Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your dishes may really be harder for your machine than removing the dirt. Crockery and cutlery and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that could trap water making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your appliance cools water droplets form out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different methods to dry your dishes. Certain models opt for a heating element to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some warm the water to a higher temperature nearing the end of the cycle, others use a fan, and certain models employ a mix of all of these. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your dishwasher might not be drying plates fully and a number of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic is 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 drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying effectively you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting list to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more irritating than a home appliance that isn’t working as it should, regardless of whether its a smartphone, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec and you will find that some makes and models do a better job of drying your dishes than others. But if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these issues might be the problem.

Check the Placement of Your Plates

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher 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 are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

Visually check the dispenser for damage and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Check The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a faulty heating element may be the explanation your machine is not drying dishes. If your dishes don’t feel hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating coil is faulty.

To check the heating element first unplug the machine, then locate the heating coil, you could need the owners manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t overheat, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s not working this can result in your machine not heating up at all.

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

Check The Fan and Vent

Many machines will use a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the machine. If either of these elements are faulty then the hot air will condense on the dishes instead preventing them from drying.

You can employ your user manual to find out if your dishwasher has a fan and locate it. Again you need to ensure the appliance is unplugged before attempting to access the fan.

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

Ways to Increase Drying Power

There are a variety of things you can do to improve how well your appliance dries your dishes and ensure you have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overcrowding the machine inhibits the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, your dishwasher will work better if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glasses a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery helping the water to run off them and therefore making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the cycle has ended. Some newer machines have this as an automatic function, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine when the cycle completes allows warm air to escape and prevent water condensing on the dishes as the appliance cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine employs a heat feature and use it. The higher the temperature the better the drying and you could be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Unload the bottom rack before the top. 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 plates below.

If you have checked all the above it may be a good idea to call in an engineer or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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