While dishwashers are incredibly convenient appliances, there are certain items that should never be placed in them. Ignoring these guidelines can lead to damage, reduced effectiveness of the dishwasher, or even safety hazards.
- Non-Dishware Items: Avoid placing non-dishware items like plastics not labeled as dishwasher-safe, wood, aluminum, and cast iron. Plastics can warp or melt, wood might crack, aluminum may discolor, and cast iron can rust.
- Sharp Knives: High water pressure and movement can dull or damage knife edges. Hand wash and dry sharp knives promptly to maintain their quality.
- Delicate Glassware: Fragile glassware, crystal, and hand-painted items are susceptible to chipping, breaking, or losing their delicate designs in the dishwasher’s aggressive cycle.
- Non-Stick Cookware: Repeated dishwasher exposure can deteriorate non-stick coatings, reducing their effectiveness and lifespan.
- Electronics: Items with batteries or electrical components, like blenders or toasters, should never be immersed in water, as it can cause malfunctions or electrical hazards.
- Wooden Utensils: Wood absorbs moisture, causing it to swell, crack, or splinter over time. Hand wash wooden items to prolong their usefulness.
- Cooking Utensils with Adhesive: Items with glued parts, such as spatulas or cutting boards, can weaken adhesive bonds when exposed to heat and moisture.
- Certain Plastics: Only use plastics labeled as dishwasher-safe. Others may warp, melt, or leach harmful chemicals when exposed to high heat.
- Fine China with Metallic Trim: Dishwashers can erode metallic trim and decorative elements on fine china. Hand wash these delicate pieces.
- Cast Iron Cookware: Dishwashers strip away the seasoning that keeps cast iron cookware non-stick and can lead to rusting.
- Insulated Items: Containers with insulating material can trap water, which might lead to mold or compromised insulation.
- Items Prone to Discoloration: Items like silverware or stainless steel might discolor when in contact with certain metals in the dishwasher.
- Items with Stuck-on Food: Heavily soiled items won’t be cleaned effectively. Pre-rinse them before loading.
- Disposable Aluminum: Disposable aluminum pans can melt or warp, creating a mess in the dishwasher and potentially damaging the appliance.
- Copper Items: Copper items can tarnish and lose their shine in the dishwasher due to the harsh detergents.
To ensure the longevity of both your dishwasher and your kitchenware, always consult manufacturer guidelines and consider hand-washing items that may be sensitive to the dishwasher’s environment.