Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes? 4 Simple Reasons Why

You open the dishwasher expecting to find steaming-hot, clean dishes. Instead, you see cold, wet plates. Let’s find out and fix why dishwasher not drying dishes…

Dishwashers take all the fuss out of cleaning your plates, cups, and other kitchenware items. After washing each item several times, the machine will generate heat to dry them for you. But why would a dishwasher clean without drying the dishes?

Why is your dishwasher not drying dishes? First, check that you’ve chosen the correct dishwashing cycle for the items inside. Besides that, overloading the racks with too many things will prevent some of them from drying thoroughly. A clogged air vent, a failed blower fan, and a faulty heating element can prevent the machine from drying correctly.

If you’re dealing with this problem, don’t worry. This guide will show you why this problem is happening to your dishwasher and how you can fix it yourself.

Note: We will be using an LG dishwasher as an example throughout this article, but the principles will apply to most other models out there.

Why Is My LG Dishwasher Not Drying The Dishes?

Your LG dishwasher should leave your kitchenware completely dry by the end of a cycle. If that doesn’t happen and your plates are still wet, here are the most likely reasons (and what you can do to fix them!):

Plastic Dishes or Incorrect Dishwashing Cycle

About this: A thorough troubleshooting process will take a fair amount of time and effort. So, before going any further, start the process by looking at the causes within your control.

For example, consider the types of dishes that you’ve loaded into the machine and the dishwashing cycle you’ve chosen.

Firstly, you must understand that different kitchenware materials will dry at different rates. Secondly, the dishwashing cycle you choose must match the kind of items you’re cleaning and not just their soil levels.

What’s happening: When you find that your LG dishwasher isn’t drying your dishes thoroughly, check to see if they are made of plastic.

Typically, kitchenware will absorb the heat from your dishwasher. That heat then helps to dry the item’s surface quickly.

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Unfortunately, plastic kitchenware does not dry the same way. The plastic material doesn’t absorb and retain heat, so it might not be dry by the end of the dishwashing cycle.

For that same reason, if your dishwasher’s contents are a mix of plastic and other materials, the standard dishwashing cycles will not be enough to dry them thoroughly.

How to fix it: One of the most straightforward solutions to this problem is using the AUTO cycle when cleaning plastic kitchenware. That way, the dishwasher will have more flexibility in lengthening the cleaning cycle to leave you with dry dishes.

Read: 5 LG Dishwasher Problems You Need To Know

Overloaded Or Incorrectly Loaded Racks

dishwasher not drying dishes

About this: You must also understand the correct loading of your dishwasher’s racks. Each LG dishwasher model has a maximum capacity that you must stick to. And ideally, you should also spread each item out to maximize its drying.

You can find LG’s recommendations for your specific dishwasher model in the user manual. In addition, you’ll discover how many items you can load into the machine and how they should be arranged for ideal drying.

When you arrange the kitchenware correctly, hot air can flow past smoothly and dry each item thoroughly.

What’s happening: A common reason dishes come out wet at the end of a cycle is that the machine has been overloaded with too many items. The same will also happen if the items are arranged incorrectly.

For example, putting too many plates and cups in the dishwasher prevents air from drying all those items correctly.

But even if you didn’t overload the machine, any items stacked against each other will prevent the dishwasher from drying them. That’s because the hot air can’t reach all parts of your kitchenware, leaving some parts wet at the end of the dishwashing cycle.

How to fix it: Maximizing the load in your LG dishwasher is an excellent idea because it makes the washing process more efficient. However, you must be careful not to overload the dishwasher.

As each model has a different capacity, you must refer to the user manual to know how many items are safe to load into the appliance.

On top of that, try to space out each item as much as possible. Then, for the best results, ensure that each item’s surfaces (e.g. the plates’ fronts and backs) are exposed to the air and not covered by anything else. 

That will maximize cleaning and make it easier for the dishwasher to dry those plates.

Read: How To Fix LG Dishwasher Which Has No Power?

Air Vent Problems (dishwasher not drying dishes)

About this: Your LG dishwasher dries the kitchenware inside by circulating hot air. The air is driven through the compartment by a blower motor, removing moisture in the process.

Then, that moist air escapes the dishwasher through an air vent into the surrounding air. That drying process will continue until the end of the dishwashing cycle.

What’s happening: Even if your LG dishwasher can generate hot air inside, none will matter if there’s a problem with the air vent. Typically, the air vent could be clogged, or the blower motor might have failed.

When either of those things happens, the moist air won’t flow out of the dishwasher. That means the excess moisture will stay trapped inside the machine, keeping your kitchenware wet even at the end of the cycle.

How to fix it: Firstly, ensure that the air vent isn’t blocked by anything. That includes foreign objects that might have gotten stuck inside the vent.

If the problem keeps happening even after you’ve cleared the vent, the blower fan has likely failed and must be replaced with a new one.

Read: How To Fix LE Error Code On LG Dishwasher?

Failed Heating Element

About this: Earlier, you read that your LG dishwasher dries the items inside by circulating hot air. While the vent and blower are responsible for distributing the air, there’s a heating element at the bottom designed to raise the air’s temperature.

The heating element is electrically powered. When electricity flows through the element’s high-resistance metal, it converts into heat that allows the machine to dry your plates, cups, and other kitchenware.

What’s happening: The final reason your LG dishwasher isn’t drying dishes is the heating element has failed. Without any heat from that element, the cold air can’t make your kitchenware dry even after circulating air for an extended period.

How to fix it: Heating elements aren’t repairable. So, regardless of the root cause, you’ll have to replace a failed heating element with a new one.

Thankfully, that’s pretty straightforward. It’s as easy as disconnecting the existing heating element and connecting a new one.

You can perform this repair yourself, but be sure to disconnect the dishwasher’s power supply before you do.

Read: How To Reset CL Error Code On LG Dishwasher?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are a few more questions and answers that will help you troubleshoot your LG dishwasher more effectively:

Is It Safe To Put Plastic In The Dishwasher?

Yes, you can put plastic in a dishwasher. However, you must only use dishwasher-safe plastic kitchenware when you do that. Any other kind of plastic will likely melt from the heat or break into pieces stuck in the dishwasher’s parts.

How Do I Get My LG Dishwasher To Open Automatically?

Some LG dishwashers will open their doors automatically to speed up the drying process. If your model has that feature, you can enable or disable it by pressing and holding the Energy Saver and High Temp buttons for 3 seconds.

Read: How To Fix E1 Error Code On LG Dishwasher?

Does It Matter Which Way Dishes Face In A Dishwasher?

Yes, the way dishes face in your LG dishwasher will affect how well the machine can wash and dry them. As a general rule of thumb, you should ensure all dishes face the middle of the bottom rack. However, you can refer to the user manual for your model to see LG’s recommendations for the ideal dish arrangement.

Should You Fully Load A Dishwasher?

Yes, you should fully load a dishwasher, but you must never overload it. Fully loading a dishwasher will maximize its energy efficiency and water usage. However, loading too many items into the appliance will cause some to remain wet and dirty at the end of the cycle.

What Is The Auto Cycle On A Dishwasher?

The Auto Cycle on an LG dishwasher uses sensors to measure the soiled items inside the compartment. Then, the dishwasher can automatically adjust itself to use the most effective cleaning settings available.

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