Why is my dishwasher still wet inside?

Dishwashers are designed not only to clean dishes but to also dry them. And of course, this includes drying itself in the process.

However, it might be concerning when you start noting that your dishwasher is still wet inside after every cycle. Or, perhaps it’s the dishes…

But don’t worry. After implementing the steps in this guide, your dishwasher (and dishes) will be fully dry at the end of each cycle.

Why is my dishwasher still wet inside?

To understand why your dishwasher might still be wet after a cycle we need to first understand how dishwashers work.

But don’t worry… I will keep it short and simple.

Earlier dishwasher models made use of a heating element (an air heater) and a venting system for drying.

This heater heats the air inside the dishwasher which in turn evaporates any water inside the unit. The water then escapes through the vent in the form of moisture.

However, due to tightening Energy Star ratings, many manufacturers have ditched this system in favor of the condensation drying system.

In the condensation system, dishwashers use a heated rinse cycle to cover dishes in hot water.

Since the stainless-steel walls cool faster than the dishes, the residual water evaporates from the dishes and condenses on the walls.

Most of this water will drain to the tub and eventually out of the dishwasher but some will be left on the dishwasher walls.

Pro tip: There are a few modern dishwasher models that still have a drying heater. Nonetheless, this heater runs at a lower wattage (hence lower temperature) than previous heaters hence the drying might still not be as effective.

To get rid of this condensation/water molecules, it is advisable to slightly open such dishwashers after they finish running… This helps in releasing the moisture/humidity to the outside environment faster.

With that in mind, below are some possible reasons for your dishwasher still being wet inside (and what you can do to ensure it dries fully):

The water droplets you are seeing might be due to condensation

Usually, this is the most common reason (in dishwashers with no heating element) and it is pretty normal.

As long as your dishes are drying fully, there is no need to be worried much.

However, if you want to ensure that the interior of the dishwasher dries fully, slightly open the dishwasher door after it has finished a cycle.

Doing so will make it easier for the moisture to escape the dishwasher.

The exterior dishwasher insulation might be torn off

If your model relies on a heating element to dry the dishes, there is a possibility that the dishwasher’s exterior cover might have been removed.

The thing is, during installation, some installers usually tear off the exterior insulation since it makes installation much easier.

And, the exterior insulation plays an important part in keeping the dishwasher’s interior walls hot during the drying cycle.

This helps in evaporating the water that collects on the walls – it escapes through the vent as moisture.

Pro tip: Without this insulation, the interior walls will cool down quicker hence the water won’t fully evaporate.

So, if the dishwasher has been installed recently (it’s new or has recently been repaired), confirm that the exterior insulation cover is intact – if your model is meant to have one.

If you note that the cover has been removed, it is advisable to re-install it.

It could be due to the settings you are using

Due to the tough Energy Star regulations, some settings might cancel each other resulting in poor drying.

For instance, selecting the Sani Rinse might result in the Heated Dry options not working optimally.

And in older models, the circulation fan might not come on.

And, this could be what is leaving the inside of your dishwasher (including some dishes) wet.

That said, a good option combination that you can try is Heavy Wash or High Temp Wash with Extended Heated Dry.

This will boost the drying effectiveness (dries in around 1 to 2 ½ hours) and if your appliance has a circulating fan, it will also run smoothly.

Pro tip: If you select Sani Rinse, it is advisable to open the dishwasher (once it finishes a cycle) to let it air dry.

Dishwasher not drying dishes properly – how to troubleshoot it

To fix this problem, start by following the above troubleshooting steps. That is:

  • After the dishwasher finishes a cycle, open it to let it air dry.
  • Confirm that the dishwasher’s exterior insulation is not torn off.
  • Use the right setting combinations to dry your dishes.

Other than these, here are a few extra steps to implement to increase your dishwasher’s drying performance:

Adjust the rinse aid dispenser level

Rinse aid dispensers have six different dosage levels with the lowest dosage being the factory default in most dishwashers.

You can improve your dishwasher’s drying performance by increasing this dosage level – increase it by one dosage level and test the drying effectiveness before increasing it again.

Avoid overloading the dishwasher

Of course, this is because the dishes will prevent proper airflow around the dishwasher.

And, this might result in some moisture getting trapped beneath some dishes hence why they are leaving the unit all wet.

Make sure that you are loading your dishes the right way

This is more so if the dishes are plastic or concave in nature (such as plates and cups).

During washing, water might collect on the concave part of the dishes – most plastic dishes might get flipped by the water sprays.

It will be impossible for such dishes to dry off all the water.

So, if you are washing light dishes such as plastic ones, make use of the dishwasher clips to hold these dishes in place.

And remember, the concave dishes should be put in a slanting manner to allow the water to drip down to the tub.

Why is my dishwasher still wet inside – wrapping it up

For the most part, opening the dishwasher door after the unit finishes a cycle does the trick… This helps the appliance vent out the hot moist air hence everything will be left all dry.

So, be sure to give this a try.


Why are my Cascade pods not dissolving?

Dishwasher stops after 2 minutes – mid cycle [Fixed]

Dishwasher leaking from underneath [Fixed]

What causes a dishwasher to leak out the front?

Leave a Comment