Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your crockery and cutlery dry might in actual fact be more difficult for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Crockery and cutlery and glasses have lots of crevices that may collect dishwater preventing it from drying out, plus as your machine cools down water droplets form from the steam.

Different machines also utilize a number of different methods to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Certain models will use a heating coil to warm the air in the machine and help the water to evaporate, some warm the water further approaching the final rinse, some use a fan, and certain models make use of a mix of all three. There are consequently a variety of reasons why your machine could not be drying dishes fully and a number of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully 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 drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If dishes are coming out wet you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more annoying than a home appliance that isn’t working as it should, regardless of whether its a smartphone, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed 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 dishwashers are built to the same spec and some appliances perform to a superior standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these faults could be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Plates

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the dishwasher is broken you should first check that you haven’t overloaded it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. It’s also worth noting that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery therefore, 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.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a faulty heating coil could be the explanation your machine is not drying dishes. If your plates don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating coil is faulty.

To inspect the heating element you will need to unplug the dishwasher, find the heating coil, you might need the owners manual for this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your appliance getting too hot, regulating the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s not working this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating element seems to be working as it should but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be the problem. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will use a fan and vent to remove the warm 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 remain in the machine preventing the plates from drying.

You can use your user manual to check if your dishwasher has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the appliance is unplugged before trying to make repairs.

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

Ways to Increase Drying Capability

There are a number of methods you can use to improve how well your machine dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between crockery and cutlery. Overloading the appliance stops the circulation of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your plates more difficult. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, your dishwasher will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery helping the water to run off them and thus making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer machines do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher when the cycle finishes allows warm air to evaporate thus stopping water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and you might be able to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  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 may be necessary to call in an engineer or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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