Think Twice Before Putting These Items In The Dishwasher

We’ve all been in a situation where we are racing against the clock and need to get the dishes done fast. It’s tempting to just throw everything in the dishwasher and call it a day. But before you do, think twice! There are some items that should never go in your dishwasher and in this blog post we will outline 9 of these items so that you can save potential damage to both your dishwasher and your dishes.

What Is Dishwasher Safe? 

It can be difficult to determine which items are safe to clean in the dishwasher. While some products are labeled as dishwasher safe, others are not. How can you identify which items should not be put in the dishwasher?

To begin, let’s clarify the meaning of ‘dishwasher safe’. Typically, kitchen product manufacturers will indicate whether their items are ‘dishwasher safe’ or ‘not dishwasher safe’ by labeling them accordingly. Look for these symbols on the bottom of the dishware.

The symbol for “dishwasher safe” features a box containing plates or glasses with either lines or droplets to depict water washing over them. The symbol for “not dishwasher safe” is similar but with an X through the box of dishes. Some products may also use a “hand wash only” symbol, which displays hands washing plates. These symbols are usually located on the undersides of the dishware.

If certain products don’t have any dishwasher safety symbols, how can you determine whether or not it’s safe to wash them in the dishwasher?

What Is Not Dishwasher Safe? 

There are several items that are not suitable for dishwashers and may get damaged or reduce the appliance’s effectiveness if washed in it. It’s crucial to avoid placing such things in the dishwasher.

We suggest avoiding these items in your dishwasher:

Cast iron pans

Exposure of the pan to water and harsh detergent at high temperatures over a long period of time can damage its finish and cause rusting to occur earlier than expected.

Wooden cutting boards and utensils

It is not recommended to put wooden boards or utensils in the dishwasher as they can warp, splinter, and break due to the high heat and prolonged exposure to water.

Antique or hand-painted china

While china can typically be safely washed on a “light” or “china” setting, it is important to note that if it is an antique or hand-painted piece, using the dishwasher can cause the fine details to eventually wear away. To preserve the original art on delicate or hand-painted items, it is recommended to hand wash them with a gentle dish soap.

Expensive chef’s knives

It is recommended to avoid washing knives in the dishwasher as the heat and pressure of the jets can dull their blades and remove the rust-protective coating. Hand washing is a better option for these items.

Gold rimmed dishes or glassware

The heat generated by the dishwasher can cause the gold and/or metal detailing to wear down over time and eventually be removed, just like with other delicate items that have intricate designs.

Aluminum or copper cookware

Over time, high temperatures will cause these pots and pans to lose their shine and become discolored. Additionally, if the pan isn’t ionized, the water jets can cause pitting and corrosion. To extend their lifespan, it’s recommended to hand wash these items carefully.

Insulated cups

Using high heat can damage the insulating material of these cups, causing it to shrink or break down. This can compromise the vacuum seal that provides insulation and make the cup less effective at keeping liquids hot or cold.

Dishes with labels still attached

Loose labels in your dishwasher can hinder its performance by clogging the dishwasher filter. This can lead to future problems and prevent dishes from being cleaned properly.


Valuable or delicate items should be washed by hand because the heat and movement during dishwasher cycles can cause them to shift and possibly crack. Although it may take more time, it is worth it to protect these items.

Upgrade Your Dishwasher to Improve Its Performance

No matter what type of dishware you own, it’s important to make sure your dishwasher is in good working condition. If you have an older model, consider upgrading to a more efficient model that provides features such as energy-saving modes and adjustable settings. This can help ensure better cleaning performance while preserving the life of your dishes.

It’s also important to use a non-abrasive cleaner specifically designed for dishwashers to keep it running smoothly and reduce residue buildup on dishes.

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