Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It turns out getting your plates dry could actually be harder for your machine than getting them clean. Dishes and cups have lots of nooks and crannies that may pool dishwater stopping it from drying out, plus as your machine loses heat water condenses out of the steam.

Different machines also employ a variety of different means to get your crockery and cutlery dry. Certain models will have a heating element to heat up the inside of the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some heat the water further near the end of the cycle, some employ a fan, and some employ a mix of all three. There are therefore a variety of reasons why your machine might not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a variety of options to rectify the situation.

Plastic items are more difficult to dry than other materials 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 properly you can enlist the help of a dishwasher repair service or first employ this troubleshooting guide to figure out what the issue is and with any luck fix it.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

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

Not all makes and models are created equal and some appliances do a better job of drying your plates than others. However, if you notice a change in how effectively your dishwasher is working one of these areas might be the cause.

Have a Look at 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 stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Have a Look at The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates therefore, if you have run out of rinse aid or the rinse aid dispenser is broken this can stop your crockery and cutlery coming out properly dry.

Visually inspect the dispenser for damage and check that there is rinse aid inside.

Have a Look at The Heating Element

Without enough heat your plates will not dry so a not working heating element might be the explanation your dishwasher is not drying plates. If your dishes aren’t hot to touch at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating element isn’t working as it should.

To check the heating coil first disconnect the machine, then locate the heating element, you could need the owners manual for this, and use a multimeter to check it’s working.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your machine doesn’t overheat, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. However, if it’s faulty this can mean your machine doesn’t heat up at all.

If the heating coil appears to be in working order but your appliance isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat could be the issue. Once again you can make sure with the help of a multimeter.

Check The Drying Fan and Vent

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

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

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

Ideas to Increase Drying Ability

There are a number of methods you can use to improve your machines drying ability and ensure you need to get the drying up cloth out as infrequently as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overloading the appliance limits the circulation 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 stuff everything in, your dishwasher will work better if you leave sufficient space so that crockery and cutlery are not touching.
  2. Utilize rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the appliance can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce marks and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free finish but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your plates helping the water to run off them and consequently speeding up drying times.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some newer models do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the machine at the end of the program can help allow the water to escape thus preventing water condensing on the plates as the machine cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher heat will mean improved drying times and it may be possible to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Unload the bottom rack before the top. 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 plates below.

If you have checked all the above it might be a good idea to phone the professionals or even buy a new machine.

More Dishwasher Problems:

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