Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry may actually be harder for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Plates and cups have multiple nooks and crannies that may collect water making it more difficult for it to evaporate, and as your machine cools down water condenses out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also utilize a variety of methods to dry your dishes. Some opt for a heating element to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some heat the water to a higher temperature approaching the end of the cycle, others use a fan, and others have a combination of all of these. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your dishwasher could not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than other materials 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 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 problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

Few things are more frustrating than a home appliance that isn’t working as it should, regardless of whether its a smartspeaker, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here 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 makes and models do a better job of drying your dishes than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these areas might be the cause.

Inspect the Placement of Your Plates

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the appliance is not working you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t too full. It’s also worth noting that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your crockery and cutlery thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a faulty heating element might be the reason your appliance is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your plates aren’t hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating element is broken.

To check the heating element first disconnect the dishwasher, then locate the heating element, you may need the instruction manual to do this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Check the Thermostat

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

If you check the heating element and do not uncover an fault but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be the problem. Again you can check this using a multimeter.

Check The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will employ a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will remain in the machine preventing the dishes from drying.

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

First visually inspect the fan and vent to see if there is anything lodged that could prevent it from functioning as it should. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Capability

There are a number of methods you can use to improve your machines effectiveness at drying and make sure you need to get the drying up cloth out as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overcrowd the machine. Overfilling the appliance inhibits the circulation of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your dishes harder. It could be tempting to cram everything in but your appliance will be more effective if you leave enough space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher can only improve matters. 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 machine as soon as the program has ended. Some new models do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door at the end of the cycle can help allow the water to escape thus preventing water condensing on the dishes as the machine cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and make use of it. Setting a higher heat will lead to better drying times and it may be possible to choose which points in the program you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you empty your dishwasher. 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 plates below.

If none of the above solves the problem it might be a good idea to call in an engineer or even upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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