Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your dishes dry could in actual fact be harder for your machine than removing the dirt. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have lots of nooks and crannies that can collect water making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your machine cools water droplets form out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also utilize a variety of methods to dry your dishes. Certain models opt for a heating element to heat up the inside of the machine and help the water to evaporate, some heat the water more approaching the end of the cycle, others use a fan, and some make use of a combination of all of these. There are consequently a number of explanations why your machine might not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than other materials 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 dishes are coming out wet you can call 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 annoying than an appliance that doesn’t work 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 dishes. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. However, 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 Plates

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance. Before assuming the appliance is faulty you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

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

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

Check The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a broken heating coil might be the reason your dishwasher is not drying plates. If your plates don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating element first unplug the appliance, then find the heating element, you may need the instruction manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your appliance getting too hot, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s not working this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

If the heating element appears to be working as it should but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be the issue. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Check The Fan and Vent

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

You can utilize your user manual to check if your machine uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to double check the appliance is unplugged before attempting to access the fan.

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

Ways to Increase Drying Capability

There are a variety of methods you can use to increase how well your appliance dries your dishes and make sure you have to hand dry as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t overcrowd the dishwasher. Overfilling the dishwasher inhibits the circulation of air and water making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. Although it’s tempting to try and cram everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the machine can only improve matters. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your dishes, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer dishwashers have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine when the cycle finishes can help allow the water to escape thus stopping water condensing on the dishes as the appliance cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will lead to better drying times and you might be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Empty the lower level 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 could be necessary to phone an engineer or perhaps upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems: