Why isn’t my brand new Bosch dishwasher drying the dishes?

The dishwasher we almost replaced last year started acting up again. It was 12 years old, the racks were barely staying in place and it was falling out of the countertop. We decided it was time to buy a replacement.

We already knew we wanted a Bosch because of the incredibly quiet operation. Once it was installed we were disappointed that the dishes were coming out wet.

Here’s what we did to get dry dishes out of our Bosch.

How the Bosch condensation drying works

Unlike most dishwashers Bosch dishwashers don’t have a heating element. There are a number of advantages to this system:

  • Greatly reduced energy use
  • No heating element to melt plastics
  • No steam is vented to the outside of the unit
  • Eliminating the vent eliminates a weak spot in the soundproofing, which is one of many reasons a Bosch is so quiet.

The Bosch depends on condensation drying. The interior is stainless steel. Besides being good-looking and hard-wearing, the stainless interior dissipates heat. When warm, moist air encounters the cooler stainless interior the moisture cools, condenses on the stainless steel interior, and runs down into the bottom of the dishwasher.

Tips for getting dishes drier

The hot water provides the primary heat source for drying the dishes. (There’s also a small internal water heater that boosts the water temperature before it enters the interior.) Run the faucet on the kitchen sink on hot until it produces hot water. That made a big difference for us.

You might also want to increase the temperature on the household water heater. We had turned ours down after our first child was born as part of childproofing the house. Now that our kids are 3 and almost 5 we turned the water heater back up a few degrees to the normal setting.

Use Jet Dry or similar rinse agent to help reduce surface tension and make the water run off of dishes. I use Jet Dry and set the dispenser to 2. Hard water requires higher settings. If your dishes have streaks you’re using too much rinse agent; dial it down.

Set the Bosch for Opti-Dry – “A sensor system detects the presence of a rinse agent and measures its level in the dispenser. It also adjusts automatically the final water temperature and wash cycle for best results.” Consult your manual, but this is how I enabled it on ours: With the washing machine off, press and hold the Cancel button. Power on the dishwasher. Press Cancel to change the 0 on the display to 1.

So how well does it dry now?

Now that we use those tricks we have no problems with water on dishes, glasses, silverware, pots and pans, or hard plastics. Soft plastics that can’t retain heat such as Ziploc containers or Solo cups will still have some water that we shake off or blot off with a towel. It’s a small price to pay for the whisper quiet operation and energy efficiency of the Bosch. Sometimes I’ll open the dishwasher to load a glass or plate and be surprised when I realize the dishwasher is already running.


6 Responses to Why isn’t my brand new Bosch dishwasher drying the dishes?

  1. Rabbit says:

    I’ve found that consistently using a liquid rinse agent in the dispenser is a tremendous help. I’ve had my Bosch dishwasher for a couple of years now and it’s one of the best appliance purchases I’ve ever made.


  2. Natalie says:

    What Bosh model did you buy and what year?
    [rq=1405652,0,blog][/rq]They should call it “wood-fired style pizza”

  3. Anne says:

    I wish I had researched this prior to purchase… our new kitchen (2010) is further from the H2o heater than the former kitchen so hot water has to travel under the house (through uninsulated pipes) to get to the dishwasher, which lo and behold, doesn’t heat the water further. I would’ve preferred a loud unit that dries my dishes to this — major, major time suck to have to dry my dishes. Sigh.

  4. Les Jones says:

    Anne, if you run the water in the kitchen sink until it’s hot that should solve that problem. You might try turning the water heater’s thermostat up a notch, too.

  5. Don says:

    What a disappointment. If the salesman had told me the Bosch didn’t dry the dishes I would never have bought it. Turns out I returned it, which was an unpleasant experience. Drying dishes is probably the most time consuming part of the dish washing job and to me having the machine do a good drying job is essential. I was shocked to find after a 3 hour wash cycle that my dishes and glasses had to be hand dried. Yes the water was hot and I used the rinse agent recommended. Thumbs down on Bosch and condensation drying it doesn’t work.

  6. Ralph says:

    How can one adjust the drying cycle heat temperature or tell the unit to bypass that the drying cycle on a Bosch SHU5313 Dishwasher.