What Not To Put In A Dishwasher?

Dishwashers have become an indispensable part of our life. They are no less than a helping hand when it comes to fighting off all those greasy plates that otherwise would have taken hours. However, the longevity of your dishwasher lies in how vigilant you are about its usage and the dos and don’ts. Dishwashers might seem like a giant appliance that can cope with all the things that need to be cleaned, but there’s also a lesser told side of the story.

There are times when we tend to go over the board with using our dishwasher, and this might put its safety in danger. For instance, things like sharp objects and wooden pots can be a real threat to your dishwasher’s regular functioning. Such incidents don’t only mess with the appliance but may also cause damage to the objects themselves.

To gain a basic knowledge of what not to put in a dishwasher, we’d suggest you give a quick read to the list below:

Non-stick Cookware

Non-stick cookware is usually one of the most delicate kitchen items and deserves every bit of caution. This cookware not only costs an arm and a leg but also depicts a rather different cleaning manner. Let alone the dishwasher, you can’t scrub your non-stick pans too hard even if you hand wash them.  These sort of pans have a very gossamer coating that becomes easily damaged once it goes through the dishwasher’s abrasive rollers. Moreover, some non-stick cookware companies let you put your non-stick set in the dishwasher. Despite it, we’d still emphasize you give a second thought before going with it.

Plastic Utensils

We know plastic utensils do look cute and are the best choice especially when you have kids at home. Plastic items can withstand conventional scrubbing but when it comes to encountering dishwasher heat, they might give in. It is because they have a rather simple composition that can’t tackle with dishwasher’s heat or its lengthy cleaning session. Let us give you a tip to keep your plastic utensils going for a longer time. You can go ahead with putting them in the first rack of the dishwasher if it’s urgent and you don’t have the time to hand wash them.

This is something that you may do on an occasional basis because if repeatedly done, your plastic items will lose their shine in no time.

Precious Metal Items

This goes especially for the people who love buying antique cookware like copper or aluminum pans. The reason that you can’t trust dishwashers with such utensils is that these metals are more vulnerable to tarnishing. There is a greater chance that unlike the regular cookware, they might not stand those multiple cleaning stages and this may result in them losing their shine. The abrasive cleaning gauze of the dishwasher may scratch them which takes away the whole vintage charm. If not all this, the most obvious outcome is that they might start losing their color gradually. This would then compel you to spend a fortune on getting them polished again and this can come out to be a burden on your pocket. Likewise, the high temperature of the dishwasher can damage their protective coating that serves as a barrier against rust attacks.

Expensive Kitchen Knives

Coming to those pricey chef’s knives that may cost a lot, but the precise cutting they give is worth it. We won’t suggest you put these knives in the dishwasher for two main reasons. Firstly, the dishwasher’s detergent takes away all the sharpness of the knives’ blades. It is for this reason that since the dishwasher has to deal with all sorts of utensils, its detergent is rather strong. This is why it’s inevitable that the blades might lose their sharpness once they come in contact with it.

Have you ever come across a time when you are cutting a food item and suddenly the knife’s handle comes off? Let us tell you that it’s mostly because of the hot water in the dishwasher that penetrates the knives’ handles, forcing them to come off. Lastly, let us be honest, no one likes those irregular edges of the vegetables/fruits that are the result of dull knives’ blades.

China Dinner Set

This is something that all of us can relate to. Every home has that one special china dinner set that only comes out during special events. Despite being overprotective about each piece, there’s a mistake that we all make unconsciously. It is that we start using a dishwasher to wash the china plates and trust us, this is the worst possible thing. The long term dishwashing sessions might result in the fading of the dinner set’s color. If not this, there’s a greater probability that the dishwasher might chip a plate’s corner without you even realizing it. The crux of this discussion is that china sets need care, and the first step you might take to preserve them is to stop washing them in the dishwasher right away.

Printed Cutlery

Printed cutlery comprises of the rare skills and the usage of beautiful colors that are not tolerant precisely to excessive pressure or temperature. Now what happens is that when you wash it in a dishwasher, the colors give up to the rapid hot water flow. With time, the printed cutlery loses its grace and becomes dull. Similarly, the dishwasher’s super hard scrubbing may scratch the printed plates or may cause the chipping of the corners, resulting in the wastage of both your time and money.


This brings us to the end of our discussion. These are the things that aren’t made for the dishwasher and doing otherwise may result in losing both the dishwasher and the precious dinner pieces. The easiest way is to read the small tag that comes with the cookware’s box. These days manufacturers do mention it separately if the utensils are dishwasher friendly or not, and doing so can sort it out all for you in no time.

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