Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your crockery and cutlery dry may really be more difficult for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have lots of crevices that could pool water making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your appliance loses heat water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a variety of different approaches to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models opt for a heating element to warm the inside of the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some heat the water to a higher temperature approaching the end of the cycle, some use a fan, and certain models employ a combination of all of these. There are thus a variety of explanations why your dishwasher may not be drying plates fully and a variety of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than glass or ceramics as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth noting whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

There is nothing more irritating than an appliance that doesn’t work as it should, regardless of whether its a smartphone, washing machine or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these areas may be the cause.

Check the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the machine is not working you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. 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 crockery and cutlery and so if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

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

Check The Heating Element

Without enough heat your crockery and cutlery will not dry so a faulty heating coil might be the reason your appliance is not drying plates. 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 coil is faulty.

To inspect the heating element you will need to unplug the appliance, locate the heating element, you might need the owners manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t overheat, adjusting the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s faulty this can result in your machine not heating up at all.

If the heating element appears to be in working order but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be the problem. Again you can test this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

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

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

First visually inspect the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that would prevent it from functioning correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Increase Drying Power

There are a number of methods you can use to improve your machines effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the dishwasher. Overloading the appliance inhibits the circulation of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both cleaning and finishing your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine can only improve matters. 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 therefore speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer dishwashers have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine at the end of the program allows warm air to evaporate and prevent water condensing on the plates as the appliance cools down.
  4. Check if your machine has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will result in improved drying times and it could be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Empty the bottom rack first. 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 none of the above solves the problem it may be a good idea to call in the professionals or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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