Place your pots and pans in a dishwasher, expediting your kitchen cleaning and saving you valuable time.
However, confirming that your cookware has been marked as “dishwasher safe” before initiating a wash cycle is imperative to benefit from this advantageous kitchen gadget.
Using a dishwasher to wash your pots and pans can save time. However, not all cookware is dishwasher-safe, which may make you wonder if you can put frying pans or stainless-steel pots in the dishwasher.
Fortunately, with our easy-to-follow guide, you can quickly determine if your cookware is suitable for dishwashing.
What Does Dishwasher Safe Mean?
While the industry has no standard definition for what can or cannot be placed in the dishwasher, the commonly accepted rule is that dishes that can withstand high temperatures, detergent, and water pressure without getting damaged can be considered dishwasher safe.
It is worth noting that every kitchenware manufacturer has its own guidelines and testing processes for determining whether their products are suitable for dishwashers.
To make it easier for consumers, many manufacturers indicate their dishwasher-safe products by printing some “dishwasher-safe” versions on the bottom of the dishes.
Which Pots And Pans Are Dishwasher Safe?
The dishwasher can be a convenient and time-saving option for cleaning pots and pans. Still, not all materials are suitable for this cleaning method.
Cookware made of certain materials can generally be washed in the dishwasher, including:
Yes, that’s correct! Pots and pans made from anodized aluminum are generally safe to wash in the dishwasher as they are protected from chemicals used during a wash cycle.
You can safely put regular wine glasses and sturdy drinking glasses in the dishwasher.
It is advisable to wash fragile glassware, such as hand-blown or hand-painted glass, milk glass, and crystal, by hand to avoid the risk of breakage, yellowing, or etching.
Harsh dishwasher detergents can cause cloudiness or pitting in these types of glassware.
Stainless steel pots and pans are generally considered safe to clean in the dishwasher, but keeping a few things in mind is important.
The dishwasher’s high humidity can cause metal corrosion, whereas hand washing allows for better temperature control.
If you want to be extra cautious, it’s best to hand wash your stainless steel cookware, especially if it’s heavily stained.
However, if you’re short on time, putting your stainless steel pan in the dishwasher is generally safe as long as it’s labeled safe.
Just be sure to give it enough space to avoid scratching and to ensure proper washing and drying.
Pots and pans made from ceramic materials such as china or porcelain, which have no hand-painted designs or embellishments, are usually safe to wash in the dishwasher.
Some china and ceramic dishware types, such as plates, bowls, mugs, and serving dishes, can be safely washed in the dishwasher.
Before washing your dishes in the dishwasher, it is important to check for dishwasher-safe markings on them.
If no such markings are available, consult the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you use the suggested cleaning method.
Hand-washing anything antique, metal-rimmed, or hand-painted is recommended, as high water pressure, detergent abrasion, and high temperatures can cause breakage or fading.
Suppose you mistakenly put your wine glasses or fancy glassware in the dishwasher, and they have become cloudy.
In that case, there are still ways to restore their crystal-clear appearance. Try using vinegar, baking soda, or specialized glass cleaners to remove the cloudiness and restore their shine.
It’s best to avoid putting sharp knives in the dishwasher. High heat and harsh detergents cause the blades to become dull or nicked, and the knife can damage the dishwasher racks.
Instead, hand wash your knives with a gentle detergent and dry them immediately to maintain their sharpness and prevent damage.
If you have non-stick pots and pans, it’s important to note that using the dishwasher may only sometimes be the best cleaning option.
While some non-stick cookware is dishwasher safe, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions or look up the brand online to confirm this.
If you need access to the product instructions or are unsure of the brand, it’s best to err on caution and hand wash your non-stick cookware to avoid damaging its non-stick surface.
Which Pots And Pans Should Be Hand Washed?
Regarding aluminum pots and pans, it’s important to exercise caution before putting them in the dishwasher.
Check the manufacturer’s instructions to confirm your pots and pans are dishwasher safe. If it is, putting your aluminum pot in the dishwasher is safe.
However, remember that aluminum is susceptible to scratches, so it’s important to ensure that no other dishes or utensils are resting against the pot.
Another thing to note is that aluminum may develop a dull finish over time.
If your cookware is dishwasher safe, it’s a good idea to alternate between hand washing and using the dishwasher to help preserve its sparkle for longer.
This will help prevent the aluminum from becoming damaged or discolored, ensuring that your cookware stays in top condition for as long as possible.
It’s important to note that cast iron pots and pans should never be placed in the dishwasher.
The dishwasher’s hot and humid conditions are unsuitable for cast iron cookware, as they can cause the cookware to rust and strip away the protective seasoning that creates a non-stick surface.
Therefore, it’s recommended to wash cast iron cookware by hand instead.
When it comes to plastic items, it’s important to differentiate between hard and thin/disposable plastics.
Hard plastic items, if marked as dishwasher-safe, can be placed in the top rack of the dishwasher without any issues.
However, thin or disposable plastic items are at risk of melting in the high-temperature environment of the dishwasher.
Silicone utensils, such as spoons, spatulas, and most metal utensils, can usually be placed in the dishwasher without issue.
If your dishwasher has a third rack, securing them there is best instead of placing them in the silverware basket.
However, be cautious with hollow-handled utensils and knives, as the high heat in the dishwasher can cause the adhesive holding the parts together to melt.
Using the dishwasher for pots and pans made of copper is not advisable as it could damage their beautiful shine and color.
The optimal approach would be to hand wash them. If your copper pan has a burnt bottom, try a simple and effective cleaning method by sprinkling some salt on it, then covering it with white vinegar and letting the solution work for about 15 seconds before scrubbing.
This should help to remove any stubborn stains or burnt-on food without damaging the surface of your copper cookware.
That’s correct! Wooden cutting boards and utensils should be washed by hand to avoid swelling, warping, or cracking due to the high heat and humidity inside the dishwasher.
How To Hand Wash Pots & Pans
If you are unsure whether to put your pots and pans in the dishwasher, knowing how to hand wash items properly can help protect your cookware from potential damage.
To hand wash pots and pans, you must know how to prepare, wash, rinse, and dry your dishes before they are ready to be stored away for next time.
To prepare your pots and pans for hand washing, use a gentle cleaning tool or paper towel to scrape away any areas of significant food build-up.
For more stubborn pieces of food, you can soak the cookware in a mixture of cleaning solutions such as dishwashing soap, baking soda, and hot water for 15 to 30 minutes.
After prepping your pots and pans:
- Fill the sink or a dishpan with hot water, and add a small amount of dish soap.
- Place the items in the water and use a sponge to gently scrub each piece of cookware, including the bottom, until all traces of food have been removed.
- Check frequently for any missed areas.
After washing the item, rinse it thoroughly with hot water from the faucet to ensure all the soap suds are completely gone.
After rinsing the item, let it air dry on a dish rack or use a clean towel to dry it by hand. If using a towel, ensure it’s free of lint or debris sticking to the cookware.
Know What To Put In Your Dishwasher
As long as your pots and pans are labeled dishwasher safe by the manufacturer, you can save time and effort by using your dishwasher for cleaning.
However, it’s important to remember the abovementioned cautions for certain materials to avoid damage or deterioration.
When in doubt, it’s always better to hand wash your pots and pans to ensure they stay in good condition for longer, especially for those stubborn stains requiring extra elbow grease.