Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry may really be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Dishes and glasses have lots of crevices that could collect water stopping it from drying out, plus as your machine cools down water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also utilize a number of different methods to dry your plates. Certain models opt for a heating element to warm the inside of the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some warm the water to a higher temperature nearing the end of the cycle, others make use of a fan, and some make use of a mix of all of these. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your dishwasher might not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of options 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 taking note whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying effectively you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

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 removing the dirt from or drying your crockery and cutlery. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are created equal and you will find that some appliances do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these areas may be the problem.

Inspect How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the machine. Before assuming the appliance is not working you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t too full. It’s also worth noting that plastics 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 the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

Visually check the dispenser for cracks and check that it’s full.

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your crockery and cutlery will not dry so a not working heating coil may be the explanation your machine is not drying plates. If your dishes aren’t hot when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating coil is broken.

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

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t overheat, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s broken this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not uncover an issue but your appliance isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be at fault. Once again you can test this with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will utilize a drying 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 machine preventing the dishes from drying.

You can utilize your user manual to find out if your dishwasher uses a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to make sure the dishwasher is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that would prevent it from working correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Increase Drying Power

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

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overcrowding the appliance limits the flow of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both cleaning and drying your dishes. It could be tempting to stuff in as much as possible but your machine will work better if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even so, 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 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 your appliance as soon as the program has completed. Some new models have this as an automatic option, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher when the program finishes can help allow the water to evaporate and prevent water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance uses a heat feature and use it. The higher the temperature the better the drying and it might be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Think about how you empty your dishwasher. This doesn’t affect how well your machine works, but it does stop water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it may be necessary to phone an engineer or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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