What Not to Put in the Dishwasher: A Guide to Preserving Your Kitchenware

In today’s fast-paced world, the dishwasher has become a kitchen superhero, saving us time and effort in cleaning up after meals. However, not everything is dishwasher-friendly. While this modern appliance can handle a wide range of dishes, there are items you should never put in the dishwasher. In this article, we’ll explore what not to put in the dishwasher and provide tips on how to preserve the longevity and quality of your kitchenware.

Dishwashers are undeniably convenient, but not everything should be subjected to their powerful jets of water and high heat. Let’s dive into the specifics of what you should avoid tossing into your dishwasher.

Delicate Glassware

Delicate glassware, such as fine crystal wine glasses or vintage glassware, should never go in the dishwasher. The high water pressure and heat can cause these items to chip, crack, or become cloudy over time.

Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware, like your trusty skillet, should be hand-washed. The dishwasher’s harsh detergents and abrasive cleaning can strip away the seasoning that makes cast iron non-stick and rust-resistant.

Wooden Utensils

Wooden utensils, like spoons and cutting boards, are susceptible to warping, cracking, and splitting in the dishwasher. Hand wash them to maintain their durability.

Nonstick Pans

Nonstick pans may lose their nonstick properties when exposed to the dishwasher’s harsh cleaning agents. Instead, wash them gently with a sponge and mild detergent.

Sharp Knives

Dishwashers can damage the sharp edges of knives and even cause the handles to deteriorate. To keep your knives in top condition, hand wash and dry them immediately.

Vintage China

Your grandmother’s cherished china deserves gentle care. The dishwasher can wear down delicate patterns and gold accents. Hand wash these heirlooms to preserve their beauty.

Plastic Containers

Plastic containers can warp and become discolored when subjected to high temperatures. Hand wash them to extend their lifespan and prevent chemical leaching.

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum cookware can react with the dishwasher’s detergents, causing discoloration and pitting. Hand wash and dry promptly to avoid these issues.

Electrical Appliances

Small electrical appliances, like blenders or food processors, should never be immersed in water. Dishwashing can damage their internal components. Instead, wipe them clean with a damp cloth.

Cooking Thermometers

Cooking thermometers often contain electronic components that are not dishwasher-safe. Clean them with a gentle wipe-down to prevent damage.

Wooden Cutting Boards

Wooden cutting boards can split and warp when exposed to water for extended periods. Hand wash them and occasionally treat with mineral oil to maintain their integrity.

Copper Cookware

Copper cookware can tarnish and lose its shine in the dishwasher. Hand wash with a soft sponge and mild soap to protect its appearance.

Crystal Stemware

Crystal stemware is too delicate for the dishwasher. Hand wash these elegant glasses to prevent damage and maintain their brilliance.


In conclusion, while the dishwasher is a time-saving marvel, it’s important to exercise caution when loading it. By avoiding dishwasher use for delicate items like glassware and vintage china, as well as cookware like cast iron and nonstick pans, you can prolong the life of your kitchenware. Remember that some items, such as electrical appliances and sharp knives, should never enter the dishwasher. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your kitchenware remains in excellent condition for years to come.


Can I put stainless steel pots and pans in the dishwasher?

While stainless steel is generally dishwasher-safe, it’s best to hand wash them to maintain their appearance and longevity.

What’s the best way to clean a dishwasher?

Run an empty cycle with a dishwasher cleaner once a month to remove buildup and odors.

Can I put silverware with wooden handles in the dishwasher?

Avoid putting wooden-handled silverware in the dishwasher to prevent damage to the handles.

Is it safe to wash oven-safe glass bakeware in the dishwasher?

Yes, oven-safe glass bakeware is typically dishwasher-safe, but hand washing can help extend its life.

Why should I avoid washing sharp knives in the dishwasher?

Dishwashing can dull the blades and damage the handles of sharp knives, making them less effective and safe to use.

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