HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Henckels Dishwasher Safe??

Let me first say, I have many of chef quality Henckel's and Global knives. While I love them, the thing is, they must be handwashed and dried. Sometimes I am lazy and want to shove everything in the dishwasher. So I keep some cheap knives around for this purpose, Farberware. They are pretty awful, but they work and there were really cheap so I got what I paid for. I feel like getting a new set of cheap knives, these: http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product...

Has anyone run these through a dishwasher over a period of time? If so I'd love to hearhow they hold up. Any suggestions for another set of dishwasher safe knives??

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'll get back to you in a year.

    Why give up using the knives you love? You already own them, why not use them? It seems a little pointless to not use knives you already own, no matter how nice they are.
    I purchased my Henckels almost ten years ago and religiously handwashed and dried them until I had a child 18 months ago. At that point I started slipping them in to the dishwasher when my husband was traveling on biz, which is 3-4 days a week. (I also work 40 hrs a week and have an hour+ commute which I will use to justify my actions to the end of the world) They appear to fine...but it's a little early to call, I think.

    BTW, my husband did join me on the dark side this weekend and suggested it himself (and I then confessed previous evil deeds). Time with our child and each other is a little more important than the knives right now.

    5 Replies
    1. re: sebetti

      I wash mine by hand, but my mother puts hers in the dishwasher - the handles get dull, but they still work perfectly well.

      1. re: sebetti

        Washing a knife by hand and drying it takes all of around 30 seconds. I don't see the logic in putting it in the dishwasher.

        1. re: scubadoo97

          This is true for one knife. Now imagine you've got several. Your time commitment just went up. Not by a lot, I'll grant you. But do it every day, pretty soon those minutes add up.

          Weighed against the cost of lost minutes with her child and husband, yeah, I can totally see the logic of using the DW for everything she possibly can.

          1. re: DuffyH

            Washed 3 knives from dinner prep tonight. Took all of 5 min if that much

            1. re: scubadoo97

              My apologies, scubadoo. As this jumped to the top of the boards, I posted before realizing this was an old thread.

              But my point is still valid, I think. OP may have many mandatory tasks that each require only a few minutes. They can add up to a huge time suck. I'm not going to take her to task for choosing to automate this task.

      2. I only and hand wash my knives, I mean we're talking minutes to wash them, the dishwasher will ruin the handles. Also, I would recommend trashing the cheap knives, they're not worth endangering your fingers, besides great knives are meant to be used, enjoy them.

        1. Most of the time my Henckels get a quick soapy swash, rinse and towel dry and then back in the rack right after use. But the steak knives were sneaking by me and making it into the dishwasher. This has been happening for over a year now and I see no damage to the handles at all. They're composition handles, same as the kitchen knives

          1. No good knife should go into the dishwasher. It is not so much an issue with the handles as it is dulling and/or damaging the blades. In the dw the knives get bounced/knocked around. The will lose their edge and can be dinged, bent or chipped. It is not worth the risk at what those knives sell for. Use the knife, wash it under the tap, dry and put away. Mine never go into the sink let alone the dw.

            1. You all must have much more aggressive dishwashers than I do. I put them on the top rack and they don't knock into other things. And I don't think you really need to worry about them "chipping".

              People, I understand what you are saying. I once lived your life. I just don't have the time to do it anymore. I'm sorry, but a few seconds is a LONG time when you have a 18 month old child weaving around your legs like a cat wanting to be "Up, Up, Up,"
              I can no longer clean while I cook and instead have to save it all until after my child has gone to bed. My goal at that point is to clean as quickly as possible so I have time to get in a quick work out, read, then go to bed. As obsessive as I was 2 years ago, I don't care anymore and the knives are fine. (it's actually kind of liberating and it feels wicked in a sexy kind of way!)
              Yeah, it's a question of priorities and a bit of steel loses. It's been 18 months, the knives are still fine, hold an edge, and look good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sebetti

                You have not seen the knives I have working in a kitchen shop where we sharpen knives. Some of them look like they will never be brought back to life. But we do try our best.

              2. My chefs knives never go in the dishwasher, they are washed by hand, and put back in their drawer.

                1. imo, it takes longer to fight with a set of cheapo knives than it takes to quickly wash good knives. it's not a compromise i am willing to make.

                  1. I am asking of anyone out there has experience with knives that are labled as dishwasher safe, an example link was provided. Thanks to the 2 of you who actually provided insight on the actual subject of this post.

                    1. it's not just the knocking around that damages knives. The dishwasher produces high temperatures that can damage the temper of good steel. I'd never consider putting my knives through.

                      Maybe it seems like such a chore because you're making it more difficult than it has to be? Take the knife, put it against the side of your clean kitchen sink, and scrub with a brush. Turn it over, repeat, and rinse. Takes 5 seconds and your expensive knives will thank you. Just make sure you use something that won't scratch - I use soft nylon.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sobriquet

                        This post is not about expensive knives, which I handwash.

