When faced with a pile of dishes at the end of the day, don’t be afraid to call in reinforcements – after all, dishwashers were made to make household cleaning easier. But, that doesn’t mean you can just put anything and everything in there and expect it to come out clean. There are a few items that could get ruined during even the gentlest of dishwashing cycles. Prevent your dishwasher from breaking down by only ever putting the correct kitchenware inside. Discover the list of items that are unsuitable below to ensure your helpful appliances stay in good shape for years to come.
Hot water and heat from the drying cycle can cause wood items to warp and bend out of shape. Hot water can also dull the finish of wood kitchen items. Do you have wooden utensils, bowls, or cutting boards? Be sure to hand-wash and air-dry them to maintain their beauty and function.
When it comes to washing crystal dishware, do it by hand! The material doesn’t play nice with dishwashers because of the intense heat during the water cycle. The hot water has the power to chip, crack, and even break fragile crystal. Take the time to lightly wash your crystal dishes and glasses by hand, otherwise you may end up only having pieces of them left.
It's best to keep any vintage or gold trimmed items out of the dishwasher. The color and detailed patterns from vintage and antique pieces can get faded in the dishwasher. Not to mention, detergent is extremely harsh on vintage ware. And if gold had an enemy -- no it isn’t silver -- it would be detergent. Gold-rimmed glasses and plates, vintage bowls and dinnerware, and gold-trimmed flatware should only be hand-washed to maintain their beautiful finish and value. And while ceramic and porcelain may seem vintage, they’re safe to put in the dishwasher just as long as they aren’t hand painted.
Copper pots and pans -- and everyone’s favorite Moscow mule mugs -- are best left out of the dishwasher. It's recommended that they be hand-washed with mild soap instead.
Insulated mugs are fantastic for keeping your drinks extra chilly or hot for lengthy periods of time. But, if you put one in a dishwasher, there’s a good chance it won’t ever do that again. Seriously. No joke: The space between the outer and inner layers of an insulated mug can fill with water if placed in the dishwasher, thus damaging its insulating effect.
Cast Iron Skrillets
If you want to experience the taste of rust, go ahead and put your cast iron skillets in the dishwasher. If you don’t though, leave it out. Water can leave cast iron items vulnerable to rust and will also strip it of its seasoning. Clean yours by thoroughly washing it by hand and without soap. Dry it off with a wash cloth immediately afterwards and voila! That’s all it takes to clean a cast iron skillet.
Items With Adhesive
Bottles and jars that have adhesive labels on them will peel off and clog the drain. The label pieces can also get stuck on other items in the dishwasher and cause a mess once dried on. Hand wash these items instead.
Be sure to read manufacturing instructions before washing your nonstick pans. Some brands of nonstick pans can go in the dishwasher, but if you're not sure, it's best to leave them out. A few extra moments washing your nonstick pans is far better than ruining the nonstick quality forever. And yes, we’re speaking from experience on this one.
If you want your kitchen knives to stay sharp, you should never put them in the dishwasher. Dishwashers can dull knife blades, making them work more like a bread knife than one that can slice through tougher and heartier food. Hand wash your knives to keep them from going blunt and frustrating you in the future.
The small holes in graters used for zesting and grating cheese, lemons, and limes can be plugged when placed in a dishwasher. These items are best cleaned by hand-washing with a soft-bristled brush. We all know that washing dishes is probably the least liked chore out there, but taking a few minutes to clean those delicate belongings will help keep them and your dishwasher in good condition for years to come.