Can Stainless Steel Cookware Go in the Dishwasher?

(Last Updated On: November 4, 2023)

Can Stainless Steel Cookware Go in the Dishwasher? Stainless steel is a highly sought-after material for various household items, especially kitchen ones.

While some individuals are drawn to stainless steel for its aesthetics, there are numerous practical reasons why it’s a preferred option.

Stainless steel is timeless and can be incorporated into any era or design style. Furthermore, it possesses various properties, making it an excellent choice for many household items.

For instance, stainless steel is straightforward to sterilize, making it the material of choice for commercial kitchens and family homes.

Additionally, stainless steel is resistant to stains and corrosion, ensuring it retains its original appearance for years.

Its durability and longevity make it an excellent investment and a popular alternative to single-use plastic.

However, many assume that stainless steel is dishwasher safe due to its durability and ease of use, which may only sometimes be true.

Before answering this question, it’s essential to understand the composition of stainless steel.

Which Varieties of Stainless Steel Are Safe for Use in The Dishwasher?

To determine which cookware is safe to put in the dishwasher, it is essential to know the metal’s composition and the pan’s construction. Stainless steel, commonly used in cookware, comes in different grades and alloys.

One such grade is 304 or 18/10 Stainless Steel, an alloy of 18% Chromium and 10% Nickel.

Combining these two metals creates a layer of Chromium Oxide on the pan’s surface, which provides corrosion resistance, particularly in damp conditions.

Due to its non-reactive nature to dishwashing detergents and the presence of the Chromium Oxide layer, 304 Stainless Steel cookware is safe to put in the dishwasher.

The dishwasher can be put in the dishwasher with no negative consequences if made entirely of 304 (18/10), 430, or 18/0 stainless steel.

These pans are typically composed of 1-2 ply and are considered lower quality.

Although these pans are easier to clean, they could offer better cooking performance as stainless steel is not an excellent heat conductor.

Which Types of Stainless Steel Should Not Be Placed in The Dishwasher?

Exceptions exist when it comes to cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware, and one such exception is Stainless Clad Cookware, which cannot be washed in a dishwasher.

Unlike regular Stainless-Steel Cookware, cladded cookware has a more intricate design. This type of cookware consists of layers of aluminum sandwiched between layers of stainless steel.

Our Stainless Clad Cookware, for instance, has a 304 18/10 Stainless Steel cooking surface layer, followed by layers of aluminum and aluminum alloy, and finally finished with a layer of 430 Stainless Steel.

Although the aluminum is almost entirely encapsulated by stainless steel, the pan’s rim exposes a small amount of aluminum.

While Stainless Steel is generally dishwasher safe, the same cannot be said for aluminum, which will begin to break down when it comes to detergents.

Furthermore, 18/0 Stainless Steel, which lacks Nickel and thus lacks corrosion protection, may not be dishwasher safe.

However, it is rare to see 18/0 Stainless Steel Cookware in the current market.

Risks of Dishwashing Stainless Steel Cookware

Using a dishwasher for cleaning our Stainless Clad Pans is not advisable, as contact with detergents can cause aluminum to deteriorate.

The aluminum layers in the pan can completely degrade and vanish due to repeated dishwasher use, making the pan unsafe and impractical.

Moreover, aluminum assists in transferring magnetic currents to the pan, and repeated use of the dishwasher can lead to the loss of induction compatibility.

Using a dishwasher to clean cookware can also lead to other risks, such as pitting, discoloration, and rust.

Although dishwashers are convenient, they are harsh on cookware, and it is best to avoid using them for cleaning Stainless Clad Pans.

To elaborate on these risks, the harsh detergents used in dishwashers can cause pitting and discoloration on the surface of the pan, leading to a decrease in the pan’s durability.

Moreover, repeated dishwasher use can cause rust on the pan’s surface, further deteriorating its quality and safety.

Therefore, it is essential to avoid using dishwashers to clean Stainless Clad Pans and opt for gentler cleaning methods. By doing so, we can ensure the longevity and safety of our cookware.