8 Reasons Your Whirlpool Dishwasher Is Not Drying Dishes

If you open your dishwasher and find that the dishes are still wet, you might wonder why the appliance isn’t completing the washing process. While a minor inconvenience, this issue warrants a closer look as there are several reasons this could be happening. Read on to discover why your Whirlpool dishwasher is not drying dishes and what you can do to fix the issue. 

Why Your Whirlpool Dishwasher Is Not Drying Dishes

In this section, I will explain each possible reason your Whirlpool dishwasher is not drying its content. Whether that’s from not loading the appliance properly, to broken or worn-out components, knowing each possible cause will help you troubleshoot the issue, allowing you to get it fixed, quickly. 

1. Dishwasher Not Loaded Properly

A dishwasher needs to be loaded in the correct manner for the dishes to wash and dry adequately. If you overload the dishes, there will not be enough space between the items for air or water to flow, leading to unsatisfactory cleaning and drying.

If you find that you are used to loading your dishwasher haphazardly, try following the tips below to get better results.

  • Top Rack: The top rack is designed for small items, glasses, cups, and bowls. Place these items upside down to promote adequate washing and drying.
  • Bottom Rack: The bottom rack is suitable for plates, pots, pans, and other large items. Place items facing inward to promote good water and air flow and try not to allow the dishes to touch. 
  • Silverware Basket: The best way to ensure the silverware washes and dries completely is to place forks, knives, and spoons together in each compartment. The different sizes and shapes will keep the pieces from “sticking together.” If your dishwasher’s silverware basket has individual compartments for the pieces, do not overcrowd the space by placing more than one item in each compartment. 
whirlpool dishwasher not drying dishes

2. Not Using The Heat Dry Function

Your Whirlpool dishwasher has a heated dry function that should quickly dry the dishes after the wash cycle. If you don’t select this function before starting the appliance, the heating element won’t engage when needed.

Before starting the dishwasher, make sure the heat dry function is selected to take full advantage of your dishwasher’s capabilities. 

3. Not Using Rinse Aid

The dishwasher rinse aid is designed to leave dishes sparkling clean. It works by altering the molecules of the water droplets, so they slide off the dishes easier and leave behind less moisture. As a result, your dishwasher does not have to work as hard to dry the dishes. 

If you have never used rinse aid in your dishwasher, or have never thought it necessary, give it a try. There are several brands on the market, and all you have to do is add it to the rinse compartment of your dishwasher. Once you have used a rinse aid, you will wonder how you ever lived without it. 

4. Low Water Temperature

Our dishes could be the result of using water that is not hot enough. The hotter the water, the faster it evaporates from your tableware.

You can ensure the water is hot enough when running your dishwasher by turning on the hot water faucet and letting it run for a few seconds before starting the dishwasher. This will bring the hot water up to the appliance, so it is readily available right away. Also, you can check your home’s water heater. For proper dishwasher operation, the water heater should be set to at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. 

5. Plastic Items Don’t Retain Heat

When removing items from your dishwasher you will no doubt have noticed how hot they are. Well, it’s this residual heat in ceramic and glass that helps evaporate the moisture and dry off the dishes. 

Plastic dishes and containers don’t have the same thermal properties as glass and ceramic, which means they do not dry as quickly. If the load you are washing contains several plastic items, this may prevent other dishes from drying too, as the residual water drips onto other items. 

For best drying results with your Whirlpool dishwasher, limit the number of plastic dishes you place in a load or opt to wash plastic dishes and containers by hand. 

6. Faulty Heating Element

Your dishwasher’s heating element is a major component of the drying process. It puts out heat to help dry the dishes. If the heating element is faulty, it won’t produce the heat necessary, and your dishes will come out wet. 

Our appliance repair technicians will be able to diagnose any faults by using a multimeter to test the heating element for continuity. If there is none, the part will need to be replaced. 

7. Faulty Vent Fan

Another important component in the drying process of your dishwasher is the vent fan. This fan is responsible for moving moist air up and off the dishes. If the fan does not turn easily or cannot turn at all, your dishes will still be wet when the dishwasher is done. 

Again, you can check this part with a multimeter. If there is no continuity, the component will need to replace it. 

8. Broken Vent

Some Whirlpool dishwashers have a vent that lets moist air out so dishes can dry faster. If this vent is broken or fails to open, the moist air gets trapped inside the dishwasher and your dishes will not dry properly. If your dishwasher’s vent is broken, it will need to be replaced. 

FAQs Whirlpool Dishwasher Is Not Drying

Why is My Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Drying and Leaving White Residue

A dishwasher not drying properly can be caused by improper loading of the appliance or faulty components. The white residue is likely limescale left behind by the moisture your dishwasher failed to dry. 

Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Drying After Replacing Heating Element

The heating element was likely not the cause of your Whirlpool dishwasher not drying. Make sure that you are loading the appliance correctly, the water is hot enough, and add a rinse aid to the machine before running it. If this does not solve your problem, check the vent and/or vent fan with a multimeter to make sure they are not malfunctioning. 

You may also like to read Why Does Your Dishwasher Gurgle When Draining

Appliance Service Technician | Website | + posts

Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Yahoo.com.