Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your dishes dry may actually be harder for your machine than removing the dirt. Dishes and glassware have lots of nooks and crannies that may collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your appliance cools down water droplets form out of the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different methods to dry your dishes. Certain models will employ a heating coil to warm the air in the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some heat the water further approaching the final rinse, others have a fan, and some employ a mix of all three. There are therefore a number of explanations why your machine could not be drying plates optimally and a variety of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than other materials as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth seeing whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

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

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

There is nothing more frustrating than a home appliance that isn’t working properly, regardless of whether its a tv, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some dishwashers perform to a higher standard compared to others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your dishwasher is working one of these faults may be the problem.

Check the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the machine is not working you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. 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 crockery and cutlery therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

The best thing to do is inspect the dispenser for damage and check that it’s full.

Inspect The Heating Element

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

To check the heating coil first unplug the dishwasher, then find 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 overheat, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s broken this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

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

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many machines will make use of a fan and vent to suck moist air out of the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will remain in the dishwasher preventing the crockery and cutlery from drying.

You can employ your manual to find out if your appliance has a fan and locate it. Again you need to ensure the appliance is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

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

Ideas to Increase Drying Ability

There are a variety of things you can do to improve your appliances effectiveness at drying and make sure you need to get the drying up cloth out as little as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the dishwasher. Overloading the machine limits the flow of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your dishes harder. It may be tempting to stuff in as much as possible but your dishwasher will work better if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the machine 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 program. Some new models have this as an automatic option, but many do not, thus, opening the machine when the cycle finishes allows warm air to evaporate and prevent water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance has a heat feature and make use of it. Setting a higher temperature will result in better drying times and it could be possible to choose which points in the program you add more heat.
  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 dishes below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it may be time to phone the professionals or even replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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