WHAT CAN I PUT IN MY DISHWASHER?
Before you buy your new dishwasher, it’s a good idea to know what you can put in it. It’s not always obvious what’s safe to wash and what isn’t. Find out if your new dishwasher will be suitable for what you want to wash below.
Although bear in mind that the type of detergent you use also makes a difference, as some are more abrasive than others. These handy appliances can be used for more than you think.*
WHAT YOU CAN PUT IN A DISHWASHER AT A GLANCE
WHAT YOU MIGHT NOT WANT
TO PUT IN YOUR DISHWASHER
CAST IRON PANS
Cast iron pans offer a unique cooking experience and work well with induction hobs as they’re magnetic. However, part of the magic of cooking with cast iron is the seasoning – the baked-on coating of oil that keeps the pan non-stick.
Putting cast iron pans and woks in the dishwasher can damage or remove the seasoning, which can cause the food to stick to the pan.
We all know that glass can be fragile, and crystal glass needs extra special care. Inside a dishwasher, water is sprayed around at high pressure to remove grease and grime. Putting anything as fragile as crystal glass inside a dishwasher isn’t recommended, as the pressure can knock the glass over and cause damage.
In some circumstances, dishwashers can make glassware cloudy. As crystal glass is designed to sparkle and shine, it’s best to hand wash it instead.
Putting anything as fragile as crystal glass inside a dishwasher isn’t recommended.
ANTIQUES AND HEIRLOOMS
Antiques and heirlooms are often precious and delicate. Putting them in the dishwasher comes with the risk of damaging and breaking them, either from the water pressure, or the high temperatures. This is especially true with hand painted or gilded items, as the decoration can easily chip or flake off.
Sharp kitchen knives are often different to other kitchen cutlery. Some knives have wooden or plastic handles (see below for wood), or handles that are attached with rivets. Both material types can be damaged in the hot water, and rivets can become loose, making the knife less safe to use.
Cleaning in a dishwasher can also make your knives blunt. Dishwasher detergent, especially powder, can be abrasive. This damages the edge of the knife so you’ll have to sharpen the blade more frequently.
Any kitchen tool with sharp edges could catch the dishwasher racks, and rust could then potentially form. The small holes are also unlikely to achieve good washing results.
Some knives have wooden or plastic handles. Both material types can be damaged in the hot water.
Wooden items such as chopping boards and spoons can be damaged in the dishwasher. Hot water can cause the wood to expand and when it cools down, this can cause cracks. Similarly, dirty water can permeate the wood and become trapped.
Spoons and boards can become warped, and if there is any finish on the wood, this can flake off. Some wooden items are dishwasher-safe, but this will usually be specified. As a general rule, avoid putting anything wooden in the dishwasher. This advice also applies to items made from bamboo.
NON-STICK/TEFLON POTS AND PANS
Some non-stick pots and pans can go in the dishwasher, but not all of them can. The non-stick coating can be damaged by the harsh environment during washing, shortening its lifespan.
COPPER POTS AND PANS
Copper pots and pans can be damaged or discoloured from dishwasher cleaning. If you cook with these, retaining the copper colour can be difficult, and dishwashing is likely to cause more oxidation. Harsh detergents can also cause scratches and pitting.
This also applies to some aluminium pans, although some are dishwasher safe.
Cleaning disposable aluminium can cause black marks to form over other items in the dishwasher.
As aluminium is quite light, it can be spread around the inside of your dishwasher. This can cause damage to glasses or anything prone to scratching (although these shouldn’t be in the dishwasher either).
A lot of insulated mugs are designed to have a gap between two materials filled with air. This helps improve the insulation the mug provides. However, putting these in the dishwasher can result in water getting into this gap, becoming trapped. A quick hand wash is a much better solution.
ANYTHING WITH ADHESIVES
This one is fairly self-explanatory. Heat causes adhesives to lose their stickiness and come away from their surface. They can also end up getting stuck on other items in the dishwasher or clog up the appliance itself. Remove sticky labels and other adhesives before putting the item in a dishwasher, or wash it by hand.
GOLD- AND SILVER-PLATED CUTLERY AND CROCKERY
Gold and silver are fairly soft metals, and so are not suitable for dishwashing. They can become damaged as the detergent wears away the metal. As these items are likely to be expensive to replace, it’s not worth the risk.
Gold and silver plated cutlery and crockery cannot be dishwashed.
UNUSUAL ITEMS YOU CAN WASH IN THE DISHWASHER
CLEANING CLOTHS, SPONGES
These items are used for some fairly dirty tasks, and running them through the washing machine would likely be your first thought. But, you can also give these items a good clean, and sanitise them, by popping them in a dishwasher cycle.
WELLIES, SANDALS AND FLIP FLOPS
This comes with the assumption that there are no leather straps on these items, but popping rubber or plastic footwear in the dishwasher can give them a really good clean. Just don’t forget to give the inside of your wellies plenty of time to dry before wearing them.
Children have a tendency to put things in their mouths, and so it’s important that these items are clean. Some plastic toys can be put in the top of the dishwasher to get clean and sanitised, but be sure they are suitable for high temperatures.
FRIDGE AND FREEZER SHELVES
You can easily give the shelves and drawers inside your chilling appliances a good clean in the dishwasher.
If you want to avoid scrubbing dirty potatoes in the sink, pop them in the top of your dishwasher and run a rinse cycle. You can also wash other tough fruit and veg like carrots, celery and apples.
From shin and knee pads to teeth and gum guards, all these pieces of sport paraphernalia can be cleaned up in the dishwasher. We suggest you leave these to air dry afterwards.
While your furry friends are unlikely to care how grubby their bowls or toys get, you might. Many of these can be popped in the dishwasher for a thorough clean.
VENT AND GRILLE COVERS
If you’ve ever glanced at your vent and grille covers, chances are they are fairly grubby. This is especially true for extractor fans. Cleaning these can be a very tricky, not to mention a time consuming job. If you can get them off easily, you can run them through the dishwasher.
From shin and knee pads to teeth and gum guards, these can all be spruced up in the dishwasher.
ONE FINAL NOTE…
So far, we’ve talked about cleaning. However, some people use their dishwasher for cooking too.
Reaching temperatures around 75°C, you can slow cook or steam food. If you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll find recipes for meals like poached salmon or bagels online. Just make sure the food is thoroughly cooked and safe to eat before you tuck in.
*euronics accepts no responsibility for items damaged or discoloured through dishwasher cleaning, or damage done to the dishwasher itself. Please ensure that items are dishwasher safe before washing them.