Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your plates dry could in actual fact be more arduous for your machine than removing the dirt. Plates and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that could trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your appliance loses heat water condenses from the steam.

Different machines also make use of a number of different means to dry your dishes. Some will use a heating element to warm the air in the machine and assist with evaporation, some heat the water further nearing the end of the cycle, some employ a fan, and some have a combination of all of these. There are therefore a variety of reasons why your machine may not be drying plates optimally and a variety of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic items are 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 taking note whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying effectively you can call a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more frustrating than an appliance that isn’t working properly, regardless of whether its a smartphone, washing machine or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a number of places you can look to help you figure out the issue.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and you will find that some dishwashers do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if you notice a change in how well your machine is working one of these areas may be the cause.

Inspect the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the appliance. Before assuming the dishwasher is broken you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your dishes and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

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

Inspect The Heating Element

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a broken heating element may be the reason your appliance is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating coil is faulty.

To inspect the heating element first disconnect the machine, then locate the heating coil, you could need the manual for this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher getting too hot, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s faulty this can result in your appliance not heating up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not uncover an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be the issue. Once again you can test this using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will use a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the machine. If either of these elements are broken then the water vapor will remain in the appliance preventing the crockery and cutlery from drying.

You can use your user manual to ascertain if your appliance has a fan and find its location. Again you need to ensure the machine is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that could stop it from working as it should. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Increase Drying Power

There are a number of methods you can use to boost how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and ensure you need to get the drying up cloth out as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between crockery and cutlery. Overcrowding the dishwasher inhibits the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both cleaning and finishing your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, your dishwasher will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the machine can only improve matters. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your dishes, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the cycle has ended. Some new models have this as an automatic function, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door at the end of the cycle allows warm air to escape and stop water condensing on the dishes as the appliance cools down.
  4. Check if your machine employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will result in better drying times and you may be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  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 you have checked all the above it may be necessary to call in the professionals or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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