Why Isn’t My Dishwasher Drying Dishes?

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A dishwasher is a convenient thing. It is nice to not have to wash and dry each individual dish after a meal, but when your dishwasher isn’t drying your dishes then you have a problem. Water spots aren’t pretty, and having to dry each individual dish after a wash cycle kind of takes away some of the convenience.

When dishes aren’t drying in the dishwasher, it could mean some part is broken, but there are also some other small user changes that could help. If your dishes are only sometimes wet, it could be because you are overfilling your dishwasher. For larger loads where you really play Tetris with your dishes, it could limit the air flow of your dishwasher, meaning the drying cycle doesn’t have enough time to dry the dishes. Test a smaller load to see if your dishes still dry that way.

You could also try using a rinse aid to increase drying. This allows water to slide off your dishes better so that they dry more effectively.

However, if you have tried both lighter loads and a rinse aid, but your dishes are still wet or cold, it is a good indicator that something is indeed in need of repair. The two most common culprits are the dishwasher’s thermostat and its heating element.

If the thermostat in your dishwasher is faulty, it could shut the heat off prematurely and does not allow the dishes to dry properly. If you open the dishwasher during the drying cycle and find that the washer is cold, your thermostat is likely faulty. You can also test it with a multimeter to confirm.

Unfortunately, the same symptom can manifest if your dishwasher has a faulty heating element. If you run the heated dry cycle, it will not produce heat at all. You can test the heating element with a multimeter as well as check for any signs of damage on the element itself.

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