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Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes – How To Fix

How to fix a dishwasher that won’t properly dry your dishes. If your dishwasher is completing the wash cycle but will not dry your dishes, we have tips on how to fix this yourself. Your dishwasher may not be on the correct wash, dry, or heat setting, or you may have a malfunctioning part in your dishwasher. Fixing a dishwasher that will not dry is easy if you follow our “What to check first?” below.

dishwasher not drying dishesDishwasher not drying dishes

First thing to check is… Make sure your dishwasher is on the HEATED DRY setting on the control panel. It may have another name or setting but it will be something similar. Be sure the HEATED DRY setting is lit up when your dishwasher begins the wash cycle. If you DO have the dishwasher in the correct wash and dry mode, it may be a bad part or component in the dishwasher that is causing the problem.

If you know how the dishes dry in your dishwasher, it may help you to better understand how to fix the problem. How does the dishes dry in my dishwasher? The hot water used with the wash cycle heat up your dishes with the last rinse cycle at the highest temperature. The water is then drained out at the end of the cycle and the heat that remains in the dishes causes any moisture to evaporate which gets your dishes dry.

The methods on this page to fix a dishwasher not drying your dishes work on all brands of dishwashers including Bosch, Maytag, Samsung, GE, Kenmore, Frigidaire, and Whirlpool.

The parts most likely to cause the “Dishwasher Not Drying” issue:

1 – Dishwasher Heating Element
A bad heating element is usually the cause for dishes not getting dry. To see if the element is bad, disconnect power to dishwasher and check element for continuity with a meter. To access the heating element terminals (under the tub) remove the bottom panel and also check to be sure the wires and terminals are in good condition.

dishwasher replacement heating elementsDishwasher replacement heating elements

Heating Element Test – Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes? – Dishwasher Repair

2 – High Limit Thermostat
The high limit thermostat is a safety device that keeps the dishwasher from overheating. If the thermostat is bad it may shut off the heat before your glasses and dishes are dry. This high limit thermostat is located at the bottom of the dishwasher tub and behind the bottom access panel. To see if the thermostat is in working condition, check it for continuity with a meter.

dishwasher high limit thermostat replacementDishwasher high limit thermostat replacement

How To Replace Dishwasher High Limit Thermostat

3 – Rinse Aid Dispenser or Rinse Cap
The rinse aid dispensing cap may be the reason why the dishwasher cannot dry your glassware. If you have no rinse aid in the dishwasher then the dishes will not be able to repel water as easily which in turn will not dry as intended. Be sure the rinse aid compartment is full. Check the rinse aid cap to be sure it is on the rinse aid compartment and secure.

dishwasher rinse aid compartment capsDishwasher rinse aid compartment caps

Replacing the Rinse Aid Dispenser Dishwasher Repair

The most common parts that can cause the dishwasher to not dry properly are all listed above. There may be other components or parts that is causing your dishwasher to not dry. If you still can’t fix your dishwasher, enter the dishwasher model number here to find more parts for your particular dishwasher. A model number search will show you all the parts for your dishwasher.

Here are some good helpful tips to getting your dishes to dry faster when using your dishwasher:

  • Use “Heated Dry” This feature adds heat to promote drying.
  • Open the dishwasher door after the dishwasher turns off. This allows the moist air to escape the dishwasher and speeds up energy saving drying.
  • For energy saving drying it is best to let your dishes dry overnight.
  • Run the faucet closest to the dishwasher prior to starting the dishwasher to purge cold water from the hot water line.
  • Make sure that dishes are not touching. Fancy cookware can also keep dishes from drying properly.
  • Check the rinse aid dispenser and fill it if it is empty. Rinse aids prevent spots and promote drying by causing water to sheet off dishware and glassware.

Do you know of any other ways a dishwasher will not dry dishes? Please leave a comment below.

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