Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry could actually be more difficult for your machine than getting them clean. Dishes and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that can trap dishwater stopping it from evaporating, thus as your machine loses heat water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a number of means to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models opt for a heating element to heat up the air in the machine and assist with evaporation, some heat the water more approaching the final rinse, others use a fan, and certain models employ a combination of all of these. There are thus a variety of reasons why your dishwasher might not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a number of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than glass or ceramics as it cools down more quickly hindering 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 make use of this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

Few things are more irritating than a home appliance that isn’t working 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 crockery and cutlery. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the problem.

Not all appliances are created equal and you will find that some dishwashers do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these areas might be the cause.

Inspect the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. 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.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your plates therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can result in wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Check The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a broken heating element could be the reason your machine is not drying dishes. If your dishes aren’t hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating coil first unplug the appliance, then locate the heating coil, you may need the manual for this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t get too hot, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s faulty this can result in your machine not heating up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not uncover an issue but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be the issue. Once again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will condense on the dishes instead leaving them wet.

You can use your instruction manual to ascertain if your dishwasher uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to make sure the appliance is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

First look at the fan and vent to ascertain if anything is blocking it that would stop it from working correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Increase Drying Capability

There are a number of methods you can use to increase how well your appliance dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the machine. Overfilling the appliance stops the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. It could be tempting to cram everything in but you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and consequently allowing them to dry faster.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some new machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine at the end of the program allows warm air to evaporate and stop water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Find out if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and utilize it. Setting a higher temperature will mean improved drying times and you could 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 this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it might be necessary to phone an engineer or even buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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