Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out drying your plates may really be harder for your dishwasher than removing the dirt. Plates and glassware have lots of nooks and crannies that may trap water preventing it from evaporating, and as your machine loses heat water droplets form from the steam.

Different machines also employ a variety of different means to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Some opt for a heating element to heat up the inside of the machine and assist the water to evaporate, some heat the water further approaching the final rinse, others make use of a fan, and others have a mix of all three. There are consequently a variety of reasons why your dishwasher may not be drying plates optimally and a variety 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 drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting list 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 should, 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 plates. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are built to the same spec and some dishwashers do a better job of drying your plates than others. However, if you notice a change in how well your machine is working one of these areas might be the problem.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the appliance is not working you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware that plastics 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 and so if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is not working this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a faulty heating coil may be the reason your appliance is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your dishes don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can be a good indicator that the heating coil isn’t working as it should.

To inspect the heating element first unplug the machine, then find the heating coil, you might need the manual to do this, then check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your appliance getting too hot, regulating the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s faulty this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not uncover an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be at fault. Again you can test this with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will utilize a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the appliance. 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 dishes from drying.

You can make use of your user manual to check if your machine uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to ensure the appliance is unplugged before trying to make repairs.

First look at the fan and vent to ascertain if there is anything lodged that might stop it from working correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Increase Drying Capability

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

  1. Don’t overload the dishwasher. Overfilling the appliance limits the flow of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your plates more difficult. It may be appealing to stuff everything in but your machine will be more effective if you leave enough space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even so, adding a separate rinse aid 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 crockery and cutlery helping the water to run off them and consequently allowing them to dry faster.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer dishwashers have this as an automatic function, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine at the end of the cycle can help allow the water to escape thus stopping water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and make use of it. Setting a higher heat will lead to improved drying times and you may be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  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 this trouble shooting guide hasn’t worked it could be a good idea to call in the professionals or even buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems: