Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your crockery and cutlery dry might really be more arduous for your machine than removing the dirt. Plates and glasses have multiple crevices that can pool dishwater preventing it from drying out, and as your machine cools water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different methods to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models opt for a heating coil to warm the inside of the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water further nearing the end of the cycle, certain models use a fan, and others employ a mix of all of these. There are thus a variety of explanations why your machine could not be drying dishes optimally and a number 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 taking note 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 use this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more annoying than an appliance that isn’t working 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 cleaning or drying your dishes. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a number of places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all appliances are created equal and some appliances perform to a higher standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these issues could be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Plates

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the appliance is faulty you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. It’s also worth noting that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your crockery and cutlery thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can result in wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

Visually inspect the dispenser for damage and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Inspect The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a broken heating coil could be the reason your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t 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 disconnect the machine, locate the heating element, you might need the owners manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your dishwasher getting too hot, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s not working this can mean your dishwasher doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not discover an fault but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be the issue. Again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize 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 remain in the machine preventing the dishes from drying.

You can employ your manual to find out if your machine uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the machine is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that would prevent 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 number of things you can do to increase how well your appliance dries your dishes and make sureyou have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overcrowding the appliance stops the flow of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your plates more difficult. It might be tempting to cram in as much as possible but you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine 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 plates helping the water to run off them and consequently speeding up drying times.
  3. Open your appliance as soon as the cycle has finished. Some newer models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the machine at the end of the program allows warm air to escape thus preventing water droplets forming as the dishwasher 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 mean better drying times and it could be possible to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Unload the bottom rack first. This doesn’t affect how effective your dishwasher is, but it does stop water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

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

More Dishwasher Problems:

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