Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your dishes could actually be harder for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Plates and glassware have multiple crevices that may collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, thus as your dishwasher loses heat water droplets form out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different methods to dry your plates. Certain models will employ a heating coil to warm the air in the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some heat up the water to a higher temperature near the final rinse, some make use of a fan, and certain models have a combination of all three. There are consequently a number of reasons why your dishwasher might not be drying dishes optimally 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 seeing whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If dishes are coming out wet you can call a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting list 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 isn’t working as it should, regardless of whether its a tv, air conditioner 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 number of places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec 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 well your machine is working one of these faults might be the cause.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Plates

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the machine is not working you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. Also be aware that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your dishwasher needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery and so if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can mean wet crockery and cutlery at the end of the cycle.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a broken heating element could be the explanation your machine is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your dishes aren’t hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating coil you will need to disconnect the machine, find the heating element, you may need the owners manual for this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher getting too hot, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s broken this can result in your machine not heating up at all.

If the heating coil appears to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be the problem. Once again you can check this with the help of a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will use a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the machine. If either of these elements are faulty then the hot air will remain in the appliance preventing the dishes from drying.

You can make use of your user manual to ascertain if your dishwasher uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to make sure the dishwasher is disconnected before attempting to make repairs.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that could prevent it from functioning correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Increase Drying Capability

There are a number of methods you can use to increase your dishwashers drying ability and make sureyou have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overcrowd the machine. Overcrowding the dishwasher inhibits the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your dishes harder. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, your machine will be more effective if you leave enough space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the dishwasher won’t hurt. 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 dishes helping the water to run off them and thus speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some new machines have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher at the end of the program can help allow the water to escape and stop water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine uses a heat feature and use it. Setting a higher heat will result in improved drying times and it might be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Unload the bottom rack first. 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 a good idea to call in the professionals or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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