Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your dishes might actually be more difficult for your machine than removing the dirt. Plates and glasses have lots of crevices that can collect water stopping it from evaporating, and as your dishwasher cools down water droplets form out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a number of methods to dry your dishes. Some opt for a heating element to heat up the inside of the machine and help with evaporation, some heat the water to a higher temperature approaching the end of the cycle, others use a fan, and some have a combination of all three. There are thus a number of explanations why your machine may not be drying dishes fully and a number of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are 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 seeing whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

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

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more frustrating than a home appliance that isn’t working properly, 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 plates. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a number of places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec and you will find that some makes and models perform to a superior standard compared to others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your dishwasher is working one of these issues may be the cause.

Have a Look at How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher is not working you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

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

Inspect The Heating Element

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a broken heating coil might be the reason your machine is not working as it should. If your plates don’t feel hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating coil is faulty.

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

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t overheat, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s faulty 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 could be the issue. Again you can test this using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the dishwasher. If either of these elements are broken then the steam will form droplets on the dishes instead leaving them wet.

You can use your manual to ascertain if your dishwasher uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to ensure the appliance is unplugged before trying to access the fan.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that could stop it from operating correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Ability

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

  1. Don’t overfill the machine. Overfilling the appliance inhibits the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both cleaning and finishing your dishes. It might be appealing to stuff in as much as possible but you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting 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 allowing them to dry faster.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher when the program finishes allows warm air to evaporate thus preventing water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and you may be able to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you empty your dishwasher. This doesn’t affect how well your machine works, but it does stop water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it may be a good idea to phone the professionals or perhaps replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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