Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry might in actual fact be more arduous for your machine than removing the dirt. Plates and glassware have multiple crevices that could trap dishwater stopping it from drying out, plus as your dishwasher cools water droplets form out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of different methods to dry your crockery and cutlery. Some will use a heating element to heat up the air in the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some heat the water to a higher temperature approaching the final rinse, certain models make use of a fan, and certain models have a mix of all three. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your machine might not be drying dishes fully and a number of options to improve the situation.

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

If dishes are coming out wet you can hire 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 Dishes

Few things are more annoying 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 removing the dirt from or drying your plates. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all appliances are created equal and some appliances do a better job of drying your dishes than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these areas may be the problem.

Have a Look at How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

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

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

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

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

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a broken heating coil may be the explanation your dishwasher is not drying dishes. If your plates don’t feel hot when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating element you will need to unplug the appliance, locate the heating coil, you could need the manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your appliance overheating, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s faulty this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not uncover an issue but your appliance isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be at fault. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Check The Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the dishwasher. If either of these elements are faulty then the water vapor will condense on the plates instead preventing them from drying.

You can employ your manual to check if your appliance uses a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to ensure the appliance is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

First look at the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that might stop it from operating correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Ability

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

  1. Don’t cram the dishwasher. Overcrowding the machine inhibits the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. It may be tempting to stuff in as much as possible but you will get better results if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this 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 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 newer machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine when the program finishes allows warm air to escape thus preventing water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance employs a heat feature and use it. Setting a higher temperature will lead to improved drying times and it could be possible to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Empty the lower level first. This doesn’t affect how well your machine works, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it could be necessary to phone an engineer or even upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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