21 Things You Shouldn’t Put In the Dishwasher

It would be great if we could put everything we use in the kitchen into the dishwasher and have it come out clean, but that’s not always possible. Many items we use in our daily kitchen routine are actually unsafe to put in the dishwasher due to various reasons.

Although the dishwasher is capable of handling a significant amount of cleaning, there are numerous items that are better suited for manual washing due to their inability to withstand high temperatures or being affected by the detergent.

Avoid putting these 21 items in the dishwasher:

  • Cast iron
  • Nonstick cookware
  • Copper cookware & dishes
  • Ceramic Cookware
  • Pressure cooker lids
  • Sharp knives
  • Wooden utensils
  • Containers designed for insulation or travel
  • Sieves
  • Graters & blades
  • Gold flatware
  • Crystal
  • Milk glass
  • Metallic trimmed china
  • Hand painted items
  • Customized mugs
  • Vintage items
  • Repaired dishes
  • Certain plastics
  • Acrylic dishes
  • Paper & printed labels

Although many kitchen items are dishwasher-safe, 21 things should be washed by hand to avoid damage. Before loading your dishwasher, consider whether it’s worth the potential risk to your kitchenware and opt for traditional hand washing instead.

Below are some reasons why it’s advisable to avoid putting these items in the dishwasher:

Cast Iron

Cast iron is susceptible to rust and can lose its seasoning if exposed to harsh dishwasher detergents, making it vulnerable to damage after just one cycle in the dishwasher.

Although it can be restored, all the accumulated seasoning on the pan will be lost. If you mistakenly put your cast iron in the dishwasher, take a look at this article to learn how to properly revive it.

Nonstick Cookware

Nonstick pots and pans should not be washed in the dishwasher due to the coating. The high temperature and chemicals present in the detergent can damage the nonstick element of the coating, which will defeat the purpose of using such cookware.

Nonstick items should be washed by hand to prevent them from scratching due to banging against each other, which is caused by high-pressure water jets in dishwashers.

Although some manufacturers may state that their non-stick products are dishwasher-safe, it is still a risky decision to put them in the dishwasher.

Copper Cookware & Dishes

Copper cookware is too delicate and costly to be washed in the dishwasher. If not cleaned by hand, it will lose its shine and appear worn-out, including those Moscow Mule copper mugs.

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If you need to clean your copper, consider using ketchup as a natural alternative. Simply apply the ketchup onto the surface, rub it in, and then rinse and dry to bring back its shine. Alternatively, you can use commercial polishers.

Ceramic Cookware

Ceramic cookware consists of a metal base covered with a ceramic layer, which provides excellent non-stick features. However, it is susceptible to scratches if subjected to any agitation in the dishwasher.

Although ceramic cookware may be labeled as “dishwasher safe,” the coating can still be harmed by the chemicals in detergents, so it is recommended to hand wash these items for optimal longevity.

Pressure Cooker Lids

Although pressure cookers and Instant Pots claim that their lids are safe to be washed in the dishwasher, it is possible for food particles and detergent residue to become trapped in the valve and seals. In such cases, it is advisable to detach the rubber sealing rings and wash them separately in the dishwasher.

Sharp Knives

Knives should be washed by hand and dried immediately to ensure safety and maintain the quality of their edges and handles. It is important to also dry any screws or pins in the handle as they are susceptible to rust.

Although knives may appear to be dishwasher-safe, they can develop small cuts in the blade and harm the racks of your dishwasher, leading to potential issues later on.

Butter knives and some types of cheese knives are safe to put in the dishwasher’s cutlery basket as they don’t have an edge that can be damaged.

Wooden Utensils

Wooden cutting boards, bowls, and utensils should not be put in the dishwasher as the hot water can cause them to swell and warp, while also stripping natural oils from the wood, leaving them dry and susceptible to cracking.

It is advisable to avoid letting wooden items stay in water for too long, even when washing them by hand. Instead, use a mild soap and dry them with a towel before leaving them to air dry completely.

