Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry might really be harder for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Dishes and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that can trap water preventing it from drying out, and as your machine cools down water condenses out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different means to dry your plates. Certain models opt for a heating coil to heat up the inside of the machine and help with evaporation, some heat the water to a higher temperature near the end of the cycle, others employ a fan, and some have a combination of all three. There are consequently a variety of reasons why your machine might not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a variety of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than other materials 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 call a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting list to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more frustrating than an appliance that isn’t working properly, regardless of whether its a smartphone, washing machine or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec and some appliances perform to a better standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these faults may be the cause.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the appliance is broken you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. It’s also worth noting that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect 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 the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can result in wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

The best thing to do is inspect the dispenser for damage and ensure that it’s full.

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a broken heating element may be the reason your machine is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your dishes don’t feel hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating element is broken.

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

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t overheat, regulating 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 the heating element seems to be working as it should but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be the problem. Once again you can test this with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many machines will make use of a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

You can employ your manual to check if your dishwasher has a fan and locate it. Again you need to ensure 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 would prevent it from working as it is supposed to. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Increase Drying Power

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

  1. Don’t overfill the machine. Overcrowding the appliance inhibits the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both cleaning and drying your dishes. It could be tempting to stuff 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. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine can only improve matters. 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 the door at the end of the program. Some new machines have this as an automatic function, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door when the cycle completes can help allow the water to escape and prevent water condensing on the contents as the machine cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will lead to improved drying times and you may be able to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you unload 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 crockery and cutlery below.

If you have checked all the above it might be time to phone the professionals or perhaps replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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