Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your dishes dry might really be harder for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Dishes and glassware have multiple nooks and crannies that may collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to dry out, and as your machine cools water condenses from the steam.

Different machines also employ a variety of approaches to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Some opt for a heating coil to heat up the air in the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some heat the water further nearing the end of the cycle, others use a fan, and some employ a combination of all three. There are thus a number of explanations why your dishwasher may not be drying plates optimally and a number of options 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 seeing whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

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

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more annoying than an appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, 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 crockery and cutlery. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates here are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

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

Inspect the Placement of Your Crockery and Cutlery

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the machine is faulty you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastics don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes and so if you have run out of rinse aid or your rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your dishes coming out properly dry.

Visually check the rinse aid dispenser for cracks and check that it’s full.

Check The Heating Element

Heat is essential for drying your dishes so a faulty heating coil could 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 be a good indicator that the heating element is broken.

To inspect the heating element first disconnect the dishwasher, then locate the heating coil, you may need the manual to do this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat stops your dishwasher overheating, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s faulty this can mean your dishwasher doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not uncover an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be the problem. Again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Check The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will employ a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the machine. If either of these elements are broken then the water vapor will condense on the crockery and cutlery instead leaving them wet.

You can utilize your user manual to ascertain if your dishwasher uses a fan and find its location. Again you need to make sure the appliance is unplugged before trying to access the fan.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that could prevent it from working correctly. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Ability

There are a variety of things you can do to increase your machines effectiveness at drying and ensure you need to get the drying up cloth out as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overcrowding the dishwasher inhibits the flow of both water and air making removing the dirt from and drying your dishes more difficult. It might be tempting to stuff everything in but you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even so, adding a little extra to the dishwasher won’t hurt. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and thus speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer models do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher when the cycle finishes allows warm air to evaporate thus stopping water condensing on the dishes as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your machine has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will result in better drying times and it could be possible to choose which points in the cycle you add more heat.
  5. Empty the lower level first. This doesn’t affect how well your machine works, but it stop and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If none of the above solves the problem it may be a good idea to call in the professionals or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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