Dishwashers and heating (or why aren’t my dishes dry?)

Are your dishes not getting dry in your dishwasher?
Are your dishes not getting dry in your dishwasher? Photo Source: stock.xchng/

If you have problems with your dishes still being wet when at the end of the dry cycle, check to see if the rinse aid dispenser needs filling, check to see how well the dishes are loaded, and make sure a large item doesn’t block smaller items.

Did you use the proper amount of detergent? Too little or too much detergent can have an affect on how well dishes dry. Have you selected the heated drying option? A rinse aid can help your dishes to dry better also. Is the rinse aid dispenser empty?

The next things to check are the filters, drain valve, drying fan, heating element, and the thermostat. Sometimes a clogged filter will prevent all the water from being able to exit the unit.

Clean or replace clogged filters. A faulty drain valve that leaves too much water in the cabinet can be to blame. Is there too much standing water left in the unit after the dry cycle is complete? Check for blockages at drain valve then.

Some dishwashers have a fan that circulates the cabinet air to help dry the dishes. If the fan is not working properly, you need to replace it. At the bottom of the dishwasher is a heating element that warms the air in the dishwasher. The increased temperature speeds up the evaporation process and decreases the drying time. Visually inspect the element and look for any burned or broken areas on it, and if it’s burned out or if you can’t measure continuity with it removed, it will need to be replaced.

There is also a thermostat that measures the water temperature and drying temperature. If the thermostat is faulty, the cycles may not complete properly. If it’s faulty, you need to replace it. You may want to unload the dishes in the bottom rack first so that any water left pooled on dishes in the top rack won’t spill onto the bottom rack’s dishes.

Looking for more dishwasher repair help online? Visit our dishwasher repair section at Here, you will find answers to such questions as: Why does an error code display? Why doesn’t my dishwasher work at all? Why are the dishes still dirty? Should I pre-wash my dishes? What’s the best way to load the dishwasher?

You can also order any needed dishwasher parts online at and get them shipped to you, most often, the same day, so you can make that repair quickly. If you need any help finding the correct part for your dishwasher, call us at 1-888-279-2463, or click on the chat live button at the top of the APWagner site.

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