Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry may really be more arduous for your machine than cleaning them. Plates and glassware have multiple crevices that could trap water preventing it from evaporating, thus as your appliance cools down water condenses out of the steam.

Different machines also make use of a variety of different means to dry your dishes. Some will employ a heating coil to warm the air in the machine and help the water to evaporate, some heat the water to a higher temperature nearing the final rinse, some employ a fan, and certain models use a mix of all of these. There are thus a variety of reasons why your dishwasher could not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of options 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 noting whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying effectively you can call a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are 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 crockery and cutlery. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a number of places you can look to help you figure out the issue.

Not all makes and models are created equal and you will find that some dishwashers perform to a higher standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these faults may be the cause.

Inspect the Placement of Your Dishes

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the appliance is not working you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting 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 crockery and cutlery and so if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

The best thing to do is check the dispenser for cracks and check that there is rinse aid inside.

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a not working heating coil may be the explanation your dishwasher is not drying dishes. If your plates don’t feel hot when they come out of the machine this can mean that the heating coil is broken.

To check the heating coil you will need to disconnect the machine, locate the heating element, you could need the instruction manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your machine overheating, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s not working this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

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

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will make use of a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the machine. If either of these elements are broken then the hot air will form droplets on the dishes instead leaving them wet.

You can use your manual to check if your machine has a fan and find its location. Again you need to ensure the appliance is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to see if there is anything lodged that might stop it from working as it should. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost 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. Don’t overload the machine. Overloading the machine limits the flow of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your dishes harder. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, your dishwasher will be more effective if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the cycle has completed. Some newer machines have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program allows warm air to escape and stop water condensing on the dishes as the machine cools down.
  4. Find out if your dishwasher employs a heat feature and use it. Setting a higher temperature will mean better drying times and it may be possible to choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  5. Empty the bottom rack first. This doesn’t affect how well your machine works, but it does stop water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it could be necessary to call in the professionals or even replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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