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Dec 17, 2007 06:38 AM

What Can I/Can't I put in a Dishwasher? [Moved from Not About Food board]

We just moved into our new house and have a dishwasher for the first time ever. Everyday plates, silverware, glasses etc. I know can go in the dishwasher. But what about my plastic cups, pots with rubber handles, plastic cooking utensils, cooking utensils with rubber handles? If I have a really dirty plate, will it come clean if on the top shelf? We bought that cascade two in one dish washer packets and we've used it once and it worked really well. I did notice that when the washing was done and I went to get the plates out they were VERY hot, hence my fear of the plastic cups, rubber handles etc. I'm just scared of ruining anything.

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  1. All I know is don't ever put a mercury thermometer in it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MSPD

      Words of wisdom, and (it sounds like) experience!

    2. Plastics/rubber things go on top shelf... all else can go on bottom. I put my good china in only if they are the ones without the Gold Etched Designs. It tends to make the gold come off.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MeffaBabe

        The more modern and energy efficient DW do fine with plastic on the lower rack -- they don't rely on an exposed heating element.

      2. Things I don't put in: good china, crystal, good knives, nonstick cookware, Le Crueset stuff. Pretty much everything else goes in, and nothing's been ruined yet.

        11 Replies
        1. re: cath

          Same for me, plus I don't put my All-Clad stainless in either.

          The good news is that I don't use my good china or crystal that often. And the non-stick pans and Le Creusets are easy to clean so they don't really need to go in.

          Everything else goes right in.

          1. re: valerie

            For what it's worth, I have been putting my All-Clad stainless pots in there multiple times a week for 10 years and it hasn't affected them one bit.

            Edit to add: I also put Wustof knives in there and it doesn't affect them either. Same for some mid-level, wood handled knives.

            1. re: MSPD

              Quite honestly, the only reason that I don't put my All-Clad in there is that they take up too much room!

              1. re: valerie

                Now, that's a whole different set of advice! That's a source of head shaking and laughter in my house. Sometimes I'll open up the dishwasher and see the giant All-Clad megahuge pot in there which practically takes up the entire bottom shelf. Meanwhile there will be 652 plates stacked on the counter which would otherwise all fit in there. Call me crazy, but I'd rather wash one big pot than a bunch of smaller stuff.

                1. re: MSPD

                  TOTALLY AGREE!

                  That would be the ONE reason I might advocate having a second DW -- pots are a huge "eater" of space. Of course the reality is that good quality cookware is almost always easier to hand wash that a big stack of plates and flatware...

              2. re: MSPD

                FWIW, I just had my knives professionally sharpened & the salesperson told me the DW makes them duller faster.

              3. re: cath

                I put my Le Creuset in and it comes out fine. I believe it's dishwasher safe.

                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  No way! I am fascinated. Do you mean the ceramic or the enameled cast iron?

                  FTR, I wouldn't do it, and I'm pretty sure the directions/warranty prohibit it. But I don't mind babying my LC.

                  1. re: Mawrter

                    I also put my LC enameled cast iron in the dishwasher. It works fine. It is not prohibited, they also consider it DW safe.

                    1. re: Becca Porter

                      Both the stoneware and enameled cast iron are considered "dishwasher safe" according to their care instructions on their website.

                      I've put both types of cookware in my DW and have noticed no problems. I just don't leave the cast iron pot sitting in the humid dishwasher after a cycle because I don't want the exposed cast iron edges to rust.

              4. Turn off the "heat dry" feature. You can open the door when the cycle is done and let the stuff air dry (or leave it closed in the summer; everything will dry in there); saves energy too

                13 Replies
                1. re: Cathy

                  So does everyone not put non stick in, or is it just a pre caution you use cath?

                  1. re: Rick

                    I put in my cheapie teflon Ikea pan; not my All Clad

                    1. re: Rick

                      I made the mistake of running my non-stick pots and pans through the dishwasher for a couple of months, but then discovered they had lost their non-stick quality. (Most obvious with the omelet pan. Ouch!) I now only hand-wash them, but the damage has been done.

                      1. re: StPauliGirl

                        The Ikea pans cost $12. I get a new one every January.

                        (You 'buy' a Christmas tree at Ikea for $20 and they give you a coupon good for $20 off of $50 , good from Jan1-Feb 28...I sort of consider it free...)

                      2. re: Rick

                        Don't put non-stick pans in the dishwasher. The non-stick will no longer work, even thought the rest of the pan is fine. Non-stick pans don't give really good service, as it is. Using the dishwasher only makes it worse.

                        1. re: Rick


                          Non-stick and aluminum cookware doesn't go in. I've ruined at least one aluminum sheet pan and non-stick too. Lodge seasoned cast iron can't go in (stiff brush and NO soap). No wood (warm soapy water and air or towel dry), some hand painted ceramic dishes cannot go in (they usually say on the bottom). As already mentioned no thermometers or knives. Or cuisinart blades. Most ice cream scoops cannot go in. My beloved La Tienda paella pan cannot go in (go figure because you can put it on a grill or under the broiler!).

                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                            No Cuisinart blades? I put mine. Then again, I have sharpened them a number of times.

                        2. re: Cathy

                          Agreed, all the years of dishwasher use, I have never used the "DRY" cycle. It is totally....sorry to use the word, but...... "un-green". I just don't use it.... saves on elec, and keeps from heating up the house. I'll run the washer cycle in the morning, then I have a "personal" fan that I just plug in and sit on the opened DW drawer.....drying is done in a few hours while I'm away. Then, the fan goes back into the cabinet like all other "appliances".

                          1. re: Deepster

                            Along these same lines, I now use the "speed wash" function and the dishes come out just as clean. Less energy used.

                            1. re: emily

                              I use it in Winter, on the basis that the heat released by the dishwasher heats the house and (ever so slightly) increases the humidity.

                              In summer I just crack the door.

                          2. re: Cathy

                            yep, "no heat" dry feature. you just leave the dishwasher closed and they will dry from residual heat -- just take a dish towel to dab dry the recesses on cup bottoms, etc., before removing....

                            1. re: alkapal

                              Ah, alkapal...if you merely open the door when the cycle is done and to sleep... well, by morning, there will be nothing left to dry from the recesses :)

                          3. There is some debate in the medical community about using plastics to eat out of ( especially, if they have been microwaved in or heated up). However, I don't know enough about it to say either way.
                            Your stuff is safe, but the cheapy stuff will become warped over the long haul. I save every plastic container known to man!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: stellamystar

                              I'm right there with you - for some time, everyone claimed plastics were A-okay, no leaching, no chemical interaction, DW-safe, baby-safe, no concern. Now of course there has been study after study revealing the reverse is true on so many of those points. So, although I know many people who believe handwashing is unnecessary, I won't put plastics in the DW and have been slowly culling them from my kitchen. I still use say, the Tupperware, but when it goes I'll replace it with something that isn't plastic.

                              I save plastic containers and then use them when I give away food so the friend doesn't have to save my container and give it back.

                              1. re: Mawrter

                                i think the dishwasher's high-temp hot water is the only way to get plastic really clean. top rack.

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  I do wind up using quite a bit of very hot water when I hand-wash plastics. Also, I curse a lot, b/c I HATE washing dishes. ;-)

                                  There are some very nice glass containers with tight-sealing lids from Crate & Barrel, Pyrex, Martha Stewart/K-Mart, Anchor Hoching, and Bormioli Rocco/Frigoverre. IKEA used to have some fairly good ones, but they don't sell them anymore AFAIK.