Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your crockery and cutlery dry could actually be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Dishes and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that may trap dishwater stopping it from evaporating, plus as your dishwasher cools water condenses from the steam.

Different machines also utilize a variety of means to dry your plates. Certain models will have a heating coil to warm the inside of the machine and help with evaporation, some heat the water to a higher temperature approaching the final rinse, certain models have a fan, and certain models employ a mix of all of these. There are thus a number of reasons why your dishwasher could not be drying dishes fully and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than other materials 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 your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying properly you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting list to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more frustrating than an appliance that doesn’t work as it should, regardless of whether its a smartphone, air conditioner or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the problem.

Not all makes and models are created equal and you will find that some dishwashers perform to a superior standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these areas may be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Plates

It might be that there is no fault with the dishwasher. Before assuming the dishwasher is faulty you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t too full. It’s also worth noting 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 crockery and cutlery thus, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

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

Check The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a faulty heating coil could be the explanation your machine is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating coil first disconnect the appliance, then locate the heating element, you might need the instruction manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

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

If the heating element seems to be in working order but your appliance isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be at fault. Once again you can check this using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a fan and vent to suck moist air from the appliance. If either of these elements are faulty then the steam will condense on the plates instead leaving them wet.

You can use your manual to find out if your appliance has a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to make sure the machine is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that would stop it from functioning as it is supposed to. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Increase Drying Power

There are a variety of things you can do to improve your machines drying ability and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overfill the dishwasher. Overcrowding the dishwasher stops the flow of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your plates harder. It might be tempting to cram in as much as possible but your dishwasher will work better if you leave sufficient space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the machine can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glasses a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and consequently speeding up drying times.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the program has completed. Some new machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door when the program completes can help allow the water to escape thus preventing water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will lead to better drying times and you could be able to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  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 may be time to call in the professionals or perhaps upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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