Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your plates dry may really be more difficult for your machine than cleaning them. Plates and cups have multiple crevices that may collect water making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your appliance loses heat water droplets form from the steam.

Different machines also employ a number of approaches to dry your dishes. Certain models opt for a heating element to heat up the air in the machine and assist with evaporation, some heat the water more near the final rinse, certain models employ a fan, and some employ a combination of all of these. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your dishwasher may not be drying plates fully and a number of options to improve the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than other materials as it doesn’t retain heat in the same way which helps with the drying process, so it’s worth seeing whether the items that aren’t drying are predominantly plastic items.

If dishes are coming out wet you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting list to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

There is nothing more frustrating 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 dishes. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all dishwashers are created equal 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 faults could be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Plates

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the machine is not working you should look at how it has been loaded, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your crockery and cutlery therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can result in wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Inspect The Heating Coil

Heat is essential for drying your crockery and cutlery so a broken heating coil may be the explanation your machine is not drying crockery and cutlery. If your dishes aren’t hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating coil is faulty.

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

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t overheat, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. However, if it’s faulty this can mean your appliance doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating element and do not find an issue but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat may be the problem. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many appliances will employ a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the dishwasher. If either of these elements are faulty then the hot air will form droplets on the dishes instead preventing them from drying.

You can utilize your user manual to check if your dishwasher has a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to double check the dishwasher is unplugged before attempting to access the fan.

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

Tips to Boost Drying Capability

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

  1. Allow sufficient space between crockery and cutlery. Overcrowding the machine inhibits the flow of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your dishwasher when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, your appliance will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even so, adding a little extra to the machine will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery, helping water run off quickly, speeding up drying time and giving a spot and streak free finish.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some new models have this as an automatic option, but if yours doesn’t, opening the door when the cycle finishes allows warm air to escape and stop water droplets forming as the machine cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your appliance has 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 program you increase the temperature.
  5. Empty the bottom rack first. 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 you have checked all the above it could be necessary to call in the professionals or perhaps buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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