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Teflon in the dishwasher?

My mother in law jumped all over me for putting one of her teflon pots in the dishwasher. I always thought teflon was dishwasher safe, but she says it makes the coating come off. She is usually a complete idiot, so I thought I would ask you all what you thought.....teflon, go or no go, in the dishwasher?

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  1. Think Calfalon says no-no to its teflon in the dishwasher. Why on earth would you put them in there, anywhere, when they're so easy to clean up? Some soap, a swish with a brush or plastic dobie type sponge, and you're clean. That's what teflon supposed to be about, isn't it? By the way, don't heat any teflon pan over 300 degrees F, it supposedly can release bad fumes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: EclecticEater

      The "bad gas" myth has been thoroughly debunked but continues to be spread by some Chicken Little types. The manufacturing process for coating pans involves heating them well above 600 degrees and any gases vaporize then. If you catch the pan on fire, you have a bigger problem than fumes.

      1. re: MakingSense

        The "bad gas" talk has been debunked? Do you have a citation for that?

    2. I would never put any pan in the dishwasher and putting a Teflon pan in the dishwasher is a recipe for duster. The soap used in dishwashers is extremely alkaline and is very destructive to any pots and pans.

      Teflon should be cleaned with a dishrag or a soft nylon brush.

      BTW. I hope that your MIL doesn't read this board or your X-mas might have to be very generous to get back on her good side.

        1. re: Ora

          That link is right on. Essentially, it gives the results of tests performed by folks who have studied chemistry, developed analytical techniques, and in general, cognitive-associative-based, creative abilities, all at the university level, as opposed to Martha Stewart, the folks who contribute to Time Magazine, and other peoples who specialize in dupping the ignorant.

          By the way, Teflon is usually studied in a first course in organic chemistry, taken at the university level. Basically, it's so non-reactive that you can store fluorine gas in a Teflon-lined container. (Fluorine gas is so reactive that it dissolves glass, and so can't be stored in a glass jar, unlike most caustic chemicals.)

        2. Nothing wrong with putting teflon in the DW. DO not put Calphalon and other anodized pans in there though. It is bad for their finish.

          1. Anytime I've put anything teflon on the dishwasher, it totally ruined it eventually. I finally stopped doing that, and now wash them by hand (they are all new now). I use Dawn dish cleaning wipes - they have an abrasive surface on one side which is not too abrasive, and smooth on the other. They don't seem to scratch them up as badly as some other products I've used in the past.

            BTW - my Cuisinart teflon pans said they were oven safe up to about 450 if I remember correctly. I've used them in the oven with no problem.

            1. I dunno. I have some fairly cheap old T-Fal stuff that I used to wash in the DW regularly (and still do sometimes). It was pretty bad for the outside finish, or at least I assume that's what dulled the black outer finish. But the interiors are fine. In fact the nonstick finish lasted better than some theoretically superior stuff, although the ones I have kept here at home (the skillet I took to work) really weren't used heavily over the years. My mother has the same pans in a white flecked finish that somehow doesn't look as bad after going through the DW plenty of times. Her set is older than mine.

              I think on a lot of these the main reason they recommend no dishwasher is because of the looks. Unlikely to harm the nonstick finish, although you'd want to be careful nothing can bang into the inside of it, etc. Still, it's also pretty darn easy to get a Dobie pad and clean 'em by hand. (The harder part is keeping the Dobie usable for a reasonable length of time, heh.)

              1. Usually I don't put teflon pans in the dishwasher, but last night I made Indian food, and I just couldn't get the residual smell off any other way. In fact, it was so strong, that I could detect a little bit of the smell even after washing in the diswasher!

                2 Replies
                1. re: roxlet

                  roxlet, have you tried lemon rind/zest in the pan and heating it to a boil for a couple minutes. I've gotten odours 'off' my non-sticks in a couple cases where for some reason the handwash didn't work.

                  1. re: kerwintoronto

                    No I haven't, but that's an interesting suggestion. I will give it a whirl next time I am in this situation. I sometimes also find that it is very difficult to remove oil from teflon. I use a lot of soap, wear rubber gloves so I can wash it in the hottest water possible, and still I sometimes find that it feels greasy. Again, washing in the dishwasher also seems to take care of that. Someone also told me that Dawn dishwashing liquid is the best for this problem so I may try that too.