A dishwasher is one of those lifesaving kitchen appliances that can seriously help you when you’re overwhelmed with stacks of dirty dishes. Just arrange everything the right way, press a few buttons, and once the cycle is finished, you’re left with sparklingly clean dishes.
It’s is a powerful kitchen appliance that’s capable of not only cleaning dirty dishes but also some pretty cool hacks. If your kitchen has been blessed with a dishwasher or you’re new to having one, there are a few kitchen tools to keep in mind that should stay out of the dishwasher. Yes, you read that right! Some of your favorite kitchen items are not dishwasher safe and should be cleaned using good old fashioned elbow grease.
Check out what not to put in a dishwasher and why.
1. Cast Iron Cookware
Your cast iron skillet requires some extra attention since it probably took a long time to season properly, so knowing how to care for it is super important. If you run your cast iron cookware through your dishwasher, it’ll strip the seasoning, which means no flavor and a non-stick surface. It’ll also make your cast iron pan rusty. And who wants a rusty cast iron skillet?
It’s better just to hand wash or you could give this chainmail scrubber a try for easy cleanup.
2. Nonstick Pans
Most nonstick pans are meant to be washed by hand since the nonstick surface doesn’t hold up to the hot water temperature and dishwasher detergent. Some nonstick pans are labeled “dishwasher safe”, but if you’re unsure, don’t risk it.
3. Good Kitchen Knives
Every kitchen needs the essentials and sharp knives are on the top of the list. If you want your favorite kitchen knives to stay perfectly sharp, keep them out of your dishwasher. The high-pressure water will slowly dull them and you’ll find yourself breaking out the sharpening stone more than you need to. Instead, hand wash and dry with a clean towel.
4. Wooden Kitchen Items
Alright, I’m totally guilty of this one! I’ve thrown wooden spoons, wooden utensils, and wooden cutting boards into my dishwasher thinking it’ll get rid of bits of food particles, but the high heat will actually warp and split the wood. Hand-washing these wooden items with soapy water is a better option.
This one is pretty obvious. That fancy crystal drinkware you have will crack and chip from the harsh detergent and water temperature in the dishwasher. Gently hand wash- you’ll be happy you did!
6. Insulated Mugs
After a long day, it’s so convenient to place your insulated travel mug on the top rack and forget about it-I’ve done this way too many times! Just let the dishwasher do all the work, right? Wrong! After the dishwasher cycle has finished, you’ll end up with the seal of the travel mug filled with water, which ruins the insulation. That means you’ll be saying goodbye to hot coffee. No thanks.
7. Plastic Items
Some harder plastic items are dishwasher safe, as long as you put them on the top rack, but most soft and flimsy plastic items should not go in the dishwasher. The heating element may melt or warp the soft plastic.
8. Anything with Stubborn Paper Labels
If you have a nice glass container that you want to save or even a plate with a sticky price tag left on, make sure to remove the paper label before placing it in the dishwasher. If the labels fall of while the dishwasher is running, it’ll clog the filter, which can lead to a more serious problem. Yikes!
Here’s a simple way to remove those stubborn paper labels.
9. Your Cheese Grater
Sure your dishwasher is capable of making dirty dishes sparkling clean, but that might not be the case for your cheese grater. Your dishwasher won’t be able to fully clean off all those bits of gooey cheese particles, so rather than have it take up space, it’s better just to wash by hand with soapy water.
10. Your Garlic Press
Having a garlic press is certainly helpful to have in the kitchen if you want minced garlic in a matter of seconds. But, just like a cheese grater, a garlic press shouldn’t go in the dishwasher. The pressure from the water will wedge those tiny bits of garlic deep into the holes, making it even more difficult to remove. If you want to save yourself from a headache, it’s best to wash by hand to ensure that all the garlic is removed.