Dishwashers are wonderful things but there are some things you should never put in the dishwasher.
I love my dishwasher, I went years without one and would prefer to never do that again. I hate washing dishes so it’s nice to have them cleaned automatically. Unfortunately, there are some items that you shouldn’t put in the dishwasher.
I tend to avoid these things for the most part but there are things like my vintage Pyrex collection that’s always worth the extra time washing.
There are many other items that can be damaged by the dishwasher or even harm your dishwasher. Knowing what can go in the dishwasher and what shouldn’t is very important.
You, of course, want to check to see if the item itself says it’s dishwasher safe. Most dishes tend to state this at least on the box and some even on the bottom of the dish.
Some of these listed items will say dishwasher safe but they still are best hand-washed to make sure they last and work as well as you’d like them to.
Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher
The high-heat in a dishwasher can warp wood. It’s best to handwash wooden items and let them air dry. It’s also a good idea to avoid soaking wooden for similar reasons.
2. Non-Stick Cookware
I encourage you to make the switch from Teflon cookware and bakeware to safer cookware but if you are still using it you want to keep it in as good of shape as possible. This means handwashing it because dishwashers can damage the coating.
3. Cast Iron
Cast iron relies on you seasoning it to create a non-stick surface. Putting your cast iron in the dishwasher will remove the seasoning and you will have to start over. It can also cause damage to your cast iron over time.
4. Vintage Dishes
Vintage dishes weren’t made with dishwasher in mind. Often their paint won’t hold up in the dishwasher. Another issue is the fact that many vintage dishes contain lead and putting them in the dishwasher can damage them and make it more likely that the lead can become accessible.
Crystal is delicate and the high-heat can cause it to crack. Crystal can also contain lead making it best to avoid in general, though lead-free crystal is becoming more common, but if you do use it be sure to handwash carefully.
6. Insulated Mugs and Cups
Insulated mugs and cups have an inner layer that helps keep your drinks hot or cold. When you put them in the dishwasher water can end up in this layer ruining the insulation capabilities.
Honestly, my butter knives and steak knives usually go in the dishwasher but not my good knives. I have a Wusthof knife set and those knives are always hand-washed. Putting them in the dishwasher will dull the blades. They can also damage other items in your dishwasher.
8. Graters, Garlic Presses, and Microplanes
Anything with tiny holes can end up harder to clean once they go through the dishwasher. Often the dishwasher can’t get all of the food out of the small holes causing pieces of food to dry on and become very difficult to remove.
I often lightly hand wash these items, making sure there is no food left, and they stick them in the dishwasher to sanitize them. This is an option if the item is stainless steel and dishwasher safe.
9. Rubber Seals
While most parts of your blender are likely dishwasher safe the rubber seal should be hand-washed. Same with other rubber seals. Rubber will break down over time in the dishwasher, it will last longer if you handwash it.
Some seals are now silicone which holds up to heat and can usually go in the dishwasher but check before putting any seals in the dishwasher.
Copper is becoming popular again, for good reason, it’s beautiful. The only thing is putting it in the dishwasher can dull the copper and discolor it. Skip the dishwasher and handwash it instead.
11. Jars with Labels
This may seem like a great way to get those labels off or maybe you just don’t want to bother to remove them. Either way, those pieces of paper can clog up your dishwasher and cause big problems.
Helpful Handwashing Tools
We all have somethings that need hand-washed and it’s nice to have the right tools to make it easier. These are some of my favorites.
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