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Why Does My Whirlpool Dishwasher Leaves Dishes Wet?

While a dishwasher’s drying capability is just as helpful as its cleaning power, it often goes unnoticed until dishes stay wet. Why does my Whirlpool dishwasher not dry the dishes like it should? A lack of rinse aid can allow water droplets to collect, preventing adequate drying. Try these DIY solutions to maximize drying when your Whirlpool dishwasher leaves dishes wet.

What To Do When Your Whirlpool Dishwasher Leaves Dishes Wet

Modern dishwashers effectively use different drying methods to ensure that water is removed after a wash cycle ends. Most are so proficient that often simple changes to your use and care can improve performance when your Whirlpool dishwasher leaves dishes wet. Here’s what you can do to optimize drying and minimize lingering moisture.

Dishwasher Not Loaded Properly

Overloading not only leaves dishes dirty but is one of the biggest reasons your Whirlpool dishwasher doesn’t dry sufficiently. When too many items are crowded together, hot air flow is restricted, allowing water to linger. Failure to use racks as intended or positioning dirty items incorrectly can also allow water to collect.

whirlpool dishwasher leaves dishes wet

These rack-by-rack tips illustrate how to load a dishwasher for dryer dishes:

  • Top rack: Reserve for cups, bowls, mugs and glasses. Position each upside down so water can adequately drain.
  • Bottom rack: Designed for dishes, platters and cookware. Place one dish per slot so air can flow between each and position concave cookware upside down for better draining.
  • Silverware basket: Meant for eating utensils and small cutlery. Avoid nesting by alternating forks, spoons and knives next to each other so air can flow between each.

Unloading Dishes in the Wrong Order

Did you know that unloading the top rack first could be the reason your Whirlpool dishwasher leaves dishes wet? Removing upper items first allows any trapped water to splash on dishes in the bottom rack, making them wet. Always unload the bottom rack first so any water from items above falls on an empty rack.

Not Using a Rinse Aid

A Whirlpool dishwasher not drying dishes could be in need of rinse aid. This essential liquid alters the surface tension of water droplets so they drip off dishes and glassware with ease, improving drying. 

Most Whirlpool dishwashers have a rinse aid dispenser in close proximity to the detergent dispenser. While some hold enough rinse aid for multiple wash cycles, others must be filled with each wash load. These types of dispensers can also be adjusted to release more rinse aid for larger loads.

whirlpool dishwasher not drying dishes

Heated Dry Setting Not Being Used

A Heated Dry setting uses a heating element to warm the air inside the dishwasher. It also utilizes a fan and a vent to blow out moist air. Consult your user manual to determine if your Whirlpool dishwasher has a Heated Dry option. While it’s automatically selected for most cycles, others require you to manually select it before starting a wash cycle. Some model dishwashers also allow you to adjust the intensity of the Heated Dry function with high or low settings. 

Defective Whirlpool Dishwasher Parts

What if you find your Whirlpool dishwasher heated dry not working correctly? Like many common dishwasher problems, a defective part could be responsible.

The following part failures could be why your Whirlpool dishwasher leaves dishes wet, requiring professional service:

  • Vent: On some models, a Whirlpool dishwasher vent opens and closes to allow moist air to exit the dishwasher. If the vent doesn’t open properly, this moist air will linger, leaving dishes wet.
  • Vent fan motor: Dishwashers with a vent also utilize a fan to help expel moist air. If the fan blades don’t turn easily by hand or the fan motor fails multimeter testing, it’s typically defective.
  • Heating element: A failed heating element won’t heat the air inside the dishwasher, preventing water from dissipating. If the heating element shows no continuity with multimeter testing, it has likely failed.

Sometimes, a DIY solution can’t result in dryer dishes. In that case, contact Capital City Appliance Service for the best Whirlpool dishwasher repair Columbus!

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