Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your plates may in actual fact be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Plates and glassware have multiple crevices that can pool dishwater stopping it from evaporating, and as your appliance cools down water condenses out of the humid air.

Dishwashers also employ a number of different means to get your dishes dry. Certain models will employ a heating element to heat up the air in the dishwasher and help with evaporation, some heat the water more near the end of the cycle, certain models have a fan, and some have a combination of all of these. There are thus a number of explanations why your machine might not be drying plates fully and a variety of options to improve the situation.

Plastic items are less likely to dry fully than other materials 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 properly you can call a dishwasher repair service or first utilize this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

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 smartspeaker, air conditioner 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 troubleshooting tips to help you figure out the issue.

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

Check How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the dishwasher is broken you should first check that you haven’t overloaded it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. Also be aware 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 and so if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

The best thing to do is check the dispenser for damage and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

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

To inspect the heating element first unplug the appliance, then find the heating coil, you might need the instruction manual for this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t get too hot, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s faulty this can result in your dishwasher not reaching a high enough temperature.

If the heating coil appears to be working as it should but your appliance isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be the issue. Again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will make use of a fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the machine. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the steam will remain in the appliance preventing the dishes from drying.

You can make use of your manual to ascertain if your machine has a fan and find its location. Don’t forget to make sure the machine is unplugged before trying to access the fan.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to see if there is anything lodged 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 Power

There are a variety of things you can do to improve how well your machine dries your dishes and make sure you have to hand dry as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between plates. Overcrowding the appliance inhibits the circulation of air and water making removing the dirt from and drying your crockery and cutlery harder. Although it’s tempting to try and cram everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and consequently allowing them to dry faster.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some new models have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine when the program completes allows warm air to evaporate and stop water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Check if your machine has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will lead to improved drying times and it might be possible to choose which points in the program you increase the temperature.
  5. Think about how you unload 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 crockery and cutlery below.

If none of the above solves the problem it might be a good idea to call in an engineer or perhaps replace your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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