What not to put into the dishwasher

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Let us all give thanks for dishwashers.

These modern marvels can handle gravy-smeared plates, coffee mugs and caked-on forks – but not everything should go in your dishwasher.

Here are some items you should avoid putting into the dishwasher:


Cast-iron skillets are beloved for their heat retention. But they require special care. Cast-iron cookware must be seasoned with regular applications of oil, and putting them in the dishwasher will strip that right off.

Thankfully, wiping and washing them out after cooking is often all it takes, although scrubbing with coarse salt will also work.

Cutting Boards

Heat and water can warp and crack your cutting board, and the resulting cracks can breed bacteria. Hot water, soap and elbow grease should work wonders.

If you’ve used the board for raw meat and are worried, try a sanitizing solution of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water.

Wooden Utensils

Wooden spoons should also get the hand-washing treatment. Handles are often wood, which can warp or crack just like cutting boards.

Certain Knives

Yes, your basic, inexpensive butter knife can go in the dishwasher. But for those fancy and pricey knives kept in a cutting block, you should wash them by hand.

Detergents can discolor or damage the blade, and water jets can jostle them around, dulling or breaking the blade.

Fancy China

Never put you fancy china in a dishwasher.

Antique, hand-painted or gold-leaf patterns can discolor and fade in a dishwasher’s strong chemical bath.

So, the safe bet is to keep those fancy dishes for the hand-washing pile — especially if they’re a pattern you hope to pass down to future generations.

Some Plastic Storageware

Plastic storage containers can be a lifesaver for leftovers, but the quality of such containers varies wildly. Some of the thicker, sturdier cartons are fine for the dishwasher.

However, keep them and their lids together on the top rack — if they touch the heating elements in the bottom of your machine, they may melt.

Dishes with Print

It doesn’t always happen, but items with printed measurements or words on them can lose their legibility in a dishwasher’s hot steamy belly.

Most glass measuring cups are strong enough to keep their markings for years, but plastic cups may not be.

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