8 Things You Should Not Place in a Dishwasher

When you’re faced with a pile of dishes to wash, you’ll be glad that you invested in a dishwasher. But, like any complex piece of equipment, it’s important to protect your investment and there are some items that should not be placed in your dishwasher. Let’s take a look at eight things that could damage your dishwasher.

1.  Crystal Dishware

All crystal dishware should be washed by hand because this material doesn’t react well to the intense heat inside the dishwasher. When your dishwasher is running the water can be very hot and this can crack, chip, and even break fragile crystal items. It’s a better idea to wash these lightly by hand and dry them carefully.

2.  Wooden Items

The hot water also has an effect on any items made of wood that you attempt to wash in your dishwasher. The surface of the wood may warp out of shape or break apart. The finish of any wooden kitchen items can become dull which ruins their aesthetic appeal. If you have wooden bowls, utensils, cutting boards or other items, wash them by hand. Then allow them to air-dry naturally to preserve their appearance and functionality.

3.  Copper Pots and Pans

Copper is a fantastic material for pots and pans because it conducts heat efficiently and evenly. But, your copper pots and pans should be washed by hand with mild soap. When copper items are washed in a dishwasher they can be prone to tarnishing and they can even turn black after multiple washing cycles.

4.  Vintage Items

If you’re lucky enough to have some vintage gold or silver items in your kitchen, it’s advisable to keep them out of the dishwasher. Any colors, details, patterns, and other quirks can become faded due to the harsh action and hot water. Many modern detergents are designed to be used in hard water areas and they can be too abrasive for delicate items. This is equally true when it comes to porcelain or ceramic items if they’ve been hand painted. Modern ceramics can be more robust, but you should check if they are dishwasher safe or simply hand wash them instead to be safe. 

5.  Cast Iron Skillets

For many cooks, a cast iron skillet is the only choice when it comes to cooking perfectly. Although cast iron is a tough and durable material it doesn’t fare well during a dishwasher cycle. The action of the water on the surface can lead to the formation of rust and it will strip away the seasoning. This degrades the cooking performance and can lower the useful lifespan of your skillet. Clean your cast iron skillet by hand, avoid using soap and dry it immediately to protect against rust.

6.  Non-Stick Pans

Modern non-stick pans should come with instructions from the manufacturer on how to wash them safely. Certain brands can be placed in the dishwasher, but if there is any ambiguity it’s a better idea to leave them out.

7.  Knives

Kitchen knives need to be sharp and the edge can be dulled when they are placed in the dishwasher. Over time you may notice that all your knives become harder to use and they seem to work like a bread knife instead. If you want to preserve the sharp edge it’s a better idea to hand wash your kitchen knives and dry them immediately.

8.  Graters

Grates have a number of small holes to zest or grate fruit, cheese and other foods. These holes can remain plugged with food even after a dishwasher cycle and multiple cycles may be needed to get them clean. Scrubbing the holes with a soft brush and hand washing is a better way to keep these fiddly kitchen items clean.

If you have any problems with your dishwasher, you can rely on an experienced home appliance repair technician to help you.