7 Reasons Why Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes – Let’s Fix It

Whirlpool dishwashers are equipped to handle even the toughest jobs. If your Whirlpool dishwasher not drying dishes as it should, use the following troubleshooting guide to identify and resolve the issue. We’ll walk you through a few simple steps to identify and resolve the problem.

Your dishwasher is supposed to make life easier, but when it doesn’t dry dishes properly, its hard to enjoy. How can I make my dishwasher dry the dishes like it should? A good rule of thumb is to always be sure your dishwasher is topped up with rinse aid. The rinse aid ensures water droplets don’t collect on the dishes, which would prevent them from drying properly.

Why Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes – Troubleshoot and Diagnosis

You’re probably familiar with the most common causes of dishwasher problems — using the wrong detergent, failing to change the rinse aid, or running it without enough water. But there are other reasons for Whirlpool dishwashers failing to dry your dishes, and they may not be as obvious. These issues can arise due to poor installation or an overloaded machine.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Drying

1. Improper/OverLoading

Overloading and improper loading mean air can’t circulate freely in your dishwasher — which means items don’t get a chance to dry. Avoid overloading by leaving at least one inch of space between each dish, cup or bowl. Imposing large, flat dinner plates or silverware baskets on the lower rack can prevent items from draining properly. This will allow for your dishes to be properly dried and will also help with the effectiveness of the appliance as a whole.  Remember that as you add more dishes, you need to adjust the racks accordingly as well!

We also suggest loading dishes into your dishwasher rack by rack to ensure the best drying performance. Here are some things you can do to get the best of your dishwasher:

  • Top Rack: Use the top rack of your dishwasher for glasses, bowls, and other delicate items. For dishes that do not fit into the bottom rack of your dishwasher, place them in the upper rack with the handles facing down. This will promote effective rinsing and drying.
  • Bottom Rack: It is recommended to place water-depositing dishes in the bottom rack, since this is where the spray arm reaches. This prevents food particles from getting stuck around the pump and protects the pump. The best way to get water spots off of your dishes is to make sure they are facing inward and that no two dishes touch each other.
  • Dishwasher Silverware basket: When loading the dishwasher, you should never nest silverware. To reduce nesting, place dinner forks to the right of dinner knives; place dinner spoons to the right of dinner forks; then place salad forks to the right of dinner knives, and finally place dessert spoons to the right of salad forks. You can also use a designated slot or compartment in your dishwasher where it will fit snugly.
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2. Wrong Unloading

The most crucial part of keeping dishes dry is to unload them correctly. Most machines are designed with the bottom rack first, which is also the most likely to retain water or debris. If you want to be sure your dishes will be dry after a cycle, make sure you start with the bottom rack.

To ensure dry dishes after every load, unload the dishwasher with the utensils facing upward. This prevents water from accumulating at the bottom of the dishwasher, which can cause wet utensils.

3. Limit Plastic Items

Plastic items are notoriously hard to dry in the dishwasher, especially when your machine is overloaded or poorly maintained. At best, you can expect plastic items to dry on the edges, even with an extra-long drying cycle, but they won’t be truly dry in the middle.

Sometimes, the cause of a dishwasher not drying may simply be too much plastic in the washload. Wood, glass, ceramic, and certain kinds of metal are all heat-retaining materials that will retain heat in the wash drum until the dishes are completely dry. Plastic by contrast is much less adept at retaining heat, so when there is too much plastic in the load, the cycle might not have enough time to dry everything.

You know how hard it is to get dried food out of your dishwasher. It’s because it has plastic parts that never seem to dry completely, and not just because you’re lazy about wiping them down. The trick to getting rid of the stuck-on residue is to limit the number of plastic items in a cycle or hand wash them altogether.

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4. Use Rinse Aid

A rinse aid is any chemical additive that prevents water-based liquids from drying on surfaces. This helps get rid of excess water, making sure that the drying cycle is easier for your dishwasher to complete. Rinsing aid has many benefits: it can help prevent spots and film on glassware, reduce the need for scraping dried food off dishes and cutting boards, and lengthen the lifespan of your dishwashing machine.

The Whirlpool dishwasher has adjustable rinse agent dispensers that can be set to different amounts of rinse aid for each washing cycle. For heavily soiled loads, you will want to increase the amount of rinse aid. Increase the amount of rinse aid by pressing the button with a “pie” symbol on the control panel. Each time you press this button, you will see an additional delay in how quickly the rinse agent dispenser refills its supply.

5. Heated Dry Not Selected

Besides the normal cycle options like Quick and Normal, there is a Heated Dry option (sometimes labeled as Auto Dry). You can also select this from the Dishwasher menu. This may be useful if you have a lot of dishes that need to be dried after washing, or if you’re drying items that are prone to mold.

Before you perform a cycle, select the heated dry function to ensure that your dishes are thoroughly cleaned. The heated dry option comes in handy for washing dishes that are particularly dirty or greasy, and it enables the dishwasher to continue using heat to eliminate food particles after the wash cycle is complete.

6. Vent Issue

One of the most common problems that can occur with a dishwasher is a failure to obtain satisfactory drying conditions. The most common cause of inadequate drying is a failure of the vent system. Many modern dishwashers utilize a long tube, or flue, which extends from the bottom of the wash tub and opens into the kitchen area. This flue is necessary to remove the steam and moisture formed during washing, and it must be kept clean.

If your dishwasher is leaving spots on your dishes, there may be an issue with the vent. The vent acts as a release for steam and hot water during the rinse cycle, and if it’s not opening properly, moisture may build up inside your dishwasher. This can lead to spotting on your dishes and residue on glassware.

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The vent usually opens when the hot, steamy air generated during the rinse cycle needs to escape. If it is missing or isn’t opening, water will stay on the dishes. The function of the vent is to release steam and hot air during the drying cycle, but if the vent isn’t opening properly or is clogged with food particles or other debris, it will affect how much water gets left on the dishes.

7. Vent Fan Motor

A working vent is key to a properly-functioning dishwasher. If the fan motor inside the unit is not working, it will not be able to dry dishes or complete cycles. Additionally, a broken or malfunctioning fan motor might cause the dishwasher to overheat and catch on fire. If you notice your appliance overheating, immediately turn it off and contact a professional for assistance.

In order to assess whether or not your dishwasher’s vent fan motor has failed, test it for electrical continuity, and make sure the fan blade spins freely when you turn it by hand. If your dishwasher’s vent fan motor is burned out or its impeller is seized, replace the vent fan motor.

8. Faulty Heating Element

If your dishwasher isn’t drying dishes, it’s probably because the heating element failed. The heating element in some modern dishwashers is integral to the drying cycle, allowing the water in the tub to heat up during the drying phase. Some fail to heat that water significantly, but if yours is one of the good drying dishwashers, the heating element will be very hot during this phase.

When testing for continuity, be sure that you are testing the heating element (not the thermostat or safety thermostat). Use the multimeter to test from terminal to terminal. If there is no continuity, replace it with a new one.

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