Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your plates dry might actually be more difficult for your machine than cleaning them. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have lots of nooks and crannies that may pool water making it more difficult for it to evaporate, plus as your appliance loses heat water droplets form out of the steam.

Different machines also employ a variety of means to dry your crockery and cutlery. Certain models will have a heating element to heat up the inside of the machine and help the water to evaporate, some heat up the water to a higher temperature approaching the final rinse, certain models use a fan, and others have a mix of all three. There are therefore a number of reasons why your machine might not be drying dishes fully and a variety of options to rectify the situation.

Plastic items are more difficult to dry than other materials as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth taking note whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If dishes are coming out wet you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first make use of 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 removing the dirt from or drying your dishes. If you open your dishwasher to discover 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 makes and models do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your dishes in the past one of these areas may be the cause.

Have a Look at the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the appliance is faulty you should first check that you haven’t overloaded it or accidentally stacked items one inside the other. 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

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates thus, 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 inspect the rinse aid dispenser for damage and check that there is rinse aid inside.

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

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

To check the heating element first unplug the appliance, then locate the heating element, you might need the owners manual to do this, then use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t get too hot, adjusting the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s broken this can result in your machine 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 may be the problem. Again you can check this using a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

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

You can make use of your user manual to check if your machine has a fan and find its location. Again you need to double check the appliance is unplugged before attempting to access the fan.

First look at the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that could stop it from operating as it is supposed to. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Ability

There are a number of methods you can use to boost how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between plates. Overloading the dishwasher inhibits the circulation of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both cleaning and finishing your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Employ 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 appliance can only improve matters. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your plates, 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 cycle has completed. Some new dishwashers do this automatically, but many do not, thus, opening the dishwasher when the program completes can help allow the water to escape thus stopping water droplets forming as the appliance cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your machine has a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. The higher the heat the better the drying and it may be possible to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Unload the bottom rack before the top. This doesn’t affect how well your machine works, but it prevent and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If you have checked all the above it might be a good idea to call in an engineer or perhaps buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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