Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your plates might in actual fact be more arduous for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Plates and glasses have multiple crevices that can collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, plus as your appliance cools down water droplets form out of the humid air.

Different machines also utilize a number of means to dry your plates. Some will have a heating coil to warm the inside of the machine and assist with evaporation, some warm the water further nearing the end of the cycle, others use a fan, and some use a mix of all of these. There are therefore a number of reasons why your machine might not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than other materials 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 your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying effectively you can call a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more frustrating than a home 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 plates. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are created equal and some makes and models 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 issues could be the cause.

Inspect the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the machine is faulty you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

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

To check the heating element you will need to unplug the machine, find the heating coil, you could need the owners manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your machine overheating, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s not working this can mean your appliance doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating element appears to be working as it should but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be at fault. Once again you can test this using a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will make use of a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the hot air will condense on the plates instead preventing them from drying.

You can make use of your manual to find out if your dishwasher has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to make sure the appliance is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

First look at the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that could stop it from operating as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Increase Drying Power

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

  1. Don’t overload the dishwasher. Overfilling the appliance limits the circulation of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both cleaning and finishing your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, your appliance will work better if you leave enough space so that crockery and cutlery are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher won’t hurt. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your plates, 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 program. Some newer dishwashers do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the door at the end of the cycle can help allow the water to escape thus stopping water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your dishwasher has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will mean improved drying times and you may be able to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you unload 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 you have checked all the above it might be necessary to call in an engineer or even upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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