Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your plates could in actual fact be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have multiple nooks and crannies that could trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, and as your dishwasher loses heat water condenses from the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a number of means to dry your plates. Certain models will have a heating element to warm the inside of the machine and help the water to evaporate, some warm the water to a higher temperature approaching the final rinse, some make use of a fan, and others have a combination of all three. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your machine may not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than glass or ceramics as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth seeing whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying properly you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more annoying than an appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, regardless of whether its a smartphone, air conditioner or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few 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 makes and models perform to a higher standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these faults might be the cause.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

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

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your dishes and so if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can result in wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a broken heating element might be the reason your machine is not drying dishes. If your dishes don’t feel hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating element is faulty.

To check the heating coil you will need to disconnect the dishwasher, locate the heating coil, you may need the manual for this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t overheat, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s not working this can mean your appliance 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 may be the problem. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

You can utilize your instruction manual to find out if your machine uses a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to ensure the appliance is unplugged before attempting to access the fan.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that would prevent it from functioning as it should. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Ability

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

  1. Don’t overcrowd the machine. Overcrowding the machine stops the flow of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. It might be tempting to stuff in as much as possible but your machine will be more effective if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glasses a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and thus speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer models have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door at the end of the cycle allows warm air to escape and stop water condensing on the contents as the machine cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will mean improved drying times and it could be possible to choose which points in the program you increase the temperature.
  5. Unload the lower level before the top. This doesn’t affect how effective your dishwasher is, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it could be a good idea to phone the professionals or even buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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