Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but getting your crockery and cutlery dry may actually be more difficult for your machine than cleaning them. Dishes and glasses have lots of nooks and crannies that may collect dishwater preventing it from evaporating, thus as your dishwasher cools water droplets form from the steam.

Dishwashers also employ a number of different methods to get your plates dry. Certain models will have a heating element to heat up the air in the dishwasher and assist the water to evaporate, some heat up the water to a higher temperature near the end of the cycle, some use a fan, and others use a combination of all of these. There are consequently a number of explanations why your dishwasher may not be drying plates optimally and a variety of things you can do 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 noting whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher isn’t drying properly you can hire a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more annoying than an appliance that isn’t working as it should, regardless of whether its a smartspeaker, washing machine or dishwasher we expect them to do the job they were made for. If you open the dishwasher to 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 makes and models do a better job of drying your dishes than others. However, if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these faults might be the cause.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the dishwasher. Before assuming the dishwasher is faulty you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t too full. Also be aware that plastics are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your dishes therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or your rinse aid dispenser is not working this can result in wet plates at the end of the cycle.

Visually inspect the dispenser for cracks and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a faulty heating coil may be the reason your dishwasher is not drying plates. If your plates don’t feel hot at the end of the cycle this can indicate that the heating coil is faulty.

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

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your dishwasher doesn’t overheat, regulating the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s not working this can result in your dishwasher not heating up at all.

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

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will make use of a drying fan and vent to suck moist air from the machine. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the water vapor will form droplets on the dishes instead leaving them wet.

You can use your user manual to check if your machine uses a fan and locate it. Again you need to make sure the dishwasher is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

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

Ways to Increase Drying Ability

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

  1. Don’t overcrowd the dishwasher. Overcrowding the dishwasher inhibits the flow of air and water decreasing the effectiveness of your appliance when it comes to both washing and drying your dishes. It could be tempting to cram in as much as possible but you will get better results if you leave enough 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 little extra to the machine 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 crockery and cutlery helping the water to run off them and thus allowing them to dry faster.
  3. Open the door at the end of the cycle. Some new machines do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, opening the dishwasher at the end of the cycle can help allow the water to evaporate thus stopping water droplets forming as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine uses a heat feature and utilize it. Setting a higher heat will result in better drying times and you may be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Empty 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 may be necessary to call in the professionals or perhaps upgrade your dishwasher.

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