Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your crockery and cutlery dry may really be harder for your machine than cleaning them. Plates and glasses have lots of crevices that can collect water stopping it from drying out, and as your appliance cools down water droplets form from the humid air.

Different machines also utilize a number of approaches to get your dishes dry. Certain models opt for a heating element to warm the air in the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some heat the water further near the end of the cycle, some employ a fan, and certain models use a combination of all three. There are thus a number of explanations why your dishwasher 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 cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth seeing whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

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 Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

There is nothing more frustrating than an appliance that isn’t working 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 your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and some appliances do a better job of drying your dishes than others. But if you notice a change in how well your machine is working one of these areas may be the cause.

Inspect the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance. 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. Also be aware 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 broken this can result in wet crockery and cutlery 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 crockery and cutlery will not dry so a not working heating element may be the reason your machine is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your plates don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating coil is broken.

To check the heating element first disconnect the appliance, then find the heating coil, you might need the instruction manual to do this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t get too hot, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s not working this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not discover an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be at fault. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will employ a fan and vent to suck moist air from the machine. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will form droplets on the crockery and cutlery instead preventing them from drying.

You can make use of your manual to find out if your dishwasher has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to ensure the machine is unplugged before trying to access the fan.

You can look at the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that would stop it from functioning correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Capability

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

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overfilling the machine stops the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your dishes more difficult. It might be tempting to stuff in as much as possible but you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the machine can only improve matters. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your dishes, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer dishwashers do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the door when the program completes allows warm air to escape thus preventing water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine uses a heat feature and make use of it. Setting a higher temperature will lead to better drying times and you might be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Unload 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 crockery and cutlery below.

If none of the above solves the problem it might be a good idea to call in an engineer or perhaps replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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