Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your dishes dry could in actual fact be more arduous for your machine than removing the dirt. Crockery and cutlery and cups have lots of crevices that can pool dishwater preventing it from evaporating, thus as your dishwasher loses heat water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of different means to dry your dishes. Certain models will employ a heating element to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some warm the water further near the final rinse, certain models employ a fan, and certain models make use of a mix of all of these. There are thus a number of reasons why your machine could 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 call a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting list to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more frustrating than a home appliance that isn’t working properly, regardless of whether its a smartphone, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the problem.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these faults might be the cause.

Check How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the appliance is faulty you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

The best thing to do is inspect the rinse aid dispenser for damage and check that it’s full.

Inspect The Heating Element

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a broken heating coil could be the explanation your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your plates don’t feel hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating coil is faulty.

To check the heating element first unplug the appliance, then find the heating coil, you may need the instruction manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your dishwasher overheating, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s broken this can result in your machine not heating up at all.

If the heating element seems to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be at fault. Once again you can check this with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will use a 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 water vapor will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

You can use your user manual to ascertain if your machine uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the dishwasher is unplugged before trying to access the fan.

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

Ideas to Boost Drying Power

There are a number of things you can do to boost how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and ensure you need to get the drying up cloth out as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overfilling the machine limits the flow of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that crockery and cutlery are not touching.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher won’t hurt. 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 at the end of the program can help allow the water to escape and stop water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will lead to better drying times and you might be able to choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  5. Think about how you empty your dishwasher. 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 might be necessary to phone an engineer or perhaps buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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