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Is it Dishwasher Safe? Find Out Here

What a time to be alive! You throw all your clothes into a machine, add some detergent into a compartment, and they come out clean. You pop 'em in another machine and they're soft, warm, and dry. You can turn on a tiny robot to clean your home while you're away, and there's even the luxury of a dishwasher to clean all your dirty kitchenware- you just have to load it. But just as you can't wash silk in the washing machine, there are some utensils you better wash by hand if you want them to stay pristine. Here is what you shouldn't put in the dishwasher, and also some surprising things you can, and probably never thought to clean in the dishwasher. 


pewter antiques
Several metals shouldn't go in the dishwasher. 
  • Brass, bronze, pewter, and aluminum have to be washed by hand. These metals can either warp, rust, tarnish, fade, or stain in more than one way. Simply wash those by hand and dry them with a clean towel.
  • Your good knives should also be washed by hand. The plastic base may crack over time, the blade will be dull, and high carbon steel blades may even rust.
  • Cast iron skillets should never, ever, be cleaned in the dishwasher. Here's how to clean and season them.
  • Anything with a non-stick coating should rarely be washed in the dishwasher. The high temperatures, minerals in the water, and harsh detergent will wear the coating clean off. 
  • Cheese and box graters, sieves, and zesters are also better off being hand washed. They won't be harmed in the dishwasher, but chances are they also won't come out clean - the dishwasher isn't that clever yet. The water jets can't clean all the little holes properly. Scrub your graters by hand, preferably immediately after use, and if it's too hard, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes first.
  • Solid stainless steel utensils are perfectly fine in the dishwasher.


wooden utensils
Almost anything made of wood is probably better off away from the dishwasher. This includes:
  • Any wooden utensils. 
  • Wooden cutting boards. 

They will warp, crack, and dry out in the hot water, eventually leading to splinters and potential bacterial growth. Instead, wash them normally and let them air dry completely before putting them away. The occasional wash cycle here and there can't hurt much, but over time, wear and tear is inevitable.

If there's any mildew or scratches, you can sand them down, first with rough grit sandpaper and then with a finer one. After that, Rub your utensil with mineral oil, buff well, let sit overnight, and wipe once more with a paper towel before the next use. 

The longevity of the washer machine itself is important too. Here's How to Clean and Maintain Your Dishwasher Step By Step

Natural stone

granite pestle and mortar
These natural stones can take a great hit from being washed in the dishwasher:
  • Granite
  • Marble
  • Slate.

Granted, the stone is more durable than wood. But porous stones, such as pizza stones or slate, can crack and lose their shine in extensive heat. A simple wash will do, but avoid wetting your pizza stone at all costs. 


crystal glasses
Some glasses can go in the dishwasher, but others can't.
  • Crystal will crack, chip, and lose its shine with each cycle in the dishwasher. Wash all crystal tableware by hand. To make it shine, you can soak it in 2 warm cups of vinegar with enough water to submerge for 3-5 minutes. Rinse and dry.
  • Wine glasses should be washed by hand. Their delicate anatomy simply won't stand the bumpy ride in the washer, and eventually, they will develop a cloudy surface. 
  • Milk glass (we're referring to that opaque finish, not glasses for milk) will be discolored in the dishwasher.
  • Other glassware can go in the washer risk-free. To keep it clear and shiny, make sure to always fill the salt compartment at the bottom of the dishwasher machine.
  • Sanitize your washer and remove cloudy stains from the glass by running a cycle with white vinegar. Simply place a small bowl filled with some white vinegar onto the top rack and run the dishwasher.

The more you know: Learn Why You Should Never Pre-Rinse Your Dishes

Anything else

a chine set
Here is a short list of things you never thought could be ruined in the dishwasher:
  • Pressure cooker lids. The sealer can crack, and food can get caught up in the pressure valves.
  • Antiques, glassware, or fine china with metal decorations. 
  • Insulated mugs and thermos bottles. The vacuum between two layers can be broken and water can enter and harbor bacteria.
  • For that same reason, we would also avoid washing anything with a hollow handle in the dishwasher.
  • Thin plastic can warp in high temperatures.
  • Food processor and blender parts can be washed in the dishwasher sometimes, but don't overdo it. 
  • Ceramic pots, enameled skillets, and acrylic dishes can also be damaged in the dishwasher. Read their labels carefully.

Well, then what CAN we put in there?

a loaded dishwasher
Don't be disheartened by the long list above. There are many things lying around the house that can be cleaned in the dishwasher, and we promise - doing so will make your life much easier. Here is everything you never thought to wash in the dishwasher, but you definitely can:
  • Baby bottles - on the top rack
  • Coffee plungers
  • Everything enamel (read the label first)
  • Microwave turntable
  • Sponges, scrub brushes, shower poufs
  • Vacuum attachments - only those without bristles
  • Sink strainer
  • Exhaust fan filters and covers.

Source: 1,2, 3

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