Your dishwasher is one of your most important kitchen appliances. You rely on it, not only to wash your dishes, but to dry them too. When the dishes aren’t drying like they should, there may be a problem with your dishwasher. 

Most dishwashers have a dry cycle that uses heat to dry the dishes. If you’re opening your dishwasher after a cycle to find your dishes still wet, there may be a problem with the dry cycle. Rather than drying your dishes by hand, you may want to troubleshoot the problem and see if you can get to the bottom of it. 

Here’s what you can do if your dishwasher isn’t drying your dishes. 

Is the Heated Dry Setting On?

This may seem obvious, but check to make sure the heated dry setting is turned on. Sometimes there is only a switch that turns it on and off, so if it gets flipped into the wrong position, your heated dry cycle won’t work. Consult your manual if your dishwasher is new and you’re not sure how to turn the heated dry cycle on. 

Do You Feel Heat?

If the heated dry cycle is on, check to see if you feel any heat. Close your dishwasher and let it run on the heated cycle for a few minutes, then open it and you should feel heat. If there is no heat coming from inside your dishwasher, there could be a problem with one of these two parts: 

  • Heating Element. The heating element is typically a U-shaped wire near the bottom or back of your dishwasher. It heats up while the dishwasher is running to heat the water and dishes for a more thorough wash. It also heats up during the heated dry cycle to accelerate the drying process. If the heating element is not heating up, the heated dry cycle won’t work. 
  • High Limit Thermostat. There is also a safety feature called the high limit thermostat that will shut off the heating element if it detects too high a temperature inside the dishwasher. If this is malfunctioning, it could cause your heating element to shut down too quickly before sufficiently drying the dishes. 

Unless you are familiar with dishwasher mechanics, you may need to call a professional appliance repair service to inspect and repair these parts of your dishwasher. 

Is the Detergent Dispenser Working Properly?

Check your detergent dispenser. At the end of a cycle it should be open and the detergent should be sufficiently rinsed out. If the detergent dispenser doesn’t open properly, that can cause the rest of your dishwasher cycle to stop before finishing. This means it may never enter the dry cycle. The wash cycle and rinse cycles may also be incomplete. If the dishes don’t look clean, the problem may be occurring before the dry cycle. 

Is There Water Trapped Between Dishes?

Sometimes the dishes won’t dry if they are too close together. Water can get trapped between plates and silverware that is pressed together in the dishwasher and it may not dry completely. If the dishes feel warm, but there is water in a few places where there is contact between dishes, it may be necessary to load the dishwasher differently to eliminate the problem. 

Are The Dishes Plastic? 

Plastic tends to be more problematic when it comes to drying. For one, the plastic dishes, in the top rack especially, do not get as hot as glass dishes or metal silverware. This means they will not dry as quickly. Plastic dishes also tend to have edges and small areas where water can gather, making it less likely to evaporate. Cups and glasses with concave bottoms are another spot for pooling water that may not dry. In other words, it may be your dishes and not your dishwasher that is the problem. 

America’s Appliance Repair Provides Dishwasher Services

If your dishwasher is not working properly in any way, America’s Appliance Repair can diagnose the problem and provide a recommendation for repair or replacement of the appliance. We can provide you with a fast estimate of the cost of the necessary repair, giving you the chance to decide how you want to proceed. In most cases we can have your dishwasher working properly again the same day. 

Call 800-639-9340 or contact us today to schedule a service appointment.