Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your crockery and cutlery could actually be more arduous for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Dishes and glasses have multiple nooks and crannies that can trap water making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your machine loses heat water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of different approaches to dry your plates. Some will use a heating element to warm the inside of the machine and assist with evaporation, some heat up the water to a higher temperature approaching the final rinse, some have a fan, and certain models employ a mix of all of these. There are therefore a number of reasons why your machine might not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a variety of things you can do 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 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 use this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more irritating than an appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, whether that’s a smartphone that really isn’t being that smart, a washing machine that’s churning out dirty clothes, or a dishwasher that is either not removing the dirt from or drying your dishes. 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 dishwashers are built to the same spec and some appliances do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these faults could be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher is not working you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. 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 thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

Visually check the rinse aid dispenser for damage and check that it’s full.

Inspect The Heating Element

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

To inspect the heating element you will need to disconnect the dishwasher, locate the heating element, you might need the manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t get too hot, adjusting 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 there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be the problem. Once again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will utilize a fan and vent to remove the warm 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 crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

You can utilize your manual to find out if your machine uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to make sure the appliance is unplugged before trying to access the fan.

First look at the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that would prevent it from operating correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Ability

There are a variety of things you can do to increase your machines drying ability and make sure you have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overfill the dishwasher. Overloading the appliance inhibits the flow of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, your dishwasher will work better if you leave enough space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher won’t hurt. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and therefore making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some new machines have this as an automatic option, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the cycle can help allow the water to evaporate thus preventing water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the heat the better the drying and it may be possible to choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  5. Unload the lower level before the top. 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 none of the above solves the problem it could be time to call in the professionals or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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