Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your dishes might really be harder for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Plates and glasses have lots of crevices that could collect water stopping it from drying out, plus as your dishwasher loses heat water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different approaches to dry your crockery and cutlery. Some opt for a heating coil to warm the air in the machine and help the water to evaporate, some heat the water further nearing the end of the cycle, some have a fan, and certain models employ a mix of all three. There are therefore a number of reasons why your dishwasher could not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than glass or ceramics as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth taking note 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 issue.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more irritating than a home appliance that isn’t working properly, 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 here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

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

Have a Look at How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the machine is broken you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your crockery and cutlery thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can mean wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

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

Check The Heating Element

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating element may be the explanation your machine is not working as it should. If your dishes aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating coil is broken.

To check the heating coil you will need to unplug the dishwasher, find the heating coil, you could need the manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

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

If you check the heating coil and do not find an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be at fault. Again you can test this using a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will make use of a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the machine. If either of these elements are broken then the steam will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

You can make use of your user manual to check if your dishwasher has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to ensure the dishwasher is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

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

Ways to Increase Drying Ability

There are a variety of things you can do to boost your machines effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between plates. Overcrowding the appliance stops the flow of both water and air making cleaning and drying your dishes more difficult. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery helping the water to run off them and therefore speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher when the cycle completes allows warm air to evaporate and prevent water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine employs a heat feature and use it. The higher the heat the better the drying and you may be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Unload the bottom rack first. This doesn’t affect how effective your dishwasher is, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If none of the above solves the problem it could be a good idea to phone the professionals or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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