Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your dishes could in actual fact be more difficult for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Plates and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that can collect water making it more difficult for it to evaporate, and as your appliance cools water droplets form out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also utilize a number of approaches to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Certain models opt for a heating coil to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water more nearing the final rinse, certain models use a fan, and some use a mix of all of these. There are thus a number of explanations why your machine may not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of options to rectify 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 seeing whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying properly you can call a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting list to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more frustrating than an appliance that isn’t working 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 removing the dirt from or drying your dishes. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a number of places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec and you will find that some appliances do a better job of drying your dishes than others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these areas might be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the appliance is broken you should first check that you haven’t overloaded it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. Also be aware that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can mean wet plates at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a faulty heating element could be the explanation your machine is not drying dishes. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating element first unplug the machine, then locate the heating element, you could need the instruction manual for this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher overheating, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s faulty this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not uncover an fault but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be the issue. Again you can test this with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will employ a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will remain in the machine preventing the plates from drying.

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

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it 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 Ability

There are a number of things you can do to increase how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overfilling the appliance stops the circulation of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your crockery and cutlery harder. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, your appliance will work better if you leave sufficient space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher won’t hurt. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and therefore making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer machines have this as an automatic option, but many do not, thus, opening the door at the end of the program allows warm air to evaporate and prevent water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will mean better drying times and it might be possible to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Empty the lower level first. This doesn’t affect how effective your dishwasher is, but it prevent and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it might be a good idea to call in an engineer or even replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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