If your wood cutting boards emit an unpleasant smell, you can get rid of it by rubbing them with half a lemon or white vinegar and allowing them to air dry.

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Insulated/Travel Containers

Containers such as travel mugs and double-walled tumblers, which use a vacuum-sealed airspace to provide insulation, should not be put in the dishwasher.

Putting items with seals in the dishwasher can break the seal due to the high heat of both wash and dry cycles, making them unable to insulate their contents. It’s better to wash these items by hand for a longer lifespan.

Sieves

Sieves have a tendency to retain food particles that scatter around the dishwasher due to their delicate mesh. Additionally, the metal material is susceptible to rusting and exposure to the hot and moist environment of the dishwasher can quickly damage a sieve.

Graters/Blades

Graters should be washed by hand because of their sharp edges, which can cause damage to the edges if small nicks and dings occur, similar to knives.

Although the blades of your food processor and blender are not as fragile, they consist of a combination of plastic and metal parts, making them susceptible to damage in the dishwasher.

Gold flatware

While silver flatware can withstand dishwasher washing, gold flatware will lose its shine and get damaged. Similarly, colored coated flatware is also susceptible to damage, hence it’s recommended to wash them by hand instead of using a dishwasher.

Crystal

Crystal is too delicate to be exposed to the heat and water jets in a dishwasher, so it’s best to keep your fine drinking glasses and crystal out of the machine, although everyday wine glasses should be okay.

Milk Glass

Once again, the dishwasher is to blame as its hot water and strong detergents can damage milk glass. Although milk glass is usually a stunning white shade, running it through the dishwasher a few times can cause it to become yellow.

Milk glass in any color is not dishwasher safe as it will turn yellow and murky when exposed to the dishwasher.

Metallic Trimmed China

China should not be put in the dishwasher as the hot water and harsh detergents can damage its delicate edges and images.

Hand Painted Items

Despite being glazed and sealed, hand-painted works are still at a high risk of damage in the dishwasher. To protect these pieces, it is recommended to wash them by hand with care and dry them immediately.

Customized Mugs

It is likely that you have received a personalized mug as a present or purchased one for yourself, given the abundance of crafters who can create custom designs to suit your preferences.

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Usually, a form of long-lasting vinyl is utilized to produce these patterns. The majority of vendors will provide guidelines to wash by hand only and prevent soaking. Despite the vinyl’s potent adhesive, the dishwasher’s warmth and dampness will obliterate a design in a single cycle.

Vintage Items

It is not advisable to put older items in the dishwasher unless there are specific cleaning instructions for them, as there is a possibility of damaging them due to chipping, cracking, or other significant damage that may occur if they cannot withstand modern machines.

Repaired Dishes

Although you may have successfully mended your cherished mug after it was knocked off the table by your cat, it is imperative that you refrain from putting it in the dishwasher as the combination of high heat and adhesives can compromise your repair work.

Certain Plastics

Using plastic containers from the deli or grocery store again is an excellent method to reduce single-use plastic. However, these are typically constructed with thin plastics that will undoubtedly deform due to the heat and water pressure of a dishwasher.

Acrylic Dishes

While these dishes are sturdy and attractive for both children and adults, their vibrant patterns and designs will quickly fade if they are cleaned in the dishwasher.

Acrylic dishes can develop small cracks due to the heat from the dishwasher’s washing and drying cycles, which makes the material brittle and deformed.

Paper & Printed Labels

Although it may be apparent that a paper label won’t endure manual or automatic washing, there is an additional aspect to contemplate before placing the pickle jar in the dishwasher with the expectation of avoiding the effort of scrubbing off the label.

Labels should be removed before washing to prevent bits of paper and adhesive from getting stuck in the water system and mechanics of your dishwasher.

Printed markings on items like measuring cups can fade away if washed in the dishwasher, so it’s better to wash them by hand to avoid having measuring cups without any measurements.

You can also check this video about “21 Things You Shouldn’t Put In the Dishwasher”

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