Owning a dishwasher is a luxury that makes it almost impossible to fathom ever washing another dish by hand. We understand. Why take the time to lather up some dish soap, turn on the hot water and subject your hands to the pruney-ness that follows? At Grace Appliance Repair, we want to help you minimize cleanup time while still maximizing the lifespan of your dishes, pots, pans and other kitchen utensils. Here are 10 things that you should never wash in the dishwasher, no matter how tempted you may be. So pull out those rubber gloves, make some bubbles, and take pride in knowing 15 minutes of manual labor are saving the lives of your best kitchenware.
1. Wooden Utensils And Cutting Boards
Wood and heat don’t go together. Well, at least when it comes to your dishwasher and wooden kitchenware. When wood heats up in the dishwasher, it warps and has the tendency to split. This could leave your wooden spoons or expensive cutting boards with giant cracks through them. You might be thinking, “Well that’s not too bad. I can deal with that!” The problem with cracks in wood is that they are the perfect hibernating spot for bacteria and debris. So while you may think there’s no problem stirring your chicken noodle soup with your warped wooden spoon, we urge you to reconsider. And if there’s severe enough damage, imagine a splinter getting lost in your pot of spaghetti and meatballs—not a happy surprise for whichever unlucky guest gets that bite!
2. Expensive Knives
As a tentative rule of thumb, if you invest a lot of money into specific kitchenware, wash it by hand. This couldn’t be more applicable when it comes to expensive chef knives, including cleavers, steak knives, paring and carving knives. Dishwasher detergent, as you can imagine, is very abrasive. This abrasiveness is what gives the detergent the power to blast away those stuck on food particles and dried sauces. If you own expensive knives, dishwasher detergent is only going to dull the blades, requiring you to pull out your sharpening stone after every wash. When you sharpen a knife, you are shaving off bits of the blade to create a new, sharp edge. If you frequently have to sharpen your knives, you’ll wear down the blade extremely fast, rendering the knife useless and making the purchase of a new knife inevitable.
3. Cast-Iron Skillet
If you own a cast-iron skillet, you have probably already seasoned it and know that you should never wash it with soap. The beauty and uniqueness of a cast-iron skillet is that it maintains the seasoning of whatever tasty goodies have been cooked in it. When you use soap, scouring pads or abrasive dishwasher detergent on your cast-iron, the seasoning is stripped from the pan, leaving the skillet dried out and soapy instead of seasoned. So while you should never, ever put your cast-iron in the dishwasher, you should also never use soap to clean it or soak it in water. To clean your cast-iron, simply wipe it out with a damp paper towel after you’re done using it. If your skillet it looking a little dry, polish it with some canola oil or lard. It should also look shiny and brand new at all times.
4. Copper Mugs And Pots
Copper mugs are a must-have when it comes to making a delicious Moscow Mule. But to maintain that beautiful copper shine on your mugs or pans, you’ll want to avoid throwing them into the dishwasher with the rest of your plates and silverware. Most copper mugs are lined with nickel or stainless steel to prevent the exterior copper from seeping into your beverage. If you subject your delicate copper mugs to the abrasive power of your dishwasher, you risk chipping the nickel and copper, allowing flakes of the two metals to end up in your drink. And if you’re passionate about whipping up creative cocktails, copper flakes in your beverage are a total buzz kill. Stick to washing your copper kitchenware by hand, even if they claim to be dishwasher safe.
5. Nonstick Pans
The best thing about nonstick pans is that they are, well, nonstick. This means you don’t need to coat the pan in oil or butter when you cook. It depends on the manufacturer, but in most cases, it’s best to wash these pans by hand just to be safe. The abrasiveness of dishwasher detergent strips the non-stick properties from your pan, making it just an ordinary pan. If you’re willing to risk it to save yourself 90 seconds of manual labor, we recommend stocking up on oil and butter because your future meals are going to cling to your former-nonstick pan.
6. Containers With Adhesives
Finished your mason jar of jam or jelly and want to reuse it as a drinking glass? Those stubborn labels can be a total pain, and after a few minutes of scrubbing, you may be tempted to just toss the jar into the dishwasher. Don’t! Yes, the hot water and abrasive dishwasher detergent will remove the adhesive with ease, but the label will jam up your dishwasher’s drain causing lots of problems and headache for you. If for some reason you’ve already run into this problem, the experienced professionals at Grace Appliance Repair are here to help. We will have your dishwasher up and running in no time, and we will be happy to run through this list with you to avoid further issues! To get rid of those stuck-on labels and adhesives, soak the mason jar in a hot water, soap solution. After a few minutes, you’ll be able to wipe the label off with ease and your jar will then be ready for the dishwasher.
7. Hand-Painted Glasses
This one seems a little obvious. If you have precious glassware that you or a loved one custom painted, do not wash it in the dishwasher, ever. As we’ve mentioned, the abrasive power of the dishwasher and detergent will chip the paint, leaving you with a plain, regular ol’ glass after one or two washes. If you’re nostalgic like we are, the last thing you want is to lose the hand-painted work of art that your three-year-old created for you at school. Additional issues include running the risk of covering your other plates and silverware in the shedded paint chips. Then you’ll have to run a second load just to undo the mistake, costing you time and money.
8. Insulated Travel Mugs
An insulated travel mug is a double-walled container that keeps your hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold. When an insulated mug or thermos is manufactured, a vacuum seal is created between the two walls. Heat is transferred through the air, so if there is no air between the two walls, the heat has nowhere to go and stays within the insulated walls. This also applies to keeping cool beverages cool. If heat can’t penetrate the walls from the exterior, your cold drinks will not be warmed in hot weather.
When you wash an insulated mug in the dishwasher, you run the risk of breaking the vacuum seal between the two walls. Water can also enter the space between the walls leaving you with two issues—an insulated mug that no longer insulates and a sloshing sound that will resonate every time you take a drink or carry the mug. Bummer. Trust us, and just take the time to wash your insulated containers by hand.
9. Some Plasticware
Science has shown that plastic and heat aren’t the best of friends. Remember the time you left your bottle of lotion too close to your curling iron? It was a mess. Nowadays, most Tupperware is made of either hard or soft plastic and is dishwasher safe. We understand that sometimes a container of leftover chicken parmesan can get pushed to the back of the fridge, only to be found weeks later, completely covered in mold, and washing the container by hand doesn’t seem powerful enough to get rid of the smell. In these cases, washing the Tupperware in the dishwasher is OK, just as long as you keep the plastic container on the top rack. In all other instances, avoid washing plastic in the dishwasher as over time, the containers will become warped and scratched.
Come on now—if you own beautiful crystalware, you know to never put these exquisite pieces in the dishwasher. Hot water and abrasive dishwasher detergent can easily crack and chip crystal. So easily, in fact, that you may as well just go ahead and throw your crystalware on the ground. You also run the risk of causing the crystal to lose it’s shine. So not only will you have a set of chipped crystal glasses, they will also be dull and murky. And no one is impressed by ugly crystalware, no matter how beautiful it may have once been. Always take the time and care to wash crystal by hand.
If you’re experiencing dishwasher-related problems or are curious about how to properly care for your dishwasher, give the professionals at Grace Appliance Repair a call. We are sure to have the answer when it comes to all of your appliance repair and installation needs!