16 Things You Should Never Put In Your Dishwasher

Shutterstock Anatoliy Karlyuk

Let us all thank our lucky stars for dishwashers.Gravy-smeared plates, coffee mugs, and caked-on forks are no match for these modern marvels.

However, not everything should be put in the dishwasher.So go over these tips before you wash, and your dishes will be spotless after a big meal.

Skillets made of cast iron



Cast-iron skillets are prized for their ability to retain heat.However, they require special care. Cast-iron cookware must be seasoned with oil on a regular basis, and putting them in the dishwasher will remove this.

Thankfully, wiping and washing them after cooking is usually all that is required.A chainmail scrubber is recommended for removing stubborn stuck-on food.

As I explain in my article 6 Product Swaps That Save Me Money at the Store,

Instead of buying disposable scouring pads, my new favorite tool is something that looks and sounds like it belongs in a medieval knight’s castle.A chainmail scrubber is a simple piece of stainless steel that has been formed into interlocking rings; some have an ergonomic silicone core, while others are entirely chainmail.To remove hardened food residue, use a chainmail scrubber.

Cutting boards made of wood

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Heat and water can warp and crack your board, allowing bacteria to grow in the cracks.Hot water soap and a little elbow grease should do the trick.If you’re concerned about using the board with raw meat, try a sanitizing solution of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water.Hand-washing should also be done with wooden spoons.

Mugs of Moscow Mule

Shutterstock/Valentyn Volokov

Cocktails made with vodka, lime juice, and spicy ginger beer are known as Moscow mules.They’re frequently served in unique and fashionable copper mugs that are usually lined with another metal for safety.

However, if you put them in the dishwasher, the vital lining may chip and wear away, and the stylish appearance may tarnish.Hand-wash them and they’ll be ready to clink toasts for years to come.

Knives of exceptional quality

Woman chopping celery for salad

Shutterstock user miya227

Sure, you can put your cheap butter knife in the dishwasher.However, for the more expensive knives kept in a cutting block, you should keep them sharp and hand-wash them.

Handles are frequently made of wood, which, like cutting boards, can warp or crack.The blades may be made of carbon steel, which is prone to rust.Water jets can jostle the blade around, dulling or breaking it, and detergents can discolor or damage it.

opulent china

Shutterstock/De Repente

In a dishwasher’s harsh chemical bath, antique hand-painted or gold-leaf patterns can discolor and fade.So save those special dishes for the hand-washing pile, especially if they’re a pattern you want to pass down to future generations.

Plastic containers that can be reused

Strawberries in a plastic food storage container

Shutterstock/Laura Riquelme

Plastic storage containers can come in handy for leftovers, pre-chopped ingredients, freshly picked fruit, and almost anything else that requires a temporary home.

However, similar to apartments, the quality of such containers varies greatly.Some of the thicker, more durable cartons can be washed in the dishwasher, but keep them and their lids together on the top rack; if they come into contact with the heating elements in the machine’s bottom, they may melt.

Bakeware made of aluminum

Nataliya Petrovich/Shutterstock

Some aluminum bakeware can be washed in the dishwasher; double-check the label or wrapper when purchasing a new pan.However, if your item isn’t specifically labeled as dishwasher-safe, don’t put it in the dishwasher.

Due to the chemicals and heat in a dishwasher, many pans can dull and darken.While this is how the cookie sometimes crumbles, it can be avoided with a little hand-washing.

Barware made of crystal

Shutterstock/David Fisk

Fine crystal can catch the light and cast it off into rainbows, just like sunlight on a snowy field.When it is mistreated, however, it can shatter like an icicle hitting the pavement.

Hand wash the crystal wine goblets, Grandma Eliza’s punch bowl, or the champagne flutes from your wedding to keep the sparkle.Heat friction and detergents in the dishwasher can dull or scratch the surface.

Cutlery with gold plating

Shutterstock/Dani Simmonds

You’re as lucky as a leprechaun if your fine cutlery – or any of your formal dinnerware – is as good as gold.Wash each piece by hand to keep the gold rush going.It’s probably delicate, and the gold coating could come off in the dishwasher.

Everything that has a label

Shutterstock Sunny Studio

Paper labels will be attacked by hot water with the ferocity of a guard dog pursuing the letter carrier.Wash your jar or other item by hand if you want the label to last.The label can sludge off in pieces in the dishwasher and get stuck exactly where you don’t want it clogging your dishwasher’s spray arms or pump.

Glue is used to repair anything.

Shutterstock linavita

Anything attached with glue is a risky dishwasher item, as those labels demonstrate.Hot water has the ability to dissolve glue.So, if you’ve carefully glued a handle back on a favorite mug or bowl, keep it out of the dishwasher’s reach.

Items with words or measurements printed on them

Shutterstock Cattlaya Art

It doesn’t always happen, but items with printed measurements or words can become illegible in the hot steamy belly of a dishwasher.Most glass measuring cups are durable enough to keep their markings for years, but plastic cups may not be, and that 14 indicator could quickly become an 11 indicator.

Don’t even think about bringing back that Class of 1989 beer stein from the 30-year reunion.

Nonstick frying pans

Fried egg on a frying pan

Shutterstock/Parpalea Catalin

Nonstick pans are a marvel of engineering.The cookware is coated with a special coating that allows foods to (mostly) slide off without sticking, hence the name.They’re usually simple to wash by hand.

So, if you end up with a messed-up one, resist the urge to run it through the dishwasher.The heat from the machine can wear away at the coating, causing your nonstick pan to lose its nonstick properties.

Sifters for flour

J H Camp is a photographer who works for Shutterstock.

Here’s a surprise: if you only use flour sifters to sift flour, you don’t need to wash them at all.Sifters are often made of thin, cheap metal that rusts and pits easily, and the mesh sieve part doesn’t do well in a dishwasher’s hot water.(Another reason to avoid is if the handle is partially made of wood, as shown above.))

In most cases, you can simply rinse or wipe away the flour.However, if the sifter is completely clogged, soak it in soapy water for a while, then dry it as best you can on a cookie sheet in your oven on low heat.Alternatively, use your hairdryer to give it a quick blast.You want to make sure there isn’t any moisture left to cause rust.Any clumps of flour that refuse to give way can be broken up with an old toothbrush.

Items with hand-painted designs

Shutterstock/George Sandu

Don’t put a Picasso in the dishwasher, and don’t put your niece Peyton’s pottery artwork in the dishwasher either.Hand-washing is recommended.Although Jackson Pollock freed the line, you’ll want those precious paint strokes to stay exactly where Peyton intended them to be in this case.

Coffee mugs with insulation


We adore our insulated travel coffee mugs so much that we have a whole latte dedicated to them.They keep coffee warm even during the most torturous commute.However, you should not put the cup in the dishwasher to keep it as fresh as possible.

These cups keep your coffee warm by virtue of two separate shells, but the heat from the dishwasher can breach them, trapping water between the two walls and destroying the cup’s ability to retain heat.That would be depressing.

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