Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your dishes dry could in actual fact be harder for your machine than cleaning them. Dishes and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that can collect water preventing it from evaporating, thus as your appliance cools water condenses out of the humid air.

Different machines also utilize a number of different means to dry your dishes. Certain models will use a heating element to heat up the air in the machine and help the water to evaporate, some warm the water more approaching the end of the cycle, certain models make use of a fan, and others employ a mix of all three. There are thus a number of explanations why your machine may not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of things you can do to rectify the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than glass or ceramics 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 your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying properly you can call a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the issue.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more annoying than an appliance that isn’t working properly, regardless of whether its a smartphone, washing machine or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

Not all makes and models 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 issues might be the cause.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

It might be that there is no fault with the dishwasher. Before assuming the appliance is not working you should first check that you haven’t overfilled it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. It’s also worth noting that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your machine needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

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

Check The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a broken heating element might be the reason your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating coil is faulty.

To inspect the heating coil you will need to unplug the appliance, find the heating element, you might need the manual for this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your appliance overheating, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s not working this can mean your appliance doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not discover an issue but your dishwasher isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be at fault. Again you can check this with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Drying Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will employ 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 hot air will remain in the dishwasher preventing the crockery and cutlery from drying.

You can use your user manual to ascertain if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to double check the machine is disconnected before trying to access the fan.

First look at the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that might stop it from operating correctly. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Increase Drying Power

There are a number of things you can do to improve how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow ample space between crockery and cutlery. Overfilling the appliance stops the circulation of both water and air making cleaning and drying your plates more difficult. It may be appealing to cram everything in but 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 include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your dishes, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open your machine as soon as the program has completed. Some newer dishwashers have this as an automatic function, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher when the cycle finishes can help allow the water to evaporate thus stopping water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the heat the better the drying and it could be possible to choose which points in the cycle you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you empty your machine. 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 dishes below.

If you have checked all the above it may be time to phone the professionals or perhaps upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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