Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry might in actual fact be harder for your machine than getting them clean. Plates and glasses have multiple crevices that can trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, and as your dishwasher loses heat water droplets form from the steam.

Different machines also employ a number of methods to get your plates dry. Some will have a heating coil to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some heat the water to a higher temperature near the end of the cycle, some make use of a fan, and some make use of a mix of all of these. There are thus a variety of reasons why your dishwasher may not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a variety of options 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 seeing whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying effectively you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first make use of this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more frustrating than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, 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 there are a few places you can look to help you figure out the issue.

Not all dishwashers are created equal and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your dishwasher is working one of these issues may be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Plates

It might be that there is no fault with the dishwasher. Before assuming the appliance is not working you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes and so if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is faulty 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 ensure that it’s full.

Inspect The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a broken heating coil could be the reason your machine is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating element is broken.

To inspect the heating coil first disconnect the machine, then locate the heating element, you could need the instruction manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t get too hot, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s not working this can mean your appliance doesn’t heat up at all.

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

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will make use of a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will remain in the machine preventing the plates from drying.

You can utilize your instruction manual to ascertain if your appliance uses a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to ensure the appliance is unplugged before trying to make repairs.

First look at the fan and vent to ascertain if anything is blocking it that would prevent it from functioning correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Ability

There are a variety of things you can do to increase how well your appliance dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between dishes. Overloading the dishwasher inhibits the circulation of air and water making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, your machine will work better if you leave sufficient space so that crockery and cutlery are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance won’t hurt. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glasses a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and thus making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the program has finished. Some newer machines do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the door when the cycle finishes can help allow the water to escape thus stopping water condensing on the plates as the machine cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance uses a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will lead to improved drying times and you could 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 plates below.

If none of the above solves the problem it could 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