Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry might actually be more difficult for your machine than getting them clean. Dishes and glassware have multiple nooks and crannies that may pool water preventing it from drying out, plus as your appliance cools down water condenses out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of different methods to dry your plates. Some will employ a heating element to warm the air in the machine and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water further nearing the end of the cycle, some have a fan, and some employ a combination of all of these. There are consequently a variety of reasons why your dishwasher could not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a number of things you can do 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 taking note whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying properly you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more annoying than an appliance that isn’t working as it should, regardless of whether its a smartspeaker, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some appliances perform to a better standard compared to others. However, if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these areas may be the cause.

Inspect How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the machine is not working you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your plates thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can result in wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

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

Check The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a not working heating coil may be the reason your appliance is not working as it should. If your dishes aren’t hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

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

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your machine getting too hot, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s faulty this can result in your dishwasher not reaching a high enough temperature.

If the heating element appears to be working as it should but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be at fault. Again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will use a 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 water vapor will remain in the machine preventing the plates from drying.

You can use your user manual to find out if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to make sure the appliance is unplugged before trying to access the fan.

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

Ideas to Increase Drying Capability

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 sufficient space between crockery and cutlery. Overfilling the machine inhibits the circulation of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, your machine will work better if you leave enough space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Use 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 plates helping the water to run off them and thus speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program can help allow the water to escape thus preventing water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Find out if your dishwasher has a heat feature and make use of it. The higher the heat the better the drying and it might be possible to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Empty the bottom rack first. 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 plates below.

If none of the above solves the problem it could be time to call in the professionals or even upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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