Stuck trying to figure out why your dishwasher is not drying?

Sadly, I’ve been there too. There’s nothing more frustrating than opening the dishwasher, only to find that the dishes are still wet.

If your dishwasher is always wet inside, chances are the heated drying setting is disabled, you didn’t use a rinse aid, your dishwasher is overloaded, or the door is closed. A faulty heating element, high-limit thermostat, or vent could also explain the issue.

But, don’t worry. The good news is that you’ve come to the right place to get these problems solved.

Keep reading to learn the different ways in which you can stop your dishwasher from always being wet inside!

Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying? Try These 7 Simple Fixes

You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve seen struggle with this issue, some of them have even searched for new dishwashers.

Luckily, you might find comfort in knowing that you might solve this problem on your own without having to replace your entire appliance.

Read on to learn how to fix the issue!

#1 Check Your Settings

Although using a dishwasher is a great way to save time, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that its performance issues can be super annoying.

Luckily, more often than not, these problems can be easily fixed by making sure that the correct settings are selected.

You see, dishwashers have a heated drying cycle that forces hot air through your dishwasher to remove moisture from your dishes.

Normally, this setting is automatically disabled because it adds 30 minutes to your washing cycle and increases energy consumption.

But, if you’d like to stop your dishwasher from always being wet, you may need to enable the heated drying cycle by pressing the “Heated Dry” button (it is usually located in the control panel).

Please bear in mind that according to Atlantic Coast Appliance, this setting can increase your energy consumption by at least 15%, which will have an impact on your energy bill.

#2 Use a Rinse Aid

You may not know this, but rinse aids not only prevent water spots, but they can also make your dishes dry faster.

So, if your dishwasher is not drying, there’s a good chance your rinse aid dispenser is empty.

To check if that’s the case, please open the rinse aid dispenser. Normally, it’s located on or next to the detergent dispenser.

Once you’ve found it, you’ll need to remove the cap from the rinse aid dispenser and use a turkey baster to remove any liquids left. Then, rinse with water.

This process will also help you get rid of any blockages that were preventing your rinse aid from getting to your dishes.

After cleaning the dispenser, please pour the rinse aid.

Dishwasher rinse aid
Pour the rinse aid until it reaches the max line.

#3 Don’t Overfill Your Dishwasher

Having an overloaded appliance can explain why your dishwasher is not drying your dishes evenly.

This is why I recommend checking your appliance to make sure it’s loaded correctly.

How to load a dishwasher
Make sure your appliance is not overloaded. This way, you’ll keep your dishwasher from being always wet.

Try these tips to prevent this issue from happening again:

  • Make sure your dishes and cutlery are not touching each other.
  • Face your dishes toward the center. This will ensure that the sprayer arms can rinse all dishes evenly.
  • Angle dishes downward. By doing this, the water will drain, and your dishes will dry evenly.
  • Place the plastic dishes on the top rack to keep them from melting. Bear in mind that plastic may remain wet while ceramic and glass dishes are dry. You may need to manually dry the plastic dishware.
  • Make sure you unload the bottom dishes first. This way, the remaining water that is on the top racks won’t make your dishes wet.

#4 Open the Dishwasher

After you’re sure your dishwasher is loaded correctly, you’ll need to start a wash cycle. Once it’s over, please open the door.

I know this may sound weird, but believe me, this quick fix could stop your dishwasher from always being wet.

You see, your dishwasher uses hot water on the wash cycles. So, if you don’t open the door, the residual steam will be trapped inside the dishwasher and your dishes will become wet again.

#5 Check the Heating Element

Now, it’s time for us to make sure that the heating element is working correctly.

If it’s not, the air inside the appliance won’t be heated, which could explain why your dishwasher is not drying.

But, don’t worry. You can easily check if that’s the case by using a multimeter. This device measures the electric current, voltage, and resistance, which will help us determine if your dishwasher’s heating element is damaged.

You can find a multimeter in every home store or on Amazon.

To test the heating element, you’ll need to:

  1. Unplug your dishwasher from the power source.
  2. Remove the heating element from the base of your dishwasher’s tub. You may need to lie down on the floor, so if you are unable to do it, please ask someone for help.
  3. Make sure you label the wires attached to the heating element before you remove them. This way, you can properly reconnect them later.
  4. Set your multimeter to the ohms setting x1. Then, touch each probe to the terminals.

The readings of your multimeter should be somewhere between 15 and 30 ohms. If that’s not the case, then the heating element is damaged, and you’ll need to replace it.

Tip: If your dishwasher is not heating the water, try this fix.

#6 Check the High-Limit Thermostat

The high-limit thermostat keeps your appliance from overheating. However, if it’s defective, your dishwasher’s heating element will be shut off before your dishes get dry.

This is why you need to test the high-limit thermostat at room temperature. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Unplug your dishwasher from the wall outlet.
  2. Remove the bottom panel and check the bottom of the dishwasher tub. You should be able to see the high-limit thermostat.
  3. Carefully disconnect the wires attached to the high-limit thermostat. Then, remove the piece from the dishwasher.
  4. Use a probe to touch one of the thermostat’s terminals, and a different probe to touch the other terminal.
  5. If the reading shows 0, the high-limit thermostat is working correctly.

If the reading shows a different number, the thermostat needs to be replaced.

You can also test the thermostat’s response to temperature change by repeating the process above but placing the thermostat on an electric griddle. The multimeter’s needle should stay at 0.

If the high-limit thermostat is damaged, you’ll need to replace it or call a professional.

#7 Make Sure the Vent Is Working Correctly

If you’ve tried all the fixes above, but your dishwasher is still wet inside, then you’ll need to check the vent.

This component is in charge of releasing hot air. So, if it’s stuck or won’t open, your dishes won’t dry.

If your dishwasher’s vent is damaged, you’ll need to replace it. This process may vary depending on your dishwasher’s model.

This is why I recommend checking the manual. If you can’t find it, please go to Google and search for the brand of your dishwasher and model.

For example, if you own a Samsung dishwasher, you’ll need to type in the search bar “Samsung [model] dishwasher manual PDF”.

Once you find the manual, please read it to learn how to access your dishwasher’s vent. Or, you can also call a professional.


There’s nothing more annoying than not being able to put your dishes away because they’re not dry.

Luckily, now that we’ve covered everything, you’ll be able to stop your dishwasher from always being wet.

If you take anything away, remember to check your settings, use a rinse aid, open your dishwasher’s door, and unload your appliance.

Moreover, don’t forget to check the heating element, vent, and high-limit thermostat and replace them if they’re damaged.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. If you found it helpful, please check out our related content below.

Have a wonderful rest of the day!