Why Is My Dishwasher No Longer Drying?

Jul 22, 2023, 11:37am

If you notice that your dishwasher no longer dries, that there are drops on the dishes after the program has been run, then there is a drying problem. Lack of drying is often linked to a water heating problem.

Before testing the dishwasher elements, it is easy to determine if the water is heated during washing. Just run a program then, after 30 minutes, open the dishwasher and see if steam comes out.

The components that will then be tested are:

  • the heating resistor,
  • the temperature sensor,
  • the thermal probe
  • the rinse aid,
  • and the drying fan.

A dishwasher that no longer dries your dishes can be frustrating and can leave you with wet, damp, and unclean dishes after the washing cycle. Proper drying is an essential part of the dishwasher’s functionality, and when it fails, it can be due to various factors. In this article, we will explore some common reasons behind a dishwasher no longer drying and provide guidance on how to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

Why Is My Dishwasher No Longer Drying?

1. Insufficient Rinse Aid

Rinse aid is a crucial component in ensuring effective drying in a dishwasher. If the rinse aid dispenser is empty or not adequately filled, it can result in poor drying performance. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Check Rinse Aid Levels: Ensure that your dishwasher’s rinse aid dispenser is filled to the appropriate level. Refer to the dishwasher’s manual for instructions on how to check and refill the rinse aid.
  2. Adjust Rinse Aid Dosage: Some dishwashers have adjustable rinse aid settings. Experiment with different settings to find the optimal dosage for your dishwasher and water conditions.

2. Water Temperature Issues

Proper drying in a dishwasher relies on high water temperatures during the final rinse cycle. If the water temperature is too low, it can hinder the drying process. Follow these steps:

  1. Check Water Temperature: Ensure that your dishwasher is receiving hot water. Run the hot water faucet at your sink before starting the dishwasher to ensure the water entering the machine is sufficiently hot.
  2. Verify the Water Heater Temperature: Check the temperature setting on your water heater. It should be set to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) for optimal dishwasher performance.

3. Overloading the Dishwasher

Overloading the dishwasher can restrict proper air circulation, preventing dishes from drying effectively. Consider these steps:

  1. Load Dishes Properly: Arrange dishes in a way that allows adequate space between them for air to circulate. Avoid stacking dishes too closely together, especially on the lower rack.
  2. Unload the Bottom Rack First: If your dishwasher has a heating element at the bottom, unload the bottom rack first to prevent any water droplets from falling onto the dishes below.

4. Malfunctioning Heating Element

The heating element in the dishwasher plays a crucial role in drying the dishes. If it is malfunctioning, it can result in poor drying performance. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Inspect the Heating Element: Locate the heating element in your dishwasher (usually at the bottom) and check for any visible signs of damage or breakage. If the heating element appears damaged, it will need to be replaced.
  2. Run a Diagnostics Test: Some dishwashers have a diagnostics mode that allows you to test the heating element’s functionality. Consult your dishwasher’s manual for instructions on how to run a diagnostics test.


Most dishwashers are equipped with a drying fan. It can be housed in the control panel or under the tank.

Condensation or turbo drying works with a fan. If the fan is no longer functional, it may create abnormal noise. In this case, you must replace it.

To test the drying fan, select the caliber 200 or 600 ohms on your multimeter then measure its ohmic value which must be between 100 and 300 ohms.

Why Is My Dishwasher No Longer Drying?

5. Door Seal Issues

A damaged or worn door seal can lead to heat escaping from the dishwasher, reducing its drying efficiency. Follow these steps:

  1. Inspect the Door Seal: Check the rubber gasket or door seal around the edge of the dishwasher door for any damage or wear. Replace the seal if necessary.
  2. Ensure Proper Door Closure: Make sure the dishwasher door closes and seals properly during the wash and dry cycles. If the door does not close securely, it may need realignment or adjustment.

In conclusion, a dishwasher that no longer dries your dishes effectively can be caused by insufficient rinse aid, water temperature issues, overloading the dishwasher, a malfunctioning heating element, or door seal issues. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can identify and address many of these issues. Regularly maintaining your dishwasher, using the correct detergent and rinse aid, and ensuring proper loading can help improve drying performance. However, if the problem persists or you are uncertain about performing any repairs yourself, it is best to consult a professional technician for further assistance. They will have the expertise to diagnose the underlying cause of the drying issue and provide the appropriate repair or adjustment to ensure your dishwasher operates efficiently and effectively, leaving your dishes clean and dry after every cycle.