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Dishes Won't Dry in the Dishwasher? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know

Dishes Won't Dry in the Dishwasher? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know


It can be quite an inconvenicnce to open your dishwasher after a cleaning cycle to find that all of your dishes are still soaking wet. While there are simple solutions ranging from adding a rinse aid to using a heated dry setting, the problem could be with the dishwasher itself. Our friends at Sears PartsDirect have some possible fixes to try to get your dishes clean, dry and ready to go back in the cabinet.


Learn more about troubleshootin a dishwasher that's not drying dishes from Sears PartsDirect.

Potential Fixes


Test the High-Limit Thermostat

When the water in your dishwasher tub reaches a certain temperature, the high-limit thermostat turns off the heating element to prevent the unit from overheating. If the high-limit thermostat malfunctions, this could cause your dishwasher to operate at a cooler temperature by turning off the heating element too soon. Higher temperatures help your dishes dry faster during the cycle, and cooler operation could prevent the drying cycle from completing. To troubleshoot your high-limit thermostat, use a multimeter to see whether electricity is running properly. If no electricity is measured at room temperature, you will need to replace your high-limit thermostat.


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Learn more about replacing a dishwasher high-limit thermostat from Sears PartsDirect.


High-limit thermostat

Heating element

Examine the Heating Element

The heating element is responsible for heating the dishwasher tub and getting your dishes clean, but it also assists in drying your dishes at the end of a cycle. Examine your heating element for visible signs of damage or disfunction. If you don’t feel much or any heat from your dishwasher during or at the end of a cycle, check for any faulty wiring, issues with the control settings or a blown fuse in the heating circuit.


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Learn more about replacing a dishwasher heating element from Sears PartsDirect.


Replace the Vent and Fan Assembly

Once your dishwasher begins its drying cycle, the vent opens so the fan can move all of the hot air and moisture out of the tub. If the vent fails to open or the fan fails to operate, the moisture inside the tub won’t be able to escape, making it much harder for the dishes inside to dry. If you also notice that your dishwasher stops in the middle of the cycle, this is another possible sign that your fan is to blame. If either the fan or vent fails, it’s time to replace it.


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Learn more about replacing a dishwasher vent and fan assembly from Sears PartsDirect.


Vent and fan assembly

Detergent dispenser

Replace the Detergent Dispenser

If you notice that dishwasher detergent is leaking before, during or after a cycle, this could be a sign that it’s not opening at the proper time. Examine the detergent dispenser and latch for any signs of visible damage. If it’s not opening properly, or if there are any cracks or dents, replace the detergent dispenser or dispenser assembly.


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Learn more about replacing a dishwasher detergent dispenser from Sears PartsDirect.