9 Kitchen Tools That Should Never Go in the Dishwasher, According to the Experts

updated Nov 20, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

Sure, dishwashers are great for obvious reasons — but, as you surely know, you can’t just throw anything in there all willy nilly.

“Depending on the material, a handwash-only utensil might discolor, rust, warp, or crack in the dishwasher,” says Brian Sansoni, Senior Vice President of Communications at The American Cleaning Institute. “So, when in doubt, keep it out (of the dishwasher).” 

Not sure what kinds of kitchen utensils need to be washed by hand? We asked Sansoni and Leslie Reichert, aka The Green Cleaning Coach, to help us figure out which kitchen tools should always stay clear of the dishwasher.

Here’s what they had to say.

Credit: Marge Perry

1. Wooden utensils

“The heat from the dishwasher can cause wooden utensils to warp or crack in the dishwasher,” Sansoni says.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Fine silverware

“Always wash fine silverware by hand using a gentle soap and place them on a drying rack to avoid water spots,” Reichert says.  

3. Graters and garlic presses

“While the dishwasher might not actually hurt these items, they may not clean out all of the food in the tiny holes,” Sansoni says. “Either wash by hand or at least rinse it out thoroughly first.” 

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4. Strainers and colanders

Similar to graters, Reichert says strainers and colanders should always be washed by hand to ensure you “clean out all of the holes.” 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. Knives

“Washing hollow-handled knives by hand will help keep them sharp for longer (and safer use),” Sansoni says.

Related: This Is What a Dishwasher Actually Does to Your Knife

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6. Decorative wine stoppers

“Wash wine corks by hand with warm soapy water,” Reichert says, “so as not to damage anything glued to the top.” 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

7. Aluminum pans and utensils

“Although some aluminum utensils are dishwasher-safe, others can quickly discolor because of dishwasher heat,” Sansoni says.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

8. Certain plastics

It might seem like a no brainer, but Reichert is here to remind us to keep certain plastic kitchen tools — think: extra thin lids, boards, and plastic-handled cutlery — out of the dishwasher because they “can melt in the drying cycle.” If you do decide to put them in the dishwasher, put them on the top rack.

Credit: Cambria Bold

9. Stainless steel pans and utensils

According to Sansoni, most experts recommend washing stainless steel cutlery by hand to ensure the heat and detergent from the dishwasher doesn’t corrode or tarnish it. “If you do wash your stainless steel utensils in the dishwasher, make sure to not put them all in the same basket so they will get thoroughly cleaned and dried,” he says. 

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: You Should Never Ever Put These 9 Kitchen Tools in the Dishwasher