Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your dishes dry might actually be more arduous for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Dishes and cups have lots of crevices that can collect dishwater preventing it from drying out, and as your appliance cools down water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a variety of methods to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models will use a heating element to warm the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some warm the water to a higher temperature nearing the final rinse, some make use of a fan, and others make use of a mix of all three. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your machine could not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of things you can do to rectify 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 noting whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more annoying than an appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, regardless of whether its a smartphone, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all appliances are created equal and you will find that some dishwashers perform to a better standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these faults may be the problem.

Check How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

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

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

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

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

Check The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your crockery and cutlery will not dry so a not working heating element may be the explanation your machine is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating coil is faulty.

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

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your appliance overheating, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s not working this can result in your machine not heating up at all.

If the heating coil appears to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be at fault. Once again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will make use of a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will form droplets on the dishes instead leaving them wet.

You can utilize your manual to check if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to make sure the dishwasher is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

You can look at the fan and vent to see if there is anything lodged that might stop it from working as it is supposed to. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Increase Drying Power

There are a number of things you can do to increase your appliances effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between plates. Overcrowding the dishwasher inhibits the flow of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, your machine will be more effective if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine won’t hurt. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glasses a streak-free shine 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 your machine as soon as the program has ended. Some newer machines have this as an automatic function, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door at the end of the program allows warm air to escape and prevent water condensing on the contents as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your appliance has a heat feature and utilize it. The higher the heat the better the drying and it could be possible to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Think about how you empty 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 this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it might be time to phone the professionals or perhaps buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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