Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your plates dry could actually be harder for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Crockery and cutlery and glasses have multiple nooks and crannies that can pool water making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your appliance cools down water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also make use of a number of different methods to get your plates dry. Certain models will employ a heating coil to warm the inside of the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some heat up the water further nearing the final rinse, certain models employ a fan, and certain models use a mix of all three. There are consequently a number of reasons why your dishwasher may not be drying plates fully and a number of options to rectify 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 use 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, regardless of whether its a smartphone, air conditioner or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are created equal and you will find that some appliances do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. However, if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these areas could be the problem.

Check How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the dishwasher. Before assuming the appliance is faulty you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t too full. It’s also worth noting that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your plates and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a faulty heating coil may be the reason your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating coil you will need to unplug the dishwasher, locate the heating coil, you could need the manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

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 not working this can result in your dishwasher not heating up at all.

If the heating coil seems to be in working order but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be at fault. Once again you can test this using a multimeter.

Check The Drying Fan and Vent

Many appliances will make use of a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will remain in the appliance preventing the dishes from drying.

You can make use of your user manual to find out if your dishwasher has a fan and locate it. Again you need to make sure the machine is unplugged before attempting to make repairs.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that could stop it from operating as it should. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Power

There are a number of things you can do to boost how well your machine dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overload the dishwasher. Overloading the machine limits the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. It may be tempting to cram everything in but your dishwasher will be more effective if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine won’t hurt. Rinse aid helps reduce marks 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 speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer dishwashers have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher when the program completes allows warm air to escape and prevent water condensing on the plates as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will result in better drying times and it could be possible to choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  5. Unload the lower level first. This doesn’t affect how effective your machine is, but it does prevent water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it could be time to call in the professionals or even replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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