Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your crockery and cutlery might in actual fact be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Dishes and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that can pool water making it more difficult for it to evaporate, and as your appliance loses heat water condenses from the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a variety of methods to dry your plates. Certain models opt for a heating element to warm the inside of the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water to a higher temperature near the final rinse, certain models make use of a fan, and certain models make use of a combination of all three. There are consequently a number of reasons why your machine might not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of things you can do to improve 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 items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying effectively you can call a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more irritating than an 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 removing the dirt from or drying your crockery and cutlery. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a number of places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are created equal and you will find that some makes and models do a better job of drying your dishes than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these faults could be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the appliance is broken you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. It’s also worth noting that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet plates at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Element

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a faulty heating element may be the reason your dishwasher is not drying dishes. If your dishes aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

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

Check the Thermostat

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

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

Check The Fan and Vent

Many machines will use a fan and vent to suck moist air out of the machine. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will remain in the machine preventing the plates from drying.

You can employ your instruction manual to ascertain if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the machine is unplugged before trying to access the fan.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that would prevent it from operating correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Power

There are a variety of things you can do to boost how well your machine dries your dishes and ensure you need to get the drying up cloth out as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t overfill the machine. Overcrowding the appliance inhibits the flow of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, your dishwasher will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that crockery and cutlery are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher 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 program has finished. Some newer models do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher when the cycle completes allows warm air to escape thus preventing water condensing on the plates as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine employs a heat feature and utilize it. Setting a higher heat will lead to improved drying times and you might be able to choose which points in the program you add more heat.
  5. Unload the lower level first. This doesn’t affect how well your dishwasher works, but it stop and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If none of the above solves the problem it might be time to phone an engineer or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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