Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your crockery and cutlery could really be more difficult for your machine than removing the dirt. Dishes and glassware have lots of crevices that can collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your dishwasher loses heat water droplets form out of the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a number of different methods to dry your crockery and cutlery. Some opt for a heating coil to heat up the air in the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some warm the water to a higher temperature nearing the end of the cycle, some have a fan, and some make use of a mix of all of these. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your dishwasher could not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than other materials as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth taking note whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

Few things are more annoying 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 dishes. 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 makes and models are built to the same spec and some dishwashers perform to a better standard compared to others. However, if you notice a change in how well your dishwasher is working one of these issues could be the cause.

Inspect How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher is broken 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.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes thus, if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can mean wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

Visually inspect 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 element might be the explanation your machine is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your plates aren’t hot when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil you will need to unplug the appliance, locate the heating element, you could need the owners manual for this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher overheating, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s broken 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 might be the problem. Once again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many machines will use a fan and vent to suck moist air from the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will condense on the dishes instead preventing them from drying.

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

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

Tips to Boost Drying Capability

There are a number of things you can do to boost how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and make sure you need to get the drying up cloth out as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overfill the dishwasher. Overfilling the dishwasher stops the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both cleaning and drying your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that crockery and cutlery are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce marks 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 consequently speeding up drying times.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the program has ended. Some new models have this as an automatic function, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher at the end of the cycle allows warm air to escape thus preventing water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your machine has a heat feature and make use of it. The higher the heat the better the drying and it may be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Think about how you empty your machine. 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 dishes below.

If none of the above solves the problem it could be a good idea to call in the professionals or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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