Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your dishes dry may in actual fact be more difficult for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Plates and glassware have lots of nooks and crannies that may trap water stopping it from drying out, and as your dishwasher cools water condenses out of the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different means to dry your plates. Certain models opt for a heating element to heat up the air in the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some warm the water more nearing the final rinse, some have a fan, and some have a mix of all three. There are therefore a number of explanations why your machine might not be drying dishes fully and a variety of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic items are more difficult to dry than glass or ceramics 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 isn’t drying effectively you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting list to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more irritating than a home appliance that isn’t working as it should, regardless of whether its a tv, air conditioner or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and some makes and models do a better job of drying your dishes than others. But if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these faults might be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the appliance is broken you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. Also be aware that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

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

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

Check The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a not working heating coil may be the explanation your dishwasher is not drying plates. If your dishes aren’t hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil first unplug the dishwasher, then find the heating coil, you could need the manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your dishwasher getting too hot, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s broken this can result in your appliance not heating up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not find an issue but your appliance isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be at fault. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the machine. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

You can employ your manual to find out if your appliance has a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to ensure the machine is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

First look at the fan and vent to see if there is anything lodged that could stop it from functioning correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Increase Drying Power

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

  1. Allow ample space between crockery and cutlery. Overloading the appliance inhibits the circulation of both water and air making cleaning and drying your plates more difficult. It might be appealing to cram everything in but you will get better results if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher 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 newer machines have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the machine when the cycle completes can help allow the water to evaporate thus preventing water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine uses a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and it might be possible 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 crockery and cutlery below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it might be a good idea to call in an engineer or even buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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