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 dishwasher than cleaning them. Plates and glassware have multiple crevices that could collect water preventing it from drying out, plus as your dishwasher cools water droplets form out of the steam.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of different approaches to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Certain models will have a heating element to warm the inside of the machine and help with evaporation, some heat the water to a higher temperature nearing the final rinse, some use a fan, and some make use of a mix of all of these. There are consequently a variety of reasons why your dishwasher may not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a variety of options 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 employ this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more annoying than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, regardless of whether its a tv, air conditioner or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a number of places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some appliances perform to a higher standard compared to others. But if you notice a change in how effectively your dishwasher is working one of these issues could be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher is not working you should first check that you haven’t overloaded 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

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

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a broken heating element might 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 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 appliance, locate the heating element, you may need the instruction manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your appliance getting too hot, regulating 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 coil and do not find an fault but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be the issue. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will use a drying 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 steam will remain in the dishwasher preventing the plates from drying.

You can use your instruction manual to ascertain if your appliance has a fan and locate it. Again you need to double check the machine is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

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

Ways to Increase Drying Ability

There are a number of methods you can use to increase your appliances drying ability and make sure you need to get the drying up cloth out as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between crockery and cutlery. Overfilling the appliance stops the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both cleaning and drying your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the appliance can only improve matters. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery, 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 new dishwashers have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program allows warm air to evaporate thus stopping water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine employs a heat feature and make use of it. Setting a higher temperature will lead to better drying times and you may be able to choose which points in the program you add more heat.
  5. Think about how you unload your machine. 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 may be necessary to call in the professionals or even upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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