When you find yourself towel-drying every item, you may wonder, “Why does my dishwasher not dry the dishes anymore?” Loading errors can limit air circulation, leaving dishes wet. Learn more reasons for a Whirlpool dishwasher not drying dishes and the simple ways you can improve drying performance.

5 Reasons for a Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes

The most common reasons for a Whirlpool dishwasher not drying dishes are usually resolved with simple maintenance or changing your use and practice. From a lack of rinse aid to the need for hotter water, here’s what’s behind most drying issues.

Improper Loading

How you load the dishwasher and what you’re loading affect more than just drying performance. The right loading practices can increase dishwasher efficiency, resulting in cleaner dishes and prevent a smelly dishwasher.

These are common loading issues when your dishwasher isn’t drying:

  • Overloading: Too many items in the dishwasher limits air circulation, leaving dishes wet. When loading, make sure items don’t touch each other so there’s adequate space for air to flow.
  • Nesting: Silverware will remain wet, even dirty, if similar items nest against each other. Avoid nesting by alternating forks, knives, and spoons next to each other.
  • Washing Plastic Items: Plastic tends to hold on to moisture longer than other materials, like glass or ceramic. For dryer results, hand wash plastic cups and dishes or, if possible, select an additional dishwasher drying feature.

Use a Rinse Aid

Rinse aid is essential to optimum drying performance. This is because rinse aid alters the surface tension of water droplets, making them easily roll off dishes and glassware. 

Add rinse aid to the designated dispenser before each wash cycle. If your Whirlpool dishwasher leaves dishes wet, adjust the amount of rinse aid by turning the dispenser’s adjuster to a higher setting.

Whirlpool dishwasher not drying

Inadequate Drying Features

Most Whirlpool dishwashers automatically employ the Heat Dry setting for most wash cycles. When using the “Quick” or “1 Hour” wash cycles, you need to manually select the Heat Dry setting.

If you feel your Whirlpool dishwasher does not dry dishes adequately, you may be able to alter or enhance drying features. Some models offer the option of a “High” or “Low” Heated Dry function, enabling you to choose a higher setting for dryer dishes. Other models have an “Extended Dry” option that increases drying from 25-35 minutes, depending on your wash cycle.

Need Hotter Water

A Whirlpool dishwasher not drying sufficiently may need hotter water. Hot water evaporates faster, resulting in dryer dishes. Running the hot water in your kitchen sink before starting a dishwasher cycle can make heated water readily available. Ensure that your home’s hot water supply is hot enough by keeping your water heater set to at least 120℉.

Part Malfunctions

Is your Whirlpool dishwasher not drying dishes even after these troubleshooting tips? It could be that a part malfunction is impacting drying ability.

The following part malfunctions can leave dishes wet and require a professional repair:

  • Broken vent: Some dishwashers use a vent to let steamy air escape after a wash cycle. If the vent is unable to open properly, moisture will remain on the dishes. A broken vent requires replacement.
  • Failed vent fan: Other dishwashers also use a fan to blow moist air out the vent. If the fan blade doesn’t spin freely or the motor malfunctions, moist air will remain in the dishwasher, leaving dishes wet. A failed fan must be replaced.
  • Defective heating element: Sometimes, dishwashers have an electric heating element that provides heated air at the end of a wash cycle. When this element malfunctions, dishes will remain wet. If multimeter testing of the heating element shows no continuity, the heating element needs to be replaced.

The team at A-Tech Appliance Parts & Service can handle most Whirlpool dishwasher repair issues. Contact us today!