Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your plates could really be harder for your machine than getting them clean. Plates and glassware have multiple nooks and crannies that could trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your machine loses heat water droplets form from the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a number of methods to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Certain models will have a heating element to heat up the inside of the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some heat the water more approaching the end of the cycle, others use a fan, and certain models have a combination of all of these. There are thus a number of explanations why your dishwasher may not be drying plates optimally and a variety of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry 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 dishes are coming out wet you can call a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more frustrating than an appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, 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 plates. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the problem.

Not all appliances are created equal and you will find that some makes and models perform to a higher standard compared to others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these issues might be the cause.

Check the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the machine is not working you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can stop your dishes coming out properly dry.

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

Inspect The Heating Element

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating coil may be the reason your machine is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating element is broken.

To inspect the heating coil you will need to disconnect the dishwasher, locate the heating coil, you might need the instruction manual for this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t get too hot, adjusting the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s faulty this can mean your appliance doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not discover an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be at fault. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many machines will use a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the appliance. If either of these elements are faulty then the water vapor will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead preventing them from drying.

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

You can look at the fan and vent to ascertain if anything is blocking it that might prevent it from working as it should. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Capability

There are a number of things you can do to improve how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and make sure you have to hand dry as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overloading the appliance inhibits the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Make use of 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 can only improve matters. 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 the door at the end of the program. Some new models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the machine when the cycle completes can help allow the water to escape thus preventing water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine 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 choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  5. Empty the lower level first. This doesn’t affect how effective your dishwasher is, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it could be time to phone the professionals or perhaps buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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