Part of maintaining your dishwasher is knowing which items are dishwasher safe or not. One will usually see a “dishwasher safe” label on everyday items, but some dishware and cooking equipment are best left for handwashing. Below is a deeper look at what is and is not safe for dishwashing.
Items That Are Dishwasher Safe
A simple way to tell if your dishes, pots, and utensils are safe for the dishwasher is to see if it has a “dishwasher safe” label. Otherwise, it is best to consider carefully for the longevity of both your dishwasher and the item. The term “dishwasher safe” refers to all dining and cooking ware that can stand up to the high temperatures, water pressure, and detergents of a dishwashing cycle. Items that are generally safe for dishwashing include the following:
- Everyday ceramics
- Hard plastic
- Stainless steel
- Everyday drinkware
- Sturdy glasses
- Baking dishes
- Silicone and metal utensils
Hard, durable materials are better suited for dishwashing and are what most households use for everyday dining and cooking. Silicone, stainless steel, and thick, durable plastics and ceramics are the safest materials to add to your dishwashing load.
Items That Are Not Dishwasher Safe
On the other hand, items that require gentler care may last longer when one washes them by hand only. Certain types of dishware will dull, deteriorate, or break because of the high heat, high pressure, and chemicals. These items include the following:
- Antique, metal-rimmed, or handcrafted dishware
- Crystal and delicate glassware
- Insulated drinkware
- Cast iron, copper, and non-stick cooking equipment
- Thin plastic
Antique and handcrafted dishware are likely too delicate for the dishwasher. The older a material is, the easier it is to break. Handcrafted and hand-painted items are easy to damage as well. Likewise, one should steer clear of putting metal-rimmed or silver in the dishwasher, as these metals could deteriorate in the cleaning. For cast iron, copper, and non-stick equipment, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
It is also best to wash knives by hand. The dishwasher could cause sharp blades to dull quicker, and the knives themselves could damage the racks! That is why it is always best to put any knives blade-up in the utensil rack. Thin plastic and wood are most likely to melt or warp under high heat, so they are best for washing in the sink.
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