Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry might in actual fact be harder for your machine than getting them clean. Plates and cups have multiple crevices that could trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your appliance loses heat water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a variety of different methods to dry your dishes. Some opt for a heating coil to warm the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some heat the water more nearing the end of the cycle, others use a fan, and certain models make use of a combination of all of these. There are therefore a number of reasons why your dishwasher could not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a variety of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic items are more difficult to dry than glass or ceramics as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth seeing whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying properly you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting list to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more frustrating than an appliance that isn’t working properly, regardless of whether its a smartspeaker, washing machine or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a number of places you can look to help you figure out the issue.

Not all makes and models are created equal and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your plates than others. However, if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these areas might be the problem.

Check How Your Machine 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 loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery and so if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a not working heating coil may be the explanation your dishwasher is not drying plates. If your plates aren’t hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating element is broken.

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

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your dishwasher overheating, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s faulty this can result in your appliance not heating up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not uncover an fault but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be at fault. Once again you can check this with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will make use of a fan and vent to suck moist air out of the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will form droplets on the dishes instead preventing them from drying.

You can make use of your manual to find out if your dishwasher has a fan and find its location. Again you need to double check the dishwasher is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

First look at the fan and vent to ascertain if anything is blocking it that might stop it from working correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Increase Drying Ability

There are a variety of methods you can use to improve how well your machine dries your dishes and make sureyou have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overcrowding the machine limits the circulation of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your crockery and cutlery harder. Although it’s tempting to try and cram everything in, your appliance will be more effective if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the dishwasher will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free shine 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 your appliance as soon as the cycle has ended. Some newer machines have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine at the end of the program allows warm air to escape thus preventing water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will lead to improved drying times and it might be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Unload the lower level first. 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 a good idea to call in an engineer or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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