wet dishes in the dishwasher

Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes – Causes and Solutions

If your dishwasher isn’t drying the dishes anymore, this could be caused by a few issues. Don’t worry; these issues can be easily solved in most cases. 

Below, we have some of the most common causes of why a dishwasher may not be drying your dishes anymore and the solutions to these issues. 

As always, we’re starting with the easiest ones to solve and moving on to the slightly more complex ones.


Cause 1: Vent Is Blocked or Clogged

dishwasher vent

Most dishwashers have a vent that releases the hot and steamy air generated during the washing cycle.

During the rinse cycle, the vent should open and begin releasing all the air. If this doesn’t happen, the hot, steamy air will remain in the dishwasher and leave your dishes wet.

Solution: Clean or replace the vent

If there’s an issue with the vent in your dishwasher, there is usually a fairly simple fix. It is typically just blocked or clogged. In this case, a simple cleaning will be enough to solve the issue. 

Or the vent may not be working. In this case, a replacement may be required. To replace the vent, you need to:

1. Locate the vent

Firstly, ensure there is no power going to the dishwasher. The dishwasher vent, in most cases, is located in the door panel, and you need to unscrew the door from the inside to gain access to the guts of the vent if you need to replace it.

2. Gain access to the vent

In some cases, you also need to remove the screws holding in the control panel. You can use a cable tie or some sturdy string to hold the control panel to the top of the door while you replace the vent. This saves you from disconnecting everything.

3. Remove the outer door panel

Now the control board housing and control panel are out of the way, you can pull the outer door panel off the inner door panel. Place this somewhere safe out of the way.

4. Remove the vent

You’ll see the dishwasher vent on the top left side of the inner door panel. To remove it, first, rotate the cover anti-clockwise, then lift it off the door.

5. Remove the gasket and attach it to the new vent

Before you add your new vent, remove the gasket from the old one and put it on the new vent. Most new dishwasher vents are not supplied with a gasket, so reusing the old one saves some money on buying a new gasket.

6. Install the new vent

Add the new vent by putting it in place and turning it clockwise until it is in place.

7. Reinstall the door panel

Reinstall the door panel you removed and the control board panel, and give the dishwasher a test.


Cause 2: Faulty High Limit Thermostat

High Limit Thermostat in dishwasher

This thermostat prevents the dishwasher from getting too hot. If this is faulty, it can cut off the heat prematurely. 

This means the dishwasher won’t get hot enough to turn the water into steam, so your dishes won’t dry properly. Switching out the thermostat should solve this issue.

Solution: Replace the high limit thermostat

1. Locate the thermostat

This thermostat is located in the bottom access panel inside the dishwasher. 

Simply unscrew the screws holding the panel in place (making sure to unplug the dishwasher first). Once the screws are removed, the panel will lift off. Put this panel to the side for now.

Using a torch, take a look underneath this panel and locate the thermostat. There is a bracket that holds this in place. 

A simple tug with your hand should pop the whole assembly out of position. Take care here; while the bracket and thermostat have been disconnected, there are still wires running to them.

2. Disconnect the wires and thermostat

Now that you’ve got the thermostat and bracket in hand disconnect the wires. In most cases, there are connectors holding the wires in place, so simply removing these is all it takes. 

Once this is done, you can remove the old thermostat from the bracket.

3. Insert the new thermostat

Now it’s time to place the new thermostat into the bracket. Connect the wires to the new thermostat and put it back in place.

4. Put everything back together

Once the new dishwasher thermostat is in place, you can pop the panel back in, screw it down and give the dishwasher a test.

If everything went well, your dishwasher should be working correctly again, and it should be getting your dishes dry.

We hope this look at possible causes of a dishwasher not drying your dishes has been helpful. For more info about dishwasher problems, please explore In The Wash further.

We have plenty of explanations of common issues with dishwashers and how to fix them. We also have the best dishwashers available in the UK right now for any budget. Just in case you can’t fix your dishwasher!