Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry might really be harder for your machine than cleaning them. Plates and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that can trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your appliance loses heat water condenses from the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a number of different means to get your plates dry. 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, some employ a fan, and some make use of a combination of all three. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your dishwasher may not be drying plates fully and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than other materials as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth seeing whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

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

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

There is nothing more irritating than an appliance that isn’t working as it should, regardless of whether its a smartphone, air conditioner 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 why.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec and some appliances perform to a higher standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these issues could be the cause.

Inspect How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the appliance is broken you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your crockery and cutlery thus, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating element may be the explanation your machine is not working as it should. If your dishes aren’t hot when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating coil is broken.

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

Check the Thermostat

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

If the heating coil appears to be working as it should but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be the issue. Again you can check this with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will make use of a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the machine. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the hot air will form droplets on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

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

First look at the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that might stop it from operating as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Capability

There are a variety 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 overfill the machine. Overloading the machine stops the circulation of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your dishes harder. It could be tempting to cram everything in but your appliance will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the machine won’t hurt. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and consequently making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the cycle has finished. Some new dishwashers do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher when the cycle finishes allows warm air to escape and stop water condensing on the plates as the appliance cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and you might be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Empty the bottom rack first. 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 none of the above solves the problem it might be necessary to call in an engineer or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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