Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry may actually be more difficult for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Dishes and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that may collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your appliance cools water droplets form out of the humid air.

Different machines also utilize a variety of means to get your dishes dry. Some opt for a heating element to heat up the air in the machine and assist with evaporation, some warm the water further near the final rinse, others have a fan, and some employ a combination of all of these. There are therefore a number of explanations why your dishwasher could not be drying plates fully and a variety of options to rectify the situation.

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

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying properly you can call a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

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

Not all dishwashers are created equal and some makes and models perform to a superior standard compared to others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these faults may be the cause.

Inspect the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the machine is faulty you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your dishes coming out properly dry.

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

Inspect The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your plates so a faulty heating element might be the reason your machine is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your plates don’t feel hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can mean that the heating element is faulty.

To inspect the heating element you will need to disconnect the dishwasher, find the heating element, you might need the owners manual to do this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

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

If the heating element appears to be working as it should but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be the problem. Again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will use a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air from the dishwasher. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will form droplets on the crockery and cutlery instead preventing them from drying.

You can employ your user manual to check if your dishwasher uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the machine is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that would stop it from working as it should. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Increase Drying Capability

There are a number of things you can do 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 dishes. Overloading the appliance inhibits the flow of air and water making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. It could be tempting to cram in as much as possible but your appliance will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher won’t hurt. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery, 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 new models do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the door at the end of the program can help allow the water to escape thus stopping water condensing on the contents as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine uses a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will result in better drying times and you could be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Empty 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 crockery and cutlery below.

If this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it could be a good idea to phone the professionals or even replace your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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