Can Enamel Covered Metal Plates Go in the Dishwasher

When it comes to modern conveniences in the kitchen, the dishwasher is a must-have appliance. However, not all kitchenware is suitable for dishwasher cleaning.

One common question that arises is whether enamel covered metal plates can safely go in the dishwasher. This article aims to provide a comprehensive answer, addressing all relevant considerations.

Can Enamel Covered Metal Plates Go in the Dishwasher?

Yes, enamel-covered metal plates can typically go in the dishwasher. Enamel is a durable and heat-resistant material that can withstand the high temperatures and water pressure of a dishwasher cycle.

However, it is always best to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific care and maintenance guidelines for your enamel plates.

To ensure the longevity of your enamel plates, it is recommended to use a gentle detergent and avoid abrasive scrubbing pads or harsh chemicals in the dishwasher.

Additionally, be mindful of stacking other heavy items on top of the plates to prevent chipping or damage to the enamel coating.

Overall, with proper care, enamel-covered metal plates should be safe to clean in the dishwasher for convenience and ease of use.

Understanding Enamel Covered Metal Plates

Enamel covered metal plates are popular for their durability and aesthetic appeal. They consist of a metal core, usually steel or cast iron, coated with a layer of enamel.

This enamel layer is a type of glass that is fused to the metal at high temperatures, providing a non-porous, smooth, and often colorful surface.

Benefits of Enamel Covered Metal Plates

  • Durability: Enamel coated metal plates are resistant to scratches, corrosion, and rust.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Available in various colors and designs, these plates add a touch of elegance to any dining setting.
  • Non-Toxic Surface: The enamel coating is food-safe, ensuring no harmful chemicals leach into your food.

Common Concerns

Despite their advantages, enamel covered metal plates require careful handling to maintain their pristine condition.

The enamel coating can chip or crack if mishandled, exposing the metal underneath and compromising the plate’s integrity.

Dishwasher Safety for Enamel Covered Metal Plates

Manufacturer Guidelines

The first step in determining whether your enamel covered metal plates can go in the dishwasher is to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Many manufacturers specify whether their products are dishwasher safe. This information is typically found on the product packaging or the manufacturer’s website.

Potential Risks

Using a dishwasher to clean enamel covered metal plates can pose several risks:

  • Chipping and Cracking: The high-pressure water jets and harsh detergents used in dishwashers can cause the enamel to chip or crack.
  • Thermal Shock: Rapid temperature changes during the wash cycle can cause the enamel to expand and contract, leading to potential cracking.
  • Discoloration: Prolonged exposure to high temperatures and detergents can cause the enamel to lose its vibrant color over time.

Best Practices for Dishwasher Use

If the manufacturer indicates that the enamel covered metal plates are dishwasher safe, follow these best practices to minimize risks:

Loading the Dishwasher

  • Avoid Overcrowding: Ensure plates are well-spaced to prevent them from knocking against each other during the wash cycle.
  • Secure Placement: Position the plates securely in the dishwasher rack to avoid movement.

Choosing the Right Detergent

  • Use Mild Detergents: Select detergents that are labeled as gentle or suitable for delicate items.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Stay away from detergents containing bleach or strong alkalis, which can damage the enamel.

Selecting the Appropriate Cycle

  • Gentle Cycle: Opt for a gentle or delicate wash cycle with lower water pressure and temperatures.
  • Lower Temperature Settings: Reduce the risk of thermal shock by using lower temperature settings.

Hand Washing: The Safe Alternative

For those who prefer to err on the side of caution, hand washing is the safest method for cleaning enamel covered metal plates. Here are some tips for effective hand washing:

Materials Needed

  • Mild Dish Soap: Use a gentle dish soap that is free from harsh chemicals.
  • Soft Sponge or Cloth: Avoid abrasive scrubbers that can scratch the enamel.
  • Warm Water: Use warm water to clean the plates, avoiding extreme temperatures.

Steps for Hand Washing

  1. Pre-Rinse: Rinse the plates under warm water to remove loose food particles.
  2. Apply Soap: Apply a small amount of mild dish soap to a soft sponge or cloth.
  3. Gently Scrub: Gently scrub the plates, paying extra attention to any stuck-on food.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the plates thoroughly under warm water to remove all soap residue.
  5. Dry Immediately: Dry the plates immediately with a soft towel to prevent water spots and mineral deposits.

Maintaining Enamel Covered Metal Plates

Proper maintenance can prolong the life of your enamel covered metal plates and keep them looking new. Here are some maintenance tips:

Avoiding Extreme Temperatures

  • Do Not Use in Microwaves: Enamel covered metal plates are not microwave safe.
  • Avoid Direct Heat: Do not place enamel plates directly on stovetops or under broilers.

Preventing Scratches and Chips

  • Use Non-Abrasive Utensils: Avoid using metal utensils that can scratch the enamel.
  • Handle with Care: Be gentle when stacking or storing the plates to prevent chipping.

Regular Inspection

  • Check for Damage: Regularly inspect the plates for any signs of chipping or cracking.
  • Replace if Necessary: Replace any plates that show significant damage to avoid exposure to the metal core.


While many enamel covered metal plates are marketed as dishwasher safe, following best practices and consulting manufacturer guidelines is crucial to prevent damage.

When in doubt, hand washing is the safest method to preserve the integrity and appearance of your plates.

By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the beauty and functionality of enamel covered metal plates for years to come.

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