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11 Things You Should Never Put in Your Dishwasher

by John Stewart

For many different reasons, some pieces of kitchenware are better hand washed than put in a dishwasher to clean. A dishwasher can get damaged in the process and we do not want that. The cookware can also get damaged in the process.

Remember it is better to avoid certain materials than to be sorry after damage has been incurred. Some people may use a dishwasher on those items but they should always do so with knowledge of what damages they might incur. Always know what you are getting yourself into. So why not cut yourself future repair or replacement costs by avoiding the following items?

1. Nonstick pans

non stick pans

Nonstick surfaces should never be put in a dishwasher. I know that most manufacturers often claim that nonstick saucepans are dishwasher safe but this is a claim with reservations. The nonstick coating will start degrading with time if put in the dishwasher.

It may start chipping and this is always bad news. Dishwashers are very efficient and convenient appliances but consider hand-washing your nonstick cookware.

2. Ceramic coated cookware

ceramic coated cookware

As with nonstick coating, a ceramic coat also exhibits the same kind of degradation when put in a dishwasher regularly. It is no surprise here as both surfaces are extremely easy to clean as they do not harbor food particles and grease.

Ceramic coats can chip when exposed to dishwashers. The dishwasher detergents are also known to be harsh to ceramics.

3. Aluminum cookware

aluminium cookware

Your shiny aluminum cookware will darken after constant exposure to a dishwasher. The aluminum reacts with most dishwasher detergents making your cookware deteriorate in appearance.

Even if functionality is not affected, a dull piece of cookware does not fit as well among your other shiny pieces in your kitchen. However, anodized aluminum is dishwasher safe.

4. Cast iron cookware

cast iron cookware

Cast iron is affected by dishwasher detergent as well. With constant dishwasher exposure, cast iron cookware’s oil layer which prevents rusting and food sticking to it gradually gets eroded.

This means your cast iron cookware becomes vulnerable to rusting and food particles always stick to it, consider hand-washing this types of cookware.

5. Graters


Graters have sharp edges used to grate food particles and therefore destroy the inner linings of a dishwasher when put into one. They are especially destructive to dishwashers with plastic linings on the inside.

The small cravings and indentions might not be cleaned as thoroughly by dishwasher as they would be by hand as well. Remember these small indentions are very notorious for capturing food particles and as we have said before, food particles are the number one cause of filth in a dishwasher.

6. Wooden kitchen essentials

wooden kitchen essentials

Dishwasher detergents are very harsh to wood and in the long run, it may start cracking. Long exposures
to water also causes wood to lose its shape. Always hand wash wooden cookware and use soft detergents while doing so to lengthen their life span.

7. Copper cookware

copper cookware

Again as with many other materials that should not be put in a dishwasher, copper cookware is affected by dishwasher detergent. The shiny beautiful copper finish gradually darkens after exposure to dishwasher detergents and so should be hand washed to maintain the shiny copper finish that attracted you to buying them in the first place.

8. Melamine


Melamine utensils mostly plates should not be put into a dishwasher since it does not like high temperatures (when drying) as well as the harsh dishwasher detergents. It therefore cracks and loses its finish when put in a dishwasher. Basically, melamine should not be exposed to high temperatures even outside the dishwasher.

9. Sieves


Sieves cannot be thoroughly cleaned by a dishwasher because of their tiny holes. Consider hand-washing sieves because you can reach out and clean the food particles better than a dishwasher can.

Some people are comfortable with dish-washing sieves with larger holes. However, always consider just hand-washing for the best results.

10. Painted glassware

painted glassware

Paint and decoration is the contentious component in this case. The paint might fade away on exposure to high drying temperatures and detergent in the dishwasher.

Consider hand-washing to lengthen the lifespan of this types of glassware. Glass is generally dishwasher safe and you should not have any reservations with non-painted glassware.

11. Knives


Knives, like graters can scratch the protective coating inside the dishwasher and can bring unnecessary repair costs. They as well can be made out of various materials which may become dull after constant exposure to a dishwasher’s detergents. Consider hand-washing knives to protect your dishwasher as well as your knives.

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