Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your dishes could in actual fact be harder for your machine than getting them clean. Crockery and cutlery and cups have multiple crevices that can trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your appliance loses heat water condenses from the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a variety of means to get your plates dry. Some will have a heating element to warm the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some heat up the water to a higher temperature nearing the end of the cycle, some employ a fan, and others use a mix of all of these. There are consequently a number of reasons why your dishwasher might not be drying dishes optimally and a number of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than glass or ceramics as it cools down more quickly hindering 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 enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more annoying than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it should, regardless of whether its a tv, washing machine 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 troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec and you will find that some dishwashers do a better job of drying your plates than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these faults might be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the machine is broken you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware 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 dishes and so if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can mean wet plates at the end of the cycle.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a broken heating element might be the reason your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your plates aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating coil is broken.

To check the heating element you will need to disconnect the machine, find the heating coil, you could need the manual to do this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your appliance overheating, regulating the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s broken this can mean your dishwasher doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not uncover an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be the problem. Again you can check this using a multimeter.

Check The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will use 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 condense on the dishes instead preventing them from drying.

You can employ your instruction manual to check if your dishwasher uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to double check the appliance is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to see if there is anything lodged that would prevent it from functioning as it should. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Ability

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

  1. Don’t cram the machine. Overfilling the dishwasher limits the circulation of air and water making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. It might be appealing to stuff in as much as possible but you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  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 little extra to the appliance will do no harm. 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 the door at the end of the program. Some newer machines have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher when the program completes allows warm air to escape and prevent water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and make use of it. Setting a higher heat will lead to better drying times and you might be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Unload the bottom rack before the top. This doesn’t affect how effective your machine is, but it prevent and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If you have checked all the above it could be time to phone an engineer or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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