Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your crockery and cutlery dry might really be harder for your machine than cleaning them. Dishes and cups have lots of crevices that can trap water stopping it from evaporating, plus as your machine cools down water condenses out of the steam.

Different machines also employ a number of different approaches to get your dishes dry. Certain models will use a heating coil to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some heat the water more nearing the end of the cycle, certain models have a fan, and others use a mix of all three. There are therefore a number of reasons why your dishwasher could not be drying dishes fully and a number 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 seeing 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 make use of 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 annoying than an 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 plates. 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 created equal and some makes and models do a better job of drying your crockery and cutlery than others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your dishwasher is working one of these areas could be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the dishwasher is not working you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can stop your dishes coming out properly dry.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a broken heating coil could be the explanation your dishwasher is not drying plates. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating element is faulty.

To inspect the heating coil first unplug the dishwasher, then locate the heating element, you might need the instruction manual for this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

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

If you check the heating coil and do not find an fault but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be at fault. Once again you can test this using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the appliance. If either of these elements are faulty then the water vapor will remain in the appliance preventing the plates from drying.

You can employ your manual to check if your machine has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the machine is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

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

Ways to Boost Drying Capability

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

  1. Allow sufficient space between plates. Overcrowding the dishwasher stops the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. It could be appealing to stuff in as much as possible but your machine 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 so, adding a little extra to the appliance can only improve matters. 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 crockery and cutlery helping the water to run off them and thus making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some new machines do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the cycle can help allow the water to escape thus preventing water condensing on the contents as the machine cools down.
  4. Find out if your appliance employs a heat feature and make use of it. The higher the heat 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 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 crockery and cutlery below.

If none of the above solves the problem it could be a good idea to phone an engineer or even buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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