Does your dishwasher not drying dishes? Don’t Worry! We’ve got a list of the most common causes and what to do about it. A dishwasher that doesn’t dry is a frustrating appliance to own — and far from an uncommon problem. While it may seem like a trivial matter, the fact that your dishes aren’t dry can also make you feel like you’re not getting your money’s worth from the machine. Here’s how to diagnose and fix the problem.
The drying cycle of the dishwasher is one of the most important parts of the cleaning process. If your dishes aren’t dry when they’re removed from the dishwasher, then they haven’t been cleaned properly and you’ll probably need to run them through a second cycle. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to troubleshoot your dishwasher and find out why it isn’t drying your dishes.
Dishes Not Loaded Properly
Avoid overloading your dishwasher. Leave adequate space for air to circulate between each item when loading dishes. And these are some tips for proper loading:
- Load dishes from back to front.
- Load large, heavy items near the front of the bottom rack.
- Leave space between each dish.
- Use the upper rack first and the bottom rack last
- Load delicate items in the top rack.
- Rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
Unloading in the Wrong Order
Your dishwasher is one of the most important appliances in your kitchen. Unloading it correctly can mean the difference between wet dishes, and dry dishes. Let’s say you have a Whirlpool/Samsung/Frigidaire/LG/GE dishwasher. If you notice that your dishes are wet after washing, you should make sure to unload the bottom rack first. This way any water trapped at the top will fall on the dishes below, instead of leaving them wet.
Use Less Plastic Dishes
One reason that plastic can be left wet in a dishwasher is that it cannot retain heat as well as glass, ceramic, or other materials. This discrepancy can lead to a dishwasher still leaving plastic items wet in a typical cycle. To combat this issue, limit the amount of plastic items in one cycle or hand wash them.
Incorrect Dishwasher Cycle Settings
Some dishwashers use special drying cycles to dry dishes faster after they’re washed. If you think your dishwasher leaves your dishes wet, make sure any drying functions are selected before starting the wash cycle.
The issue of dishes being wet after a wash cycle has been completed can be solved by making sure a drying function is selected before a wash cycle begins. One way to fix this is to set the drying function to the appropriate time before initiating a wash cycle. If you think your dishwasher not drying dishes, this may be the solution for you.
Here are your dish-drying options:
- Heated Dry: Drying dishes with hot air at the end of a wash cycle.
- Sanitize: Partially drying dishes with heated air to kill germs.
- Night Dry: Partially drying dishes with fans turning on during the night.
Even though dishwashers have come a long way, not every dishwasher uses a traditional heating coil to dry dishes. Brands like Bosch and Asko use a different system. In order to address this issue, please read below tips.
Try Adding Rinse Aid
This dishwasher rinse aid is more than just a way to make dishes shine. It also aids in rinsing and drying by making the water droplets more slippery and runnable. This helps by limiting the drying cycle to just the remaining water and not all of the water on the dishes.
When washing dishes, be sure to add a rinse aid before every wash cycle. Doing so will help your dishwasher dry dishes faster.
Inspect the Rinse Aid Dispenser
Water spots are no fun. They’re frustrating, out of place, and they’re just plain ugly. Dishwasher rinse aid products work by reducing the surface tension of water, causing it to run off dishes instead of forming water droplets. This helps make your glasses look cleaner and dry dishes more quickly in a dishwasher that uses condensation drying.
If your dishwasher is not drying the dishes during the appropriate cycle, make sure you have enough rinse aid. It’s located next to the detergent dispenser and should be filled about four inches high. If it is not, remove the cap and measure out enough to fill it up again.
If you are seeing a buildup of gunk in the dispenser, it could be blocking the rinse aid from dispensing during the cycles.
If you want to clean your rinse aid dispenser, follow these steps:
- Remove the cap from the dispenser.
- Use a turkey baster or other suction device to remove any dispenser still in the cup.
- Place a dishwasher-safe bowl full of vinegar on the top rack of your empty dishwasher.
In order to help get the dishwasher fully clean, leave the rinse aid dispensing cap off and run it on the hottest water setting. This will help remove all sorts of gunk, including the rinse aid dispenser.
