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