Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your dishes may actually be more difficult for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Crockery and cutlery and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that could trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your appliance cools down water condenses from the steam.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of approaches to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models will employ a heating element to warm the inside of the machine and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water more near the end of the cycle, others have a fan, and others make use of a combination of all of these. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your dishwasher could not be drying plates 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 items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If dishes are coming out wet you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more annoying than a home 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 crockery and cutlery. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

Not all dishwashers are created equal and you will find that some makes and models do a better job of drying your dishes than others. But if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these areas could be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the dishwasher is broken you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet plates at the end of the cycle.

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

Check The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a faulty heating coil may be the reason your machine is not working as it should. If your plates don’t feel hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating element is faulty.

To check the heating coil first unplug the dishwasher, then find the heating element, you may need the owners manual for this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t overheat, regulating the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s faulty this can result in your dishwasher not heating up at all.

If the heating coil seems to be in working order but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be at fault. Once again you can check this with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will use a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the dishwasher. If either of these elements are broken then the water vapor will condense on the plates instead leaving them wet.

You can utilize your manual to ascertain if your machine has a fan and find its location. Again you need to double check the machine is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

You can look at the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that would stop it from functioning correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Increase Drying Ability

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

  1. Don’t overload the dishwasher. Overloading the dishwasher inhibits the circulation of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both cleaning and finishing your dishes. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and thus speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher when the cycle completes can help allow the water to evaporate and stop water condensing on the contents as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your machine uses a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the heat the better the drying and it could be possible to choose which points in the program you add more heat.
  5. Think about how you unload your machine. This doesn’t affect how well your dishwasher works, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it may be a good idea to call in an engineer or perhaps buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems: