Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your crockery and cutlery could actually be harder for your machine than getting them clean. Dishes and glasses have multiple nooks and crannies that may collect dishwater preventing it from drying out, thus as your dishwasher cools water condenses out of the humid air.

Different machines also employ a variety of different means to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Certain models will employ a heating coil to warm the inside of the machine and assist with evaporation, some heat up the water more nearing the end of the cycle, certain models use a fan, and some employ a mix of all of these. There are consequently a number of explanations why your machine may not be drying plates fully and a variety of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than glass or ceramics as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth taking note whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying properly you can call a dishwasher repair service or first employ 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 frustrating than an 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 cleaning or drying your plates. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a number of places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are created equal and some makes and models do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these areas could be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Plates

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the machine is not working you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t too full. It’s also worth noting that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your plates and so if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

The best thing to do is check the rinse aid dispenser for damage and ensure that it’s full.

Inspect The Heating Element

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

To check the heating coil first disconnect the appliance, then locate the heating element, you may need the instruction manual for this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your appliance getting too hot, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s broken this can mean your appliance doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not uncover an fault but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be the problem. Once again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will employ a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the machine. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will remain in the dishwasher preventing the dishes from drying.

You can employ your user manual to find out if your machine has a fan and find its location. Again you need to double check the dishwasher is unplugged before trying to make repairs.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that would prevent it from working correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Power

There are a number of methods you can use to increase how well your appliance dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the machine. Overcrowding the dishwasher stops the circulation of both water and air making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery harder. It might be tempting to stuff in as much as possible but your dishwasher will be more effective if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the appliance 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 newer dishwashers have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program allows warm air to escape and prevent water condensing on the plates as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your dishwasher has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will result in better drying times and you could be able to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you unload your machine. This doesn’t affect how well your dishwasher works, but it stop and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If you have checked all the above it might be time to phone the professionals or perhaps upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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