Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your plates could actually be more arduous for your machine than removing the dirt. Plates and glassware have lots of crevices that may pool water making it more difficult for it to evaporate, thus as your appliance cools down water condenses from the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a variety of different approaches to get your dishes dry. Some opt for a heating coil to heat up the inside of the machine and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water further approaching the end of the cycle, certain models use a fan, and certain models employ a mix of all three. There are therefore a variety of explanations why your dishwasher may not be drying plates optimally and a variety of things you can do to improve the situation.

Plastic items are 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 drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

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

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

There is nothing more annoying than an appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, regardless of whether its a smartphone, air conditioner or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out the problem.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and you will find that some appliances do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if you notice a change in how effectively your dishwasher is working one of these faults may be the cause.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

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 overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your dishes therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can mean wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a faulty heating element might be the explanation your dishwasher is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your plates aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating element is faulty.

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

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t get too hot, adjusting the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s broken this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating element seems to be in working order but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be the issue. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will make use of a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the dishwasher. If either of these elements are faulty then the water vapor will form droplets on the dishes instead leaving them wet.

You can make use of your user manual to check if your dishwasher has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to ensure the dishwasher is disconnected before attempting to make repairs.

First look at the fan and vent to ascertain if anything is blocking it that would stop it from functioning as it should. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Tips to Boost Drying Capability

There are a variety of things you can do to boost your machines effectiveness at drying and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overload the dishwasher. Overloading the appliance limits the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. Although it’s tempting to try and cram everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the machine won’t hurt. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and consequently making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open your dishwasher as soon as the cycle has completed. Some new machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine when the cycle finishes allows warm air to escape thus preventing water condensing on the contents as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the temperature the better the drying and you may be able to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Think about how you empty your dishwasher. This doesn’t affect how well your machine works, but it does stop water from cups and glasses falling on dishes below.

If none of the above solves the problem it may be necessary to call in an engineer or perhaps upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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