Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your plates might actually be harder for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Plates and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that could collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, thus as your machine loses heat water droplets form out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a number of different means to get your plates dry. Some opt for a heating element to heat up the inside of the machine and assist with evaporation, some heat up the water further near the end of the cycle, others use a fan, and certain models employ a combination of all three. There are consequently a variety of reasons why your dishwasher may not be drying plates fully and a variety of options to improve the situation.

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

If your dishwasher isn’t drying properly you can call a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more frustrating 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 plates. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all appliances are created equal and some dishwashers perform to a superior standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these areas could be the cause.

Have a Look at How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the machine is faulty you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes thus, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can stop your dishes coming out properly dry.

The best thing to do is inspect the dispenser for cracks and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a faulty heating coil could be the explanation your machine is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot 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 you will need to disconnect the appliance, locate the heating element, you might need the owners manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your dishwasher overheating, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s broken this can result in your machine not heating 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 at fault. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will utilize a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the machine. If either of these elements are broken then the water vapor will condense on the dishes instead preventing them from drying.

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

First look at the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that could stop it from operating correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Capability

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

  1. Don’t overfill the dishwasher. Overloading the appliance limits the circulation of both water and air making cleaning and drying your plates more difficult. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, your appliance will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even so, adding a little extra to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery helping the water to run off them and thus speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the machine when the cycle finishes allows warm air to escape and stop water condensing on the contents as the appliance cools down.
  4. Check if your machine employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and it may be possible to choose which points in the program you add more heat.
  5. Unload the lower level before the top. 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 plates below.

If none of the above solves the problem it could be necessary to phone an engineer or perhaps upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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