Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your plates may actually be more difficult for your machine than removing the dirt. Plates and cups have multiple crevices that can collect dishwater making it more difficult for it to evaporate, and as your appliance cools water droplets form from the humid air.

Different machines also utilize a number of methods to dry your crockery and cutlery. Some will employ a heating element to warm the air in the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some warm the water more near the end of the cycle, others have a fan, and others make use of a mix of all of these. There are thus a number of explanations why your machine might not be drying crockery and cutlery optimally and a number of things you can do to rectify 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 taking note 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 utilize this troubleshooting list to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

Few things are more frustrating than an appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, regardless of whether its a smartphone, washing machine or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were designed for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and some appliances 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 areas may be the problem.

Inspect the Placement of Your Dishes

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

Inspect 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 not working this can result in wet dishes at the end of the cycle.

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

Check The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating element may be the explanation your machine is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery don’t feel hot to touch when they come out of the machine this can be a good indicator that the heating element is broken.

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

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t get too hot, determining the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s not working this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If you check the heating coil and do not discover an fault but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat could be the problem. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Inspect The Fan and Vent

Many machines will make use of a drying 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 hot air will remain in the appliance preventing the plates from drying.

You can make use of your manual to ascertain if your dishwasher uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to double check the appliance is disconnected before attempting to make repairs.

First look at the fan and vent to check if anything is blocking it that would prevent it from working as it should. And again testing for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Capability

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

  1. Don’t overfill the machine. Overfilling the machine inhibits the flow of both water and air making cleaning and drying your plates harder. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that water and air can circulate freely.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance will do no harm. Rinse aid works by breaking the bond between water molecules and your dishes, 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 newer models have this as an automatic function, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine at the end of the cycle allows warm air to escape thus preventing water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher uses a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will mean better drying times and it might be possible to choose which points in the program you increase the temperature.
  5. Empty the lower level before the top. This doesn’t affect how well your dishwasher works, but it stop and water spilling that has collected in the concave bottoms of cups and glasses.

If you have checked all the above it might be necessary to call in the professionals or perhaps buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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