Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your dishes may in actual fact be harder for your machine than removing the dirt. Dishes and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that can pool water making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your machine cools down water condenses out of the humid air.

Different machines also make use of a number of means to get your dishes dry. Certain models opt for a heating coil to warm the air in the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some warm the water more nearing the end of the cycle, others employ a fan, and some have a combination of all of these. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your dishwasher could not be drying crockery and cutlery 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 noting whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying properly you can call a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more irritating than an appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, 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 there are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all appliances are created equal and some appliances 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 issues may be the cause.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance. Before assuming the dishwasher is not working you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. Also be aware that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can mean wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

The best thing to do is check the rinse aid dispenser for cracks and check that it’s full.

Inspect The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a not working heating element could be the explanation your machine is not working as it should. If your dishes aren’t hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating element is broken.

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

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t get too hot, adjusting 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 you check the heating coil and do not uncover an fault but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat may be the problem. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will employ a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will condense on the plates instead leaving them wet.

You can employ your user manual to check if your dishwasher has a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to make sure the appliance is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

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

Ways to Increase Drying Ability

There are a variety of things you can do to boost your appliances drying ability and make sureyou have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overfilling the machine inhibits the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery harder. It may be tempting to stuff in as much as possible but your appliance will work better if you leave sufficient space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce marks 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 program has completed. Some new models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program can help allow the water to evaporate thus preventing water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance uses a heat feature and make use of it. The higher the temperature the better the drying and it may be possible to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Empty 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 might be a good idea to phone the professionals or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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