Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry may really be harder for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Plates and cups have multiple crevices that could trap dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your appliance cools down water droplets form out of the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different approaches to get your plates dry. Some opt for a heating coil to heat up the air in the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some warm the water further nearing the end of the cycle, some make use of a fan, and certain models use a combination of all three. There are consequently a number of explanations why your machine could not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a variety 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 noting whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying effectively 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 Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more frustrating 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 created equal and you will find that some dishwashers do a better job of drying your dishes than others. However, if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these issues may be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Dishes

It might be that there is no fault with the dishwasher. Before assuming the machine is faulty you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your dishes thus, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

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

Check The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating element could be the reason your machine is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your plates don’t feel hot when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil you will need to disconnect the machine, find the heating element, you could need the instruction manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your machine overheating, adjusting 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 appears to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be the issue. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will employ a fan and vent to suck moist air from the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the hot air will condense on the plates instead leaving them wet.

You can utilize your manual to find out if your machine uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to make sure the appliance is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

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

Tips to Boost Drying Ability

There are a number of methods you can use to improve your appliances effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Don’t cram the machine. Overloading the machine stops the circulation of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both cleaning and drying your dishes. Although it’s tempting to try and cram everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even so, adding a little extra to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes 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 new models do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door at the end of the program can help allow the water to evaporate thus preventing water condensing on the dishes as the appliance cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and make use of it. The higher the heat the better the drying and you might be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Unload the bottom rack 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 might be a good idea to call in the professionals or even upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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