Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your crockery and cutlery dry could actually be harder for your machine than cleaning them. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have multiple crevices that could pool water preventing it from drying out, plus as your machine cools water droplets form from the humid air.

Different machines also make use of a number of methods to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Certain models will have a heating coil to warm the inside of the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some warm the water to a higher temperature approaching the end of the cycle, some have a fan, and some use a combination of all three. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your machine might not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic items are 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 dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more frustrating 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 cleaning or drying your plates. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all dishwashers are created equal and some appliances do a better job of drying your dishes than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these faults might be the cause.

Have a Look at How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the appliance is broken you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

Visually check the rinse aid dispenser for damage and ensure that it’s full.

Check The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating coil may be the explanation your machine is not working as it should. If your plates aren’t hot when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating element is faulty.

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

Inspect the Thermostat

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

If the heating element seems to be in working order but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be the issue. Again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will use 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 condense on the dishes instead leaving them wet.

You can make use of your user manual to check if your machine uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to make sure the appliance is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

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

Ways to Boost Drying Power

There are a variety of things you can do to increase your dishwashers drying ability and make sure you have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overfilling the machine limits the circulation of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your dishes more difficult. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, your appliance will work better if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the dishwasher can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce marks 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 therefore speeding up drying times.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the program has completed. Some newer models have this as an automatic option, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the cycle allows warm air to evaporate thus preventing water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine has a heat feature and use it. Setting a higher temperature will lead to better drying times and it could be possible to choose which points in the program you add more heat.
  5. Empty the lower level 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 dishes below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it may be a good idea to phone the professionals or perhaps upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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