Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your dishes dry could really be harder for your machine than removing the dirt. Crockery and cutlery and glasses have lots of crevices that may trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, thus as your appliance cools down water droplets form out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of different methods to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models opt for a heating coil to warm the air in the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some heat the water further nearing the final rinse, some employ a fan, and some use a combination of all three. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your machine could not be drying plates optimally and a variety of things you can do to rectify 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 seeing whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying properly you can call a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more annoying than an appliance that doesn’t work as it should, regardless of whether its a smartphone, air conditioner or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the problem.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some makes and models do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these issues may be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher 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 are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your dishes thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

Visually inspect the dispenser for cracks and check that there is rinse aid inside.

Check The Heating Element

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

To inspect the heating element you will need to unplug the machine, find the heating coil, you may need the manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t overheat, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s faulty this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

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

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will utilize a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will remain in the machine preventing the crockery and cutlery from drying.

You can make use of your instruction manual to check if your machine has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to make sure the dishwasher is disconnected before attempting to make repairs.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to ascertain if anything is blocking it that might stop it from functioning as it is supposed to. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Increase Drying Capability

There are a number of methods you can use to boost how well your machine dries your dishes and ensure you have to hand dry as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t overload the dishwasher. Overcrowding the appliance limits the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your plates harder. 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. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a little extra 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 crockery and cutlery 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 program. Some newer models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the machine at the end of the program can help allow the water to evaporate and stop water condensing on the contents as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will mean improved drying times and it might 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 plates below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it may be time to phone an engineer or perhaps upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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