Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your crockery and cutlery might actually be harder for your machine than removing the dirt. Dishes and glasses have multiple nooks and crannies that could pool water stopping it from drying out, thus as your appliance cools water condenses from the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of different approaches to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Some will employ a heating element to heat up the air in the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water more near the end of the cycle, certain models have a fan, and some employ a mix of all three. There are thus a variety of explanations why your dishwasher might not be drying plates optimally and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are 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 noting whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying effectively you can call a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more irritating 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 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 appliances are created equal and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. However, if you notice a change in how well your machine is working one of these issues could be the problem.

Check How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault 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. It’s also worth noting that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates and so if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can mean wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

Visually check the dispenser for cracks and check that it’s full.

Inspect The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a broken heating element could be the reason your dishwasher is not drying plates. If your plates aren’t hot when they come out of the machine this can mean that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating coil you will need to disconnect the dishwasher, locate the heating coil, you could need the owners manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t get too hot, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s faulty this can mean your dishwasher doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating element seems to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be the problem. Again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a fan and vent to suck moist air from the dishwasher. If either of these elements are broken then the steam will form droplets on the plates instead preventing them from drying.

You can employ your instruction manual to find out if your machine uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to ensure the dishwasher is unplugged before trying to make repairs.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that might prevent it from functioning correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Increase Drying Ability

There are a number of things you can do to improve your appliances effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overload the dishwasher. Overfilling the appliance stops the circulation of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that crockery and cutlery are not touching.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher 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 making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer machines have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door when the cycle finishes allows warm air to escape thus stopping water condensing on the dishes as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance uses a heat feature and make use of it. Setting a higher temperature will lead to improved drying times and it may be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Think about how you empty your machine. 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 you have checked all the above it could be necessary to phone an engineer or even buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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