Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your crockery and cutlery may in actual fact be more difficult for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Dishes and glassware have multiple crevices that can pool water making it more difficult for it to evaporate, plus as your machine cools water droplets form from the humid air.

Different machines also employ a number of different means to get your dishes dry. Certain models will have a heating coil to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water to a higher temperature nearing the end of the cycle, certain models make use of a fan, and some use a mix of all three. There are consequently a variety of reasons why your dishwasher might not be drying dishes optimally and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry 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 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 employ this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

Few things are more frustrating than an appliance that doesn’t work as it should, regardless of whether its a smartspeaker, washing machine or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all appliances are created equal and some dishwashers perform to a higher standard compared to others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these areas might be the problem.

Have a Look at How Your Machine Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the machine is faulty you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your plates and so if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can result in wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your crockery and cutlery will not dry so a not working heating coil could be the explanation your dishwasher is not drying plates. If your plates don’t feel hot when they come out of the machine this can mean that the heating element is faulty.

To inspect the heating coil first unplug the machine, then find the heating element, you might need the manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher getting too hot, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s broken this can mean your machine 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 the issue. Once again you can test this using a multimeter.

Check The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will employ a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the dishwasher. If either of these elements are broken then the hot air will remain in the appliance preventing the plates from drying.

You can use your instruction manual to check if your machine uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to ensure the machine is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

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

Ideas to Increase Drying Power

There are a number of things you can do to boost your machines drying ability and ensure you need to get the drying up cloth out as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overfilling the dishwasher stops the circulation of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. Although it’s tempting to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine can only improve matters. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your plates, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer dishwashers do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door at the end of the program allows warm air to evaporate thus preventing water condensing on the dishes as the appliance cools down.
  4. Check if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will lead to improved drying times and you may be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Unload the bottom rack before the top. 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 may be a good idea to call in the professionals or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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