Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your crockery and cutlery might really be more difficult for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Plates and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that can trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your dishwasher cools down water droplets form out of the steam.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of means to get your plates dry. Some opt for a heating element to warm the air in the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some heat up the water more approaching the end of the cycle, certain models employ a fan, and some use a combination of all of these. There are therefore a variety of reasons why your dishwasher may not be drying dishes fully and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than other materials as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth seeing whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If dishes are coming out wet you can hire 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

There is nothing more frustrating than a home appliance that isn’t working as it should, regardless of whether its a smartphone, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

Not all appliances are created equal and you will find that some makes and models do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these issues could be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher is faulty 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.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your plates and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can result in wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a not working heating coil might be the explanation your appliance is not drying dishes. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating coil first disconnect the machine, then find the heating coil, you may need the manual to do this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t overheat, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s not working this can mean your appliance doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating element appears to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be at fault. Again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will make use of a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the hot air will remain in the appliance preventing the dishes from drying.

You can employ your manual to find out if your dishwasher uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to double check the appliance is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

First look at the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that would prevent it from functioning as it is supposed to. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Capability

There are a variety of things you can do to boost how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t overload the dishwasher. Overfilling the dishwasher inhibits the circulation of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both cleaning and finishing your dishes. It may be tempting to cram in as much as possible but your dishwasher will work better if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the appliance will do no harm. 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 new machines have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program allows warm air to escape and prevent water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Find out if your dishwasher employs a heat feature and use it. Setting a higher heat will lead to better drying times and you might be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  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 may be time to call in an engineer or even upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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