Owning a dishwasher is heavenly. Most North American households now have one, and they help families save time, water, and money. As our appliances and technology advance, they often become tougher on food stains, but also harsher on our dishware. Some of us have gotten so used to loading a dishwasher, it’s been a long time since we’ve stopped to question what exactly is dishwasher safe anymore. This article is a gentle reminder of what you can use in the dishwasher, to protect your dishwasher and your heavenly appliance.
You really can’t put food caked dishes in there.
Your dishwasher is not a garbage disposal and putting too dense of food in the dishwasher can clog the drain line of the washer and that would require a plumber’s removal. Scrape all the food off of your dishes before putting them into the dishwasher. Sauces are okay because they will become liquid enough, but fats and grease will not. Follow the same guidelines you do with your drain, with your dishwasher.
Don’t let paper labels go in the wash.
Labels from jars or on plates and dishware are not safe for the dishwasher for the same reason you can’t put food in there, they can clog the drain line.
Don’t place any glued dishware in the washer.
If once you broke a dish and tried to repair it with glue or an adhesive, this dish is no longer dishwasher safe. The heat can undo the glue or adhesive and wreak havoc inside. To save this dish, you’ll have to wash it by hand and still avoid keeping it in hot soapy water for too long.
Don’t put hollow plastics inside the dishwasher, such as plastic straws.
Unfortunately, putting hollow plastic in the dishwasher can lead to mold growth if water gets inside and stays too long without drying. It’s best to wash these items by hand and make sure they adequately dry out.
Insulated travel mugs should not go in the dishwasher.
Insulated travel mugs should not go in the dishwasher for the same reason hollow straws shouldn’t. They, too, can be penetrated with moisture and promote mold growth.
No wood should be placed inside the dishwasher.
Wooden spoons, cutting boards, and anything made of wood are not permitted for dishwasher use. To keep them in good working condition, you should always wash these types of items by hand and let them dry out quickly in an open air environment. There are even oil products marketed to keep them long standing, this is because they can warp, swell, and crack and lose their protective finishes if placed in the dishwasher.
Any dishes with metallic accents or actual silver flatware should not be washed in a dishwasher.
Because dishes are subjected to bouncing around and clanking together in the dishwasher with the force of the water, you will want to hand wash all these fine dining items to preserve their pristine quality. Just one cycle can ruin a dish with a silver accent.
Cast iron is not dishwasher safe.
Pots and pans made of cast iron need to be cleaned gently and carefully because the very use of them (for cooking) preserves them, and washing them in a harsh dishwasher could strip this coating that protects it.