The introduction of the dishwasher changed the game for many in the kitchen as it made clean up a much easier and faster process. While many things can and should be placed in the dishwasher, there are a number of items that should never be put in the dishwasher and that should only ever be washed by hand. Here are 10 items that should never be put in the dishwasher and 7 items that can.
Items That Should Not go in the Dishwasher:
Anything wood or with wooden elements. This includes cutting boards, utensils, and knives with wooden handles. The detergent used in dishwashers is too abrasive and can scratch the wood over time while the high heat used in the cleaning cycle can warp or crack the wood.
Anything delicate. This includes fine china, painted items, crystal items, and anything with precious metal elements such as a gold rimmed plate. The dishwasher is too abrasive for these items as they can chip, fade, lose their finish, or crack during the wash cycle. Antique items and any painted ceramic or stoneware should also avoid being put in the dishwasher.
Precious metals. This includes copper, silver, gold, etc. These softer metals can dull, tarnish, and become discolored if put in the dishwasher.
Cast iron. Not only can running your cast iron cookware through the dishwasher strip away the seasoning, but it can also cause the cookware to rust.
Aluminum cookware. While these pieces can technically be put in the dishwasher, it's not a good idea because they will oxidize and dull within one or two cycles. However, aluminum's lookalike, stainless steel cookware can go into the dishwasher with no issue.
Nonstick cookware. Unless the manufacturer has specifically marked it as being dishwasher safe, it's best to avoid placing nonstick cookware pieces in the dishwasher. The cleaning cycle can cause the nonstick coating to wear off faster and the cookware can get scratched.
Some plastic. Items made from hard, thick plastic like cutting boards or mixing bowls are generally safe to put in the dishwasher but be wary of adding plastic containers or items made of softer, more flexible plastic. In addition to the risk of warping, these plastic items can also get scratched or become dull. If placing them in the dishwasher anyway, try to place items on the top rack, father away from the heat of the wash cycle.
Kitchen knives. If you have a good set of kitchen knives, wash them by hand. The dishwasher can dull a knife's edge and the heat of the drying portion of the wash cycle can loosen the handles over time.
Insulated travel mugs. Unless the manufacturer has stated otherwise, insulated mugs should not be put in the dishwasher. Doing so can destroy the seal that gives the mug its insulation and fill the space between the inner and outer layers with water.
Anything that has been repaired. If there is any glass, plate, bowl, etc. that has been chipped or that has been broken in any way and glued back together (even if it's just a small piece), do not place it in the dishwasher. This also includes any utensils and cutlery where the handle has been glued back on or has been glued because it became lose. The and force of the water of the wash cycle could cause the glue to loosen or completely dissolve.
Items That Can go in the Dishwasher:
Pyrex dishes, mixing bowls, and containers
Sheet pans, muffins tins, cooking racks, and other metal bakeware
Silicone and metal kitchen utensils
Measuring cups and spoons
Stainless steel flatware
Stainless steel cookware