Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your crockery and cutlery might in actual fact be more arduous for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Plates and cups have multiple nooks and crannies that could trap dishwater preventing it from drying out, and as your dishwasher cools down water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a number of approaches to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Some will use a heating element to heat up the air in the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some warm the water more near the final rinse, certain models use a fan, and certain models have a mix of all of these. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your dishwasher could not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic is 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 hire a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

Few things are more irritating than an appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, regardless of whether its a tv, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a number of places you can look to help you figure out the issue.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some appliances do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these areas could be the cause.

Check the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the appliance is faulty you should first check that you haven’t overloaded it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. Also be aware that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

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

Check The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a not working heating element may be the explanation your machine is not working as it should. If your plates don’t feel hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil you will need to disconnect the machine, find the heating element, you may need the manual to do this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher overheating, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s broken this can result in your appliance not heating up at all.

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

Check The Fan and Vent

Many machines will make use of a fan and vent to suck moist air from the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will form droplets on the dishes instead leaving them wet.

You can make use of your manual to check if your dishwasher has a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to make sure the machine is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

You can look at the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that might stop it from functioning as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Capability

There are a variety of methods you can use to improve how well your machine dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overcrowd the machine. Overcrowding the appliance limits the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. It may be tempting to cram everything in but your dishwasher will work better if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance won’t hurt. 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 cycle has ended. Some newer models have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine at the end of the program can help allow the water to evaporate thus preventing water condensing on the dishes as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine has a heat feature and utilize it. Setting a higher heat will result in improved drying times and it may be possible to choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  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 dishes below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it could be necessary to call in an engineer or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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