Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your dishes could actually be more difficult for your machine than getting them clean. Plates and glasses have multiple crevices that could collect water making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your dishwasher loses heat water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a number of different means to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models opt for a heating element to warm the air in the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some heat the water further nearing the final rinse, some have a fan, and others employ a combination of all three. There are thus a variety of reasons why your machine might not be drying dishes optimally and a number 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 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 use this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more irritating than an appliance that doesn’t work 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 the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few troubleshooting tips 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. But if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these faults may be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Dishes

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the machine is faulty you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastic items 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 your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet plates at the end of the cycle.

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

Check The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a not working heating coil might be the explanation your machine is not drying plates. If your plates aren’t hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can mean that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating coil first disconnect the dishwasher, then locate the heating coil, you may need the owners manual for this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

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

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

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will make use of a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will form droplets on the dishes instead preventing them from drying.

You can employ your user manual to check if your machine has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the appliance is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

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

Tips to Boost Drying Ability

There are a variety of methods you can use to boost your appliances effectiveness at drying and make sure you need to get the drying up cloth out as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overcrowd the dishwasher. Overcrowding the dishwasher stops the flow of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your dishes more difficult. It could be tempting to cram everything in but 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 dishwasher tablets already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting 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 making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer dishwashers have this as an automatic function, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine when the program completes can help allow the water to escape and stop water condensing on the dishes as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher 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 program you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you unload your machine. This doesn’t affect how well your dishwasher works, but it stop and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If you have checked all the above it may be a good idea to phone the professionals or perhaps upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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