GE Dishwasher Not Drying? (here’s what to do)

Dishwashers are a great labour saving device, no longer do you have to wash and dry all of your dishes by hand. You simply load the dishwasher, press start and pack the clean dry dishes away after the cycle has completed. 

If your dishwasher isn’t drying after washing your dishes, it is a problem. However, in many cases it’s an easy to fix problem that doesn’t require any technical know-how at all.

If you own a GE dishwasher and it’s not drying your dishes, keep reading. In this article we take a close look at all of the reasons why your GE dishwasher might fail to dry and explain the best ways to fix these issues.

Why Is My GE Dishwasher Not Drying?

There are several reasons why a GE dishwasher might not dry which include;

Probable CauseSolution
Dishes Not Stacked ProperlyNever overload the dishwasher’s racks
Removing Dishes In The Wrong OrderAlways empty the bottom rack first
Plastic DishesWash plastic dishes separately
Rinse Aid Dispenser Needs Topping UpEnsure the rinse aid dispenser is topped up
Poor Quality DetergentAlways use the correct type and quantity of detergent
Dishwasher Salt Reservoir Needs Topping UpEnsure the dishwasher salt reservoir is always topped up
Selecting The Wrong CycleEnsure you select a cycle that includes drying
Dirty FilterRemove and clean the filter
Vent IssuesCheck that the vent can open freely
Faulty Turbidity SensorInspect, clean and replace as necessary
Faulty Heating ElementContact a technician
Faulty FanContact a technician
High-Limit Thermostat (Thermal Fuse) BlownCheck and replace the high-limit thermostat 
Wiring IssuesContact a technician
Control Board MalfunctionContact a technician

Let’s take a closer look at each of these issues;

Dishes Not Stacked Properly

loading a dishwasher

It can be tempting to overload the racks of the dishwasher in an effort to get all of the dishes done in one go. However, overloading the dishwasher can lead to dishes not getting cleaned or dried properly.

The dishes should be stacked in such a way to allow a decent air flow to pass over each item to get them dry.

Bottom Rack

Plates should be placed one per slot on the bottom rack along with cookware (saucepans) which should be placed face down to facilitate better washing and drying.

Top Rack

Cups, glassware and bowls should be placed face down on the top rack along with large utensils which should be laid flat.

Cutlery Basket

Knives, forks and spoons should be alternately placed in the cutlery basket to prevent nesting. Each item should be placed in its own slot and should be standing upright and not sloping.

Removing Dishes In The Wrong Order


There will always be some residual water attached to the wire racks of the dishwasher even after the drying cycle has finished. Which is why it is best to remove all of the items from the bottom rack first to prevent any water droplets from falling from the top rack onto the dishes lower down.

Once the bottom rack is clear, you can then pull out the top rack and any water will fall onto an empty rack below.

Plastic Dishes

Plastic doesn’t retain heat as well as ceramics, glassware or stainless steel. Which is why plastic items could still be wet after the drying cycle has finished.

We recommend washing plastic items separately to avoid an excess of moisture in your dishwasher.

Rinse Aid Dispenser Needs Topping Up

dishwasher dispenser

Rinse aid not only makes your dishes sparkle, it also helps to remove excess water during the drying cycle. It does this by breaking down the surface tension of the water droplets which not only helps to rinse the dishes but also improves the drying process too.

You should always ensure that the rinse aid dispenser is regularly topped up in your GE dishwasher.

Poor Quality Detergent

dishwasher pods

Using an inferior quality detergent can lead to too many soap suds which can leave deposits on your dishes which trap water droplets. This leads to dishes not drying properly and often leaves them with streak marks too.

The same can happen if you use the correct type of detergent, but use more than the recommended amount. Always consult your user manual on how much detergent you should use and always use high quality detergent.

Dishwasher Salt Reservoir Needs Topping Up

Salt Reservoir On Dishwasher

Dishwasher salt is a necessary ingredient to keep your dishwasher performing properly. The dishwasher salt ensures that the water that is used in your dishwasher is soft water, even in hard water areas.

Hard water will leave a mineral residue on your dishes which water can stick to. It is important that you always keep the dishwasher salt reservoir topped up regularly.

