Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your dishes dry may actually be harder for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Plates and cups have lots of crevices that could collect water making it more difficult for it to dry out, thus as your dishwasher cools water condenses from the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a number of different methods to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models will use a heating element to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some warm the water further near the final rinse, certain models make use of a fan, and certain models make use of a combination of all three. There are consequently a number of explanations why your machine might not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a number of options to improve the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than glass or ceramics as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth noting whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying effectively you can hire 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 Plates

There is nothing more frustrating 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 cleaning or drying your crockery and cutlery. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a number of troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all makes and models are created equal and you will find that some appliances perform to a higher standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these issues may be the cause.

Have a Look at How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the appliance is broken you should first check that you haven’t overloaded it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. Also be aware that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Check The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your dishes therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your dishes coming out properly dry.

The best thing to do is inspect the rinse aid dispenser for cracks and check that it’s full.

Check The Heating Element

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

To inspect the heating coil you will need to unplug the appliance, locate the heating coil, you may need the owners manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your dishwasher getting too hot, regulating the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s broken this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating element appears to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be the problem. Again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will utilize a drying 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 remain in the machine preventing the crockery and cutlery from drying.

You can employ your user manual to find out if your dishwasher uses a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to double check the dishwasher is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that would stop it from functioning as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Capability

There are a number of things you can do to increase your dishwashers drying ability and ensure you have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between plates. Overloading the machine limits the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. It might be tempting to stuff in as much as possible but you will get better results if you leave enough space so that crockery and cutlery are not touching.
  2. Employ rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher won’t hurt. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and consequently allowing them to dry faster.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the program has ended. Some new dishwashers do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine when the cycle finishes can help allow the water to escape and prevent water condensing on the plates as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your appliance employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the heat the better the drying and it might be possible to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Empty the lower level 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 this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it might be necessary to phone the professionals or even buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems: