Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your plates dry could really be more arduous for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Plates and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that can collect dishwater stopping it from evaporating, plus as your dishwasher cools down water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a variety of approaches to get your plates dry. Certain models will employ a heating element to warm the inside of the machine and help the water to evaporate, some warm the water more near the final rinse, some use a fan, and some have a mix of all three. There are therefore a variety of reasons why your machine might not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a number of options to rectify the situation.

Plastic is 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 taking note whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying properly you can call a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more annoying 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 there are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all appliances are created equal and some dishwashers perform to a superior standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these areas could be the problem.

Check the Placement of Your Plates

It might be that there is no fault with the dishwasher. Before assuming the appliance 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 are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your crockery and cutlery thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

Visually inspect the rinse aid dispenser for cracks and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Inspect The Heating Element

Without enough heat your crockery and cutlery will not dry so a broken heating coil may be the reason your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your plates aren’t hot when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating coil is faulty.

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

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher getting too hot, regulating the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s broken this can result in your dishwasher not heating up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not uncover an fault but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be at fault. Again you can test this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will utilize a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the machine. If either of these elements are broken then the hot air will remain in the machine preventing the dishes from drying.

You can use your user manual to find out if your machine uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to ensure the appliance is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

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

Ways to Boost Drying Power

There are a variety of methods you can use to boost your appliances drying ability and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t overload the machine. Overfilling the appliance inhibits the circulation of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. It might 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. Use 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 crockery and cutlery, 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 newer models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the door when the program completes allows warm air to evaporate and prevent water condensing on the dishes as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and it may be possible to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Empty the lower level before the top. 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 call in an engineer or perhaps replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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