Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your plates might in actual fact be harder for your dishwasher than cleaning them. Plates and cups have multiple nooks and crannies that can trap dishwater preventing it from drying out, and as your machine cools down water droplets form out of the steam.

Different machines also make use of a variety of means to get your plates dry. Certain models opt for a heating coil to warm the inside of the machine and assist with evaporation, some warm the water further near the final rinse, certain models have a fan, and others employ a combination of all three. There are consequently a number of explanations why your machine might not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a number of options to rectify the situation.

Plastic is less likely to dry fully than other materials as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth taking note whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

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

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Dishes

There is nothing more annoying than a home appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, regardless of whether its a tv, tumble dryer or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a number of places you can look to help you figure out the issue.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and some dishwashers perform to a superior standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your crockery and cutlery in the past one of these faults might be the problem.

Check the Placement of Your Dishes

It might be that there is no fault with the appliance. Before assuming the dishwasher is broken you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware that plastic items don’t dry as well as metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your dishes thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can mean wet plates at the end of the cycle.

The best thing to do is inspect the rinse aid dispenser for damage and check that there is rinse aid inside.

Check The Heating Element

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

To check the heating coil you will need to unplug the appliance, find the heating element, you could need the owners manual for this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat prevents your dishwasher overheating, determining the heat of the water and air during drying. Therefore, if it’s not working this can result in your appliance not reaching a high enough temperature.

If the heating coil seems to be working as it should but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be the problem. Once again you can make sure using a multimeter.

Check The Drying Fan and Vent

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

You can employ your manual to check if your dishwasher uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to make sure the dishwasher is disconnected before trying to make repairs.

First visually inspect the fan and vent to see if anything is blocking it that might stop it from working as it is supposed to. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ways to Boost Drying Capability

There are a number of things you can do to increase how well your dishwasher dries your dishes and make sureyou have to hand dry as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overload the dishwasher. Overcrowding the appliance inhibits the flow of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both cleaning and finishing your dishes. It could be appealing to cram everything in but you will get better results if you leave sufficient space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some detergents already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the machine won’t hurt. 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 the door at the end of the program. Some new machines have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the door at the end of the cycle allows warm air to evaporate thus preventing water condensing on the contents as the appliance cools down.
  4. Check if your dishwasher has a heat feature and utilize it. The higher the temperature the better the drying and it could be possible to add more heat at different points in the cycle.
  5. Unload the lower level 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 plates below.

If none of the above solves the problem it might be a good idea to phone an engineer or even upgrade your machine.

More Dishwasher Problems: