Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your crockery and cutlery dry may actually be harder for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have lots of crevices that can pool dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, plus as your dishwasher loses heat water condenses from the humid air.

Different machines also make use of a variety of means to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models will employ a heating coil to warm the air in the machine and assist with evaporation, some heat the water to a higher temperature near the end of the cycle, some have a fan, and some make use of a mix of all three. There are thus a variety of reasons why your machine might not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of things you can do 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 dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more annoying than an 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 your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the problem.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these areas could be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

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

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

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

Check The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a broken heating coil could be the reason your appliance is not drying dishes. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil first disconnect the machine, then locate the heating coil, you may need the instruction manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your appliance overheating, adjusting the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s broken this can result in your dishwasher not reaching a high enough temperature.

If you check the heating element and do not find an fault but your appliance isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be the issue. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Check The Fan and Vent

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

You can employ your user manual to find out if your dishwasher uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to make sure the appliance is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that might prevent it from operating as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Power

There are a number of methods you can use to boost your machines drying ability and ensure you need to get the drying up cloth out as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the machine. Overfilling the appliance inhibits the flow of both water and air making cleaning and drying your dishes more difficult. It may be appealing to stuff in as much as possible but you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce marks 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 therefore speeding up drying times.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the cycle has completed. Some new dishwashers do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the cycle can help allow the water to escape thus stopping water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your dishwasher employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will lead to improved drying times and it could be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Empty 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 plates below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it may be time 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