Your dishwasher may appear to be a universal, all-purpose cleaning machine, but there are some things that you should never place inside. Attempting to wash certain items can damage the unit and/or the item itself.
It’s frustrating anytime a dishwasher breaks, but it’s even more frustrating when the problem is caused by user negligence. Without further ado, here are 5 things you should never put inside a dishwasher.
#1) Wooden Utensils
Wooden spoons, spatulas, forks, and other utensils should be hand-washed. The hot water inside a dishwasher can warp wooden utensils, permanently damaging them. Some premium wooden utensils are often labeled “dishwasher-safe,” so check the manufacturer’s instructions beforehand. If the label says it’s safe to wash, you can go ahead and place it inside the dishwasher. But if its doesn’t say dishwasher-safe, hand-wash it.
Avoid washing your good kitchen knives in the dishwasher, as it can dull or even chip the blades. The violent water blasting from all directions combined with the plates and dishes shifting around will take a toll on your knives.
Good kitchen knives aren’t cheap, so use extra care to ensure they offer you years of use by hand-washing them. Feel free to toss your butter knives in the utensils holder of your dishwasher, but lay your good knives off to the side to hand-wash later.
#3) Cast-Iron Skillets
Arguably, one of the worst items you can place inside a dishwasher is a cast-iron skillet. The heavily seasoned surface won’t hold up under the stress of a dishwasher, at which point the seasoning will strip right off. Washing a cast-iron skillet in the dishwasher may also promote the formation of rust, which is something no one wants to see on their skillet.
#4) Pots and Pans
Why should you avoid placing pots and pans inside the dishwasher? Again, the stress of a dishwasher can damage these items, creating loose handles, wearing down the surface, scratching them, etc. Cheaper, thinner pots and pans are more susceptible to damage caused by a dishwasher, but it’s best to play it safe by hand-washing all of your pots and pans.
#5) Plastic Containers
Plastic containers offer a simple and effective way to store dinner leftovers. When it comes time to clean them, however, you should avoid placing them in the dishwasher. Being that the inside of a dishwasher can reach 150-200 degrees Fahrenheit, it can easily damage or even melt plastic containers.