Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your dishes could actually be more arduous for your machine than getting them clean. Crockery and cutlery and glassware have multiple nooks and crannies that may collect water making it more difficult for it to dry out, plus as your dishwasher cools down water condenses from the humid air.

Dishwashers also make use of a variety of different means to dry your dishes. Some will use a heating coil to warm the air in the dishwasher and assist with evaporation, some heat the water more approaching the end of the cycle, some employ a fan, and others use a combination of all of these. There are therefore a number of reasons why your dishwasher might not be drying crockery and cutlery 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 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 effectively you can call a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting guide to help you identify and rectify the problem.

Top Reasons Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Crockery and Cutlery

There is nothing more irritating than an appliance that isn’t working 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 removing the dirt from or drying your dishes. If you open your dishwasher to discover wet plates there are a number of places you can look to help you figure out why.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and some makes and models perform to a better standard compared to others. But if if your dishwasher has always dried your plates in the past one of these faults may be the problem.

Inspect How Your Dishwasher Has Been Loaded

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the machine is not working you should look at how it has been loaded, 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

Rinse aid plays a key role in drying your plates thus, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your dishes coming out properly dry.

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

Have a Look at The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your crockery and cutlery will not dry so a not working heating coil could be the explanation your dishwasher is not working as it should. If your crockery and cutlery aren’t hot when they come out of the machine this can indicate that the heating element is faulty.

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

Check the Thermostat

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

If the heating element seems to be working as it should but your machine isn’t getting hot, then the thermostat might be the issue. Once again you can check this with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many machines will use a drying fan and vent to suck moist air out of the appliance. If the fan isn’t operating as is should or the vent is blocked then the hot air will remain in the machine preventing the plates from drying.

You can use your instruction manual to check if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to ensure the machine is unplugged before trying to access the fan.

You can visually inspect the fan and vent to check if there is anything lodged that might stop it from functioning 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 make sureyou need to get the drying up cloth out as little as possible.

  1. Allow sufficient space between dishes. Overcrowding the appliance limits the flow of both water and air making cleaning and drying your crockery and cutlery more difficult. Although it’s appealing to try and stuff everything in, you will get better results if you leave enough space so that dishes are not touching.
  2. Make use of rinse aid. Some dishwasher tablets already have this but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a little extra to the dishwasher can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glasses a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your crockery and cutlery helping the water to run off them and thus speeding up drying times.
  3. Open your appliance as soon as the program has finished. Some new machines have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the door when the program finishes allows warm air to escape and stop water condensing on the dishes as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Have a look to see if your appliance has a heat feature and make use of it. The higher the heat the better the drying and you may be able to add more heat at different points in the program.
  5. Empty the lower level 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 crockery and cutlery below.

If none of the above solves the problem it could be time to call in an engineer or even buy a new dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems: