Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your crockery and cutlery might actually be harder for your machine than removing the dirt. Dishes and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that could trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your appliance cools water condenses from the steam.

Dishwashers also make use of a number of approaches to dry your plates. Certain models will have a heating element to heat up the air in the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some warm the water further approaching the end of the cycle, some have a fan, and some make use of a combination of all of these. There are consequently a number of explanations why your machine might not be drying plates optimally and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic is 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 taking note whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying effectively you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more annoying than a home 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 here are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and some makes and models do a better job of drying your plates than others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these faults may be the problem.

Have a Look at How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

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 overloaded it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. It’s also worth noting that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery thus, 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.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your crockery and cutlery will not dry so a faulty heating coil may be the reason your dishwasher is not drying plates. If your plates aren’t hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating coil is faulty.

To check the heating coil first unplug the machine, then find the heating element, you could need the manual for this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t overheat, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s faulty this can result in your machine not heating up at all.

If the heating coil appears to be in working order but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be at fault. Once again you can test this using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will employ a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the appliance. If either of these elements are faulty then the water vapor will form droplets on the crockery and cutlery instead preventing them from drying.

You can make use of your user manual to ascertain if your dishwasher uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to ensure the appliance is unplugged before trying to access the fan.

First look at the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that might stop it from working correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Increase Drying Power

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

  1. Allow sufficient space between crockery and cutlery. Overcrowding the machine inhibits the circulation of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. It might be tempting to cram in as much as possible but your machine will be more effective if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher can only improve matters. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your appliance as soon as the cycle has finished. Some newer machines do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program allows warm air to escape and prevent water condensing on the dishes as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and use it. Setting a higher temperature will lead to better drying times and it could be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Think about how you empty your machine. 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 dishes below.

If none of the above solves the problem it might be time to phone the professionals or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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