Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your dishes may really be more arduous for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have lots of crevices that could collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your appliance cools water droplets form out of the humid air.

Different machines also utilize a variety of means to dry your dishes. Certain models will employ a heating coil to heat up the inside of the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some warm the water more nearing the end of the cycle, some have a fan, and certain models employ a combination of all of these. There are thus a number of explanations why your dishwasher may not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a variety of options 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 dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more annoying than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, 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 number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some makes and models perform to a better standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these faults might be the cause.

Check How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. 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 plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your crockery and cutlery therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

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

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

To check the heating coil you will need to disconnect the machine, locate the heating element, you could need the instruction manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your machine overheating, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, 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 discover an issue but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be the issue. Once again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will make use of a fan and vent to suck moist air from the appliance. If either of these elements are faulty then the steam will remain in the machine preventing the plates from drying.

You can employ your manual to ascertain if your machine uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to make sure the dishwasher is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

You can look at the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that would stop it from working correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Ability

There are a variety of things you can do to increase how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overfill the dishwasher. Overfilling the machine stops the circulation of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your dishes harder. It might be appealing to stuff everything in but you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even so, adding a little extra to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and therefore speeding up drying times.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the cycle has ended. Some new dishwashers have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door when the program finishes allows warm air to escape thus stopping water condensing on the dishes as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher has a heat feature and use it. The higher the temperature the better the drying and it may be possible to choose which points in the program you increase the temperature.
  5. Unload the lower level first. 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 crockery and cutlery below.

If none of the above solves the problem it may be a good idea to call in the professionals or even replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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