Check Heating Element
If your dishwasher doesn’t heat the wash water, it could mean that the heating element is malfunctioning. This can be checked by looking for warm water at the end of the cycle, and feeling if your dishes are hot.
Checking the heating element yourself to determine if it’s operational can be a difficult task. If you’re not a professional, it’s best to leave this task to a professional.
Unplugging your dishwasher is the first step. Next, use a multimeter to check the heating element. If you’re fortunate, the plug will be easy to access. If not, you’ll have to pull the dishwasher out and up until you can reach the plug behind it.
Next, remove the bottom panel of the dishwasher, which is below the door. This is usually located at ground level. This can be done by crouching down, or more than likely lying down on the floor to reach below. An assistant can help to shine a flashlight onto the area you are working on.
Unscrew the bottom of the dishwasher and remove the panel with a Phillips screwdriver. Place your hand inside the bottom of the dishwasher and locate two small metal terminals poking up. Each terminal will have a wire attached with a connector. Pull gently on the connectors to remove them from the terminals, disconnecting the wires.
Be sure to set your multimeter to Ohms before touching the two terminals. If your dishwasher is working properly, then you should get a reading between 15 and 30 Ohms. However, this can vary depending on what brand you have.
It’s not rare that people find themselves in need of a repair for their dishwasher. If you use a multimeter to measure the heating element, and the needle doesn’t move at all, this might be an indication of infinite resistance. If the needle is at zero, it’s likely that your heating element needs replacing.
But before you call an appliance repairman, make sure the reading on the meter isn’t normal. This way, you know that you can rule out the heating element as a cause of your problem.
The most important thing in your kitchen is safety. Most of the large appliances in your kitchen have safety systems built in to protect you from problems during use. A dishwasher’s thermostat will prevent overheating – a fire hazard that could cause serious harm if it gets out of control.
The high limit thermostat is a type of safety device in your dishwasher. If it malfunctions, the heating element will be cut off and the whole machine may not work anymore. If this happens early on during the drying cycle, it can be very likely that the machine cannot dry the dishes anymore.
The high limit thermostat is an important part of the dishwasher that controls its ability to heat up. With this function compromised, it can be difficult to wash dishes in a timely manner.
If the vent and heating element are both in working order, it would be a good idea to check the high limit thermostat for continuity. This will determine if the problem is with the thermostat itself and not with the elements. If it is determined that the thermostat is bad and cut out power to the heating element, your dishes, especially glasses, cups, and bowls, will not be completely dry by the time the dishwasher is finished running.
You need to know if the thermostat is working properly. Use a multimeter to check for continuity. If it isn’t, you’re going to have to order a new one from the manufacturer and replace it. Once you’ve done that, run a complete cleaning cycle to make sure everything is in good condition.
The Vent Is Stuck Closed
To clean dishes in a dishwasher, hot water is needed. Hot water is used because it will scrub the dishes clean. The detergent does not have strong enough chemicals to do that on its own. The common dishwasher cycle also includes a pre-rinse before the soap starts to clean, and a final rinse after the soap has finished cleaning.
To start the dishwasher, first rinse and clean all of the dishes. Then, after the rinsing is finished, turn off the water. The drying process includes heating up the dishwasher to make dishwashing easier.
Dishes must be dried after a wash or else they will not get that clean. The problem with a dishwasher is that the water inside does not escape when it’s superheated, and the steam and water vapors trapped in there would definitely impede how well the dishes dry.
One of the most common complaints of modern dishwashers is that they don’t get dishes dry. Luckily, manufacturers have come up with a solution to this problem – vents that can be opened when necessary. If you are experiencing problems with dishes not getting dry, one of the first things to check is if the vents are closed and will open when they need to.
When you test a faulty switch, use a multimeter to see if your problem is the switch. If so, replace the switch with either a manufacturer part or an aftermarket one.
Hi there! I’m Sam Hendricks, and I’m a repair technician and expert. I created this website to help people like you save money and time by fixing your own appliances.
Over the years, I’ve seen people spend a lot of money on unnecessary repairs or replacements. That’s why I decided to share my expertise and create easy-to-follow guides for fixing appliances on your own.