Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your crockery and cutlery could really be more arduous for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Dishes and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that may pool water preventing it from evaporating, plus as your machine cools down water droplets form from the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a number of means to get your dishes dry. Certain models will use a heating element to warm the inside of the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some heat up the water further nearing the final rinse, certain models use a fan, and others use a combination of all three. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your machine could not be drying plates fully and a number of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are more difficult to dry than other materials as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth seeing 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 guide to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more annoying than a home 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 plates. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your dishes than others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these areas might be the problem.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the dishwasher. Before assuming the dishwasher is faulty you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. 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 stop your plates coming out properly dry.

Visually check the dispenser for cracks and check that it’s full.

Inspect The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a not working heating element might be the explanation your appliance is not drying dishes. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating element first disconnect the dishwasher, then find the heating coil, you could need the instruction manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your dishwasher overheating, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s not working this can result in your dishwasher not heating up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not find an fault but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be at fault. Once again you can test this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will employ a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the machine. If either of these elements are faulty then the water vapor will condense on the dishes instead leaving them wet.

You can employ your user manual to ascertain if your machine has a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to double check the dishwasher is disconnected before attempting to make repairs.

First look at the fan and vent to check 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.

Ideas to Boost Drying Power

There are a variety of methods you can use to boost how well your appliance dries your dishes and make sure you need to get the drying up cloth out as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overfill the dishwasher. Overcrowding the dishwasher 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 cram everything in, your dishwasher will be more effective if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine 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 the door at the end of the cycle. Some new machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program can help allow the water to escape thus preventing water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance has a heat feature and use it. Setting a higher heat will result in improved drying times and it may be possible to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you empty your dishwasher. This doesn’t affect how well your dishwasher works, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it might be a good idea to call in an engineer or even replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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