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Dishwashers are indeed great for quick and efficient kitchen cleanup. However, there’s a common misconception that dishwashers can handle any type of kitchenware. While they excel at cleaning dirty dishes, these machines do have limitations, and some items are best washed by hand.

Here’s a list of 10 items that you should avoid putting in the dishwasher.

Cast Iron Skillet

cast iron pan
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Cast iron cookware is known for being tough and cooking some of the best meals. But they work best when they’re looked after properly. Unfortunately, the dishwasher can lead to rust and loss of the non-stick surface.

If you accidentally put a cast iron skillet in the dishwasher, don’t worry. Just be sure that you dry it immediately and properly re-season it.

Knives

set of kitchen knives knife
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Don’t place sharp knives in the dishwasher. The blades can get nicked or lose their sharpness, and the knife might even cause damage to the dishwasher racks. Handwashing is the way to go, and you’ll appreciate it in the long run.

Graters

grater
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Like knives, graters can also experience blade dullness in the dishwasher. Furthermore, a dishwasher may not effectively remove all the particles trapped in their small holes, so it’s always best handwash them.

Wood Cutting Board

lemon balm on cutting board
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The hot water and dry heat in the dishwasher can cause wooden cutting boards to warp or crack. Additionally, the heat can dry out natural wood cutting boards, giving them a worn and faded appearance. Wood and dishwashers simply aren’t compatible.

Wood Utensils

kitchen countertop with cutting board and muddler
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Similar to cutting boards, utensils can also warp and crack in the dishwasher. To ensure their longevity, it’s best to handwash them.

Non-Stick Pots

Cooking pot, frying pan and kitchen utensils on dark wooden non stick
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Nonstick pots are vulnerable to scratches, and their finish can erode when subjected to the dishwasher’s high temperatures, which can be harsh on the nonstick coating. To ensure your pots last longer, it’s best to handwash them.

Insulated Drinkware

Stylish reusable eco-friendly stainless steel thermo bottles insulated
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Insulated items like travel mugs and other drinkware should be kept away from the dishwasher. High temperatures during the dishwasher cycle could harm the vacuum seal. You should consider washing these by hand.

Anything Antique

drawer in kitchen
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If an item holds sentimental value or is a family heirloom, it’s best to wash it by hand. This applies especially to anything antique, or hand-painted, as there’s a risk of breakage or fading due to high water pressure, detergent abrasion, and high temperatures in the dishwasher.

Copper Cookware

hanging pots and pans copper
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Copper cookware is a timeless, pretty and borderline expensive – so why would you want to ruin it? To preserve copper’s shine and prevent discoloration or tarnishing, it’s advisable to handwash it.

Air Fryer Basket

Close up flat lay image of an air fryer oven on kitchen countertop. This offers fast and easy crispy food with little or no fat by circulating hot air inside the basket. A healthy snack alternative.
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Placing the Air Fryer basket in the dishwasher is a bad idea.  The nonstick coating is susceptible to damage and the basket may not hold up well due to the harsh conditions in the dishwasher. Handwashing is always best.

How to Clean a Dishwasher

dishwasher
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While a dishwasher’s main function is to clean dishes, over time, bits of food particles, dirt, and mineral deposits can accumulate inside of the dishwasher, leading to unwelcomed smells, crappy performance, and potential problems with drainage. By regularly cleaning your dishwasher, you can avoid some of these issues and use it to its full potential.  Here’s a step by step guide on how to best clean it.

How to Clean a Dishwasher with Baking Soda and Vinegar

16 Ways to Modernize a Kitchen Without Remodeling

Kitchen with fridge
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Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter with a big or small kitchen, making your kitchen look and work better can really change how you use the space. And you don’t have to do a major kitchen renovation to make it happen. Here are 16 affordable ways to give your kitchen a modern touch.

16 Ways to Modernize a Kitchen Without Remodeling

15 Tips on How to Declutter Your Home

organized undergarments
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Although clutter can accumulate quickly and easily between you and your life, decluttering can spark immense joy and accomplishment. Here are 15 tips to help you tackle the task of decluttering your home.

15 Tips to Help You Declutter Your Home

12 Surprising Items in Your Kitchen that Need to Hit the Trash Immediately

kitchen countertop with cutting board and muddler
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The kitchen holds a special place in our homes, serving as a hub for cooking, meals, and gatherings. However, even though it’s the center of our daily lives, it’s easy for clutter, disarray, and items that have outstayed their welcome to accumulate in this space. Check out the 12 items in your kitchen that should be thrown away immediately.

12 Surprising Items in Your Kitchen that Need to Hit the Trash Immediately

12 Shocking Things You Should Never Put in the Trash

trash garbage bin
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While we know to separate recyclables, we often group everything else without a second thought, neglecting the items that require special handling. Some of these items can be harmful to people, pets, and the environment, so it’s important to dispose of them correctly. Here are 12 items you should never place in the trash – and what you can do with them instead.

12 Shocking Things You Should Never Put in the Trash

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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

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