Selecting The Wrong Cycle

person pressing a button on dishwasher control panel

GE dishwashers have many cycle options including rinse only, and heated dry. If you select the rinse only cycle, your dishes won’t get dry at all.

Likewise, if you turn the heated dry off the dishes will dry naturally which obviously takes more time. If you have turned the heated dry off and then remove dishes as soon as the cycle completes, the dishes will still be wet.

Always ensure that you select the correct cycle for your needs.

Dirty Filter

The filter is designed to trap food particles and other debris to prevent them from returning to the now clean dishes and stop them damaging internal components on your dishwasher.

If the filter becomes clogged with food and other debris, it can hinder the flow of wastewater from the dishwasher. This can prevent the dishes from drying properly.

The filter on your dishwasher should be removed and cleaned at least once every month to prevent this from becoming a problem.

Vent Issues

Once the drying cycle starts, many GE dishwashers use a vent to release the moist air or steam which is formed during the wash cycle. In some cases the vent fails to open correctly which leads to dishes remaining wet after the drying cycle has completed.

This could be caused by something blocking the vent from opening and any items found hindering the vent should be removed and resited. Or the cause could be due to the vent malfunctioning. 

We recommend getting a technician to investigate and fix the vent for you.

Faulty Turbidity Sensor

The turbidity sensor is designed to monitor the level of dirt in the water of the dishwasher. This then determines how long the wash and rinse cycles run for.

Over time, the turbidity sensor can become clogged with dirt or food particles which can result in it sending the wrong signal to the control board. This could lead to the dishes never finishing the wash or rinse cycles.

This would mean the dishes never reach the drying cycle and therefore, remain wet (and often dirty). You will need to get the turbidity sensor inspected by a technician who will clean or replace it as necessary.

Faulty Heater Element


GE dishwashers rely on a heating element to heat the water used to wash the dishes and heat the air used to dry them. If the heating element or heating relay becomes defective, the dishes will not get washed or dried properly.

We recommend getting a technician to investigate and replace these parts for you.

Faulty Fan

Many GE dishwashers rely on a fan to force moist air into the vent system. If the fan develops a fault or the fan motor is defective, the dishes will not dry as well as they should.

This is another task best left to a technician to investigate and repair or replace as necessary.

High-Limit Thermostat (Thermal Fuse) Blown

The high-limit thermostat or thermal fuse as it is also known, is a safety device installed in your dishwasher to prevent major internal damage. It works by blowing if the temperature inside the appliance reaches a predetermined level.

This prevents the dishwasher’s components from becoming damaged as well as preventing a fire from breaking out.

If the high-limit thermostat has blown, it will need to be replaced which can be done by anyone with a little DIY knowledge. If this is a step too far, contact a technician to do this for you.

Wiring Issues

There are many wires and connectors used to make a dishwasher function properly. Any one of which could become loose, short or burn out or develop some sort of fault.

All it could take is one solitary wire to prevent your dishwasher from drying. As there are so many options for failure here, we recommend contacting a technician to investigate and solve this issue.

Control Board Malfunction

All of the processes used to wash, rinse and dry your dishes are controlled via the control board. If it malfunctions in any way, it is possible that the drying process will be affected.

Control boards are delicate parts that cost a considerable amount of money. Which is why we recommend getting a technician to investigate if you think the problem is due to the control board.

SEE ALSO: How to Reset a GE Dishwasher (easiest way)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my GE dishwasher not drying the dishes?

There are a number of reasons why your GE dishwasher might not be drying the dishes which include; incorrectly stacking the dishes in the dishwasher, emptying the top rack first, washing plastic dishes, a lack of rinse aid, a lack of dishwasher salt, incorrect detergent, selecting a cycle that doesn’t include drying, dirty filter, vent issues, faulty turbidity sensor, faulty heating element, faulty fan, high-limit thermostat blown, problems with the wiring or a control board malfunction.

Why is my GE dishwasher wet inside?

It is perfectly normal for the interior walls of the dishwasher to be wet. As long as the dishes are dry it’s not a problem and is caused by condensation.

Where is the drying vent on my GE dishwasher?

The drying vent on a GE dishwasher is located on the door. Some models have a visible vent on the outside of the door while others have a hidden vent that operates inside the door.

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