Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your crockery and cutlery could actually be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Dishes and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that could collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your machine cools down water condenses from the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a number of different means to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Some opt for a heating element to warm the air in the machine and help with evaporation, some heat the water further nearing the final rinse, some have a fan, and some employ a combination of all three. There are therefore a variety of reasons why your dishwasher could not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a variety of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic items are 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 drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying effectively you can call a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more frustrating than an 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 dishes. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and you will find that some dishwashers perform to a superior standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these faults may be the problem.

Check the Placement of Your Plates

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance. Before assuming the appliance is not working you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

Visually inspect the rinse aid dispenser for cracks and ensure that it’s full.

Check The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a faulty heating element might be the reason your machine is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your dishes don’t feel hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating coil is faulty.

To check the heating element first unplug the appliance, then find the heating coil, you could need the owners manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your machine getting too hot, adjusting the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s broken this can mean your dishwasher doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating element appears to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be at fault. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

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

You can use your instruction manual to ascertain if your dishwasher has a fan and locate it. Again you need to double check the dishwasher is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

You can look at the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that would prevent it from functioning as it should. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Power

There are a variety of things you can do to increase your appliances drying ability and make sure you have to hand dry as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overcrowding the appliance inhibits the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your plates more difficult. 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. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your dishes, 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 many do not, thus, opening the door when the cycle completes can help allow the water to evaporate thus stopping water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine uses a heat feature and use it. Setting a higher temperature will mean better drying times and you might be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Empty the lower level before the top. This doesn’t affect how well your machine works, but it does stop water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it could be time to phone the professionals or perhaps buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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