Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry might actually be more arduous for your machine than getting them clean. Plates and glasses have lots of crevices that can pool water making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your dishwasher loses heat water condenses out of the humid air.

Different machines also utilize a number of approaches to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Some will have a heating coil to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some warm the water to a higher temperature near the final rinse, some use a fan, and some make use of a combination of all of these. There are thus a variety of explanations why your machine could not be drying plates fully and a number of options to rectify 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 hire a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more irritating than a home 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 cleaning or drying your dishes. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are created equal and some makes and models do a better job of drying your plates than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these faults might be the cause.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance. Before assuming the dishwasher is broken you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t too full. It’s also worth noting that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

The best thing to do is check the rinse aid dispenser for cracks and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a not working heating coil could be the explanation your appliance is not drying dishes. If your plates don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating element is faulty.

To inspect the heating element first unplug the machine, then find the heating coil, you may need the manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t get too hot, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s broken this can mean your dishwasher doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating coil seems to be in working order but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be the problem. Once again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will employ a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from 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 crockery and cutlery from drying.

You can make use of your user manual to check if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the dishwasher is unplugged before trying to access the fan.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to ascertain if anything is blocking it that could prevent it from operating correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Ability

There are a number of things you can do to improve how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and ensure you need to get the drying up cloth out as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t overfill the machine. Overcrowding the dishwasher limits the flow of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your crockery and cutlery harder. It might be appealing 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 if the brand you use says it does, 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 dishes helping the water to run off them and therefore making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open your appliance as soon as the cycle has ended. Some new dishwashers do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher when the program finishes allows warm air to escape and stop water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Find out if your dishwasher has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will mean better drying times and it could be possible to choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  5. Unload the bottom rack before the top. This doesn’t affect how effective your machine is, but it prevent and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If you have checked all the above it may be time to call in an engineer or perhaps upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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