Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your dishes may really be more difficult for your machine than cleaning them. Crockery and cutlery and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that can pool dishwater preventing it from evaporating, thus as your dishwasher loses heat water condenses out of the steam.

Different machines also employ a variety of different means to dry your dishes. Some opt for a heating element to warm the air in the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some heat up the water more approaching the end of the cycle, certain models make use of a fan, and certain models use a mix of all three. There are consequently a number of explanations why your dishwasher could not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a variety of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than other materials as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth noting 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 call a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

Few things are more annoying 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 cleaning or drying your crockery and cutlery. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a number of places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are built to the same spec and some dishwashers perform to a superior standard compared to others. However, if you notice a change in how well your machine is working one of these issues could be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Dishes

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. 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 plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your plates and so if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

Visually check the dispenser for damage and check that there is rinse aid inside.

Inspect The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a not working heating coil might be the explanation your appliance is not drying plates. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil you will need to unplug the dishwasher, locate the heating coil, you may need the owners manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t get too hot, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s broken this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

If you check the heating element and do not uncover an fault but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be at fault. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a fan and vent to suck moist air out of the appliance. If either of these elements are faulty then the water vapor will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

You can use your manual to find out if your appliance uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to double check the dishwasher is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that would stop it from functioning as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Increase Drying Capability

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

  1. Allow ample space between crockery and cutlery. Overcrowding the appliance inhibits the flow of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your plates, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some new dishwashers have this as an automatic function, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine when the program finishes allows warm air to escape and stop water condensing on the dishes as the machine cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine employs a heat feature and utilize it. Setting a higher temperature will mean improved drying times and it might be possible to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Empty the bottom rack before the top. This doesn’t affect how well your machine works, but it stop and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If you have checked all the above it could be a good idea to call in the professionals or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems: