steam will remain in the machine preventing the dishes from drying.

You can utilize your instruction manual to find out if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to ensure the appliance is disconnected before attempting to make repairs.

First look at the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that might prevent it from working correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Ability

There are a number of methods you can use to boost how well your appliance dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overcrowd the dishwasher. Overfilling the dishwasher inhibits the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your plates more difficult. It could be appealing to cram in as much as possible but 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 detergents already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and consequently making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open your appliance as soon as the cycle has completed. Some newer models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program allows warm air to escape thus stopping water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your appliance has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will lead to improved drying times and it could be possible to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Think about how you empty your dishwasher. 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 this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it may be a good idea to call in the professionals or even upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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