When your home is your biggest investment, as it is for almost everyone, maintaining it is crucial. It’s your responsibility to keep it clean and your appliances running longer. In the case of your dishwasher, it’s important to know the things you should never put in the dishwasher to avoid costly repairs and help extend its life.
Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher
1. Anything made of wood (plates, bowls, utensils, cutting boards, etc.)
As tempting as it is to just toss wooden plates or utensils in the dishwasher, it’s not the best (nor safest) idea. Wood can warp, splinter, and break over time when exposed to high heat and moisture.
Wooden utensils may also deteriorate if you wash them in the dishwasher. The combination of hot water and detergent harshly strips wood off its natural oils.
So it’s best to wash wood items by hand and use a towel to dry them right away.
Dishwashers have water jets that can cause the knives to bump into things and bang around in the machine, dulling their blades in the process. This doesn’t just damage the edge of the knife, but it can also cause rust and corrosion.
Ceramic knives are damaged more easily because they’re so brittle.
3. Hand-painted china
China is usually safe to wash in your automatic dishwasher, as long as they aren’t hand-painted.
Detergent can chip or wear off the paint on fine china and other delicate pieces. The movement and rattling inside the machine may also cause damage on the dinnerware, so they’re best hand-washed only to keep their beautiful finish.
Gold-rimmed glasses and plates, as well as antiques/ vintage pieces, should only be hand-washed, too.
4. Cast iron, aluminum, and non-stick pots and pans
Cast iron, aluminum, and non-stick pots and pans should never go in the dishwasher.
Cast iron pots and pans should be washed only with plain water and non-abrasive sponges so they don’t lose their seasoning, which takes a very long time to build up.
When washed in the dishwasher, the coating of non-stick pans may wear out. Cast iron pots and pans will also be more vulnerable to rust. Your aluminum may end up covered in nicks and scratches.
The combination of dishwasher heat, friction and detergent isn’t kind on crystal. The hot water can chip, crack, and break it, so we recommend washing it by hand instead.
Avoid washing crystal, especially stemware, in the dishwasher.
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