                      2. Not that I'm comparing Chicago Cutlery to Henckels, but the instruction manual for my Chicago knives indicated that running them through the dishwasher will cause the handles to look dull but it's only cosmetic and the blades themselves won't be affected.

                        I usually handwash mine but sometimes I miss one or am feeling lazy and put them in. They seem good enough after 3 years...

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: jzerocsk

                          Thanks for the insight. I plan on getting inexpensive knives specifically labeled as dishwasher safe as my cheap set. All Henckels knives are not high end.

                          I think some people didn't read this post carefully. This post isn't about dishwashing good/expensive knives, which are clearly handwash only. This post is about basic consumer knives that are labeled as dishwasher safe.

                          1. re: Ora

                            A lot of replies seem fairly canned to a lot of cookware questions.

                            I haven't used these knives specifically, but I have a set of Henckels pairing knives (the ones with the multicolored handles) that we use and abuse (cutting open boxes and packages, all kinds of things) and have put into the dishwasher for many years now and they keep right on plugging along just fine. More use in a day to day sense than any other knives in the kitchen.

                            1. re: Ora

                              You're fighting an uphill battle. Whenever anyone posts about putting knives in the DW here, many folks will predictably reply with the following points, in which they appear to passionately (obsessively?) believe: it will ruin the handles; it will chip and dull the blades; it will take the temper out of the blades due to the heat; it will stain them; it is so easy to handwash them anyway why put them in the DW; never use cheap knives; and so on. You can look back and find many threads on this topic, always with pretty much the same comments.

                              That may be their experience/belief with their knives, but my experience differs. I can't comment on the particular knives you indicated you are considering buying, but you might look into Dexter-Russell and/or Forschner/Victorinox commercial knives, available at kitchen supply stores everywhere. I have several (I also have many hoity toity expensive "chef" knives that I no longer use much). These knives are inexpensive, but not "cheap." They are made to be sold to real cooks who work in real commercial kitchens for their actual living. They have plastic handles, are light and very comfortable to use, are sharp as hell, and do an excellent job at just about any kitchen task. They are very economical to buy, and replace if need be. They feel better to me than the heavy hoity toity ones I also own (BTW I'm male and am not small, weighing, shall we say, north of 200 lbs.) I use mine all the time, and every day run my DW, at the highest heat setting available, with several in there, and have for years. I put the big ones on the top rack and the little ones in the silverware basket. I have never experienced any dulling or chipping of the blades, discoloration, damage to the handles. or loss of temper of the metal (how sub-boiling temperatures could do that in the first place is a mystery to me, but maybe some metallurgist could enlighten us). In short, the knives are cheap to buy, do a great job, and have not diminished in quality or been damaged in any way after perhaps hundreds of trips through the DW.

                              That's my experience. Take it FWIW.

                              1. re: johnb

                                Yes, maybe the commercial knives you suggest are the way to go. I will begin to investigate this option. Thanks for your thoughtful and responsive post :)

                                1. re: Ora

                                  FYI, here is a link to the D-R site:


                                  The "Sani-safe" line is their most common AFAIK, but there are others too, including wooden handles etc. Mine are Sani-safe. Look down the page. There is also a dealer locator page on the site

                                2. re: johnb

                                  You make some excellent points. Of course knives that are made with NSF certification are made to be put through the DW on the highest setting -- that is pretty much the only way to be sure that the handle is completely "germ free", I tend to agree that such knives are more than "good enough" for home use.

                                  The reality is that the "hoity-toity" knives are sold as a luxury item. Just like you don't see many people driving their Lamborghini through the QuickeeWash many "luxury goods" sell a life style that includes copious amounts of "detailing".

                                  That said I don't think handwashing cutlery is huge consumer of time, and it will certainly NOT shorten the life of knives. It is my contention that DW detergent is too aggressive for the blends of steel that the hoity-toity knife makers choose to use. I think that the amount SS in the resturant style knives is considerably greater, and the target is totally different -- you are not going to find somebody who turns out dozens of breakfasts before 5AM and is is still serving up gyros at 11PM lovingly honing their knife to some razor-like sharpness.

                                  1. re: renov8r

                                    You may be right about that. It'd be interesting to know what is the alloy formula used for the SS in commercial as opposed to home knives. They also seem to keep their edge a lot longer.

                                    Full disclosure. Even D-R's website says they recommend not using a dishwasher for their knives (presumably they would be referring to a commercial DW not a home machine, and that is a different animal). But by the same token, that recommendation is odd given the very name of their "Sani-safe" line of knives, which clearly refers to the knives' ability to stand up to being sanitized in, where else, the restaurant's dishwasher; they do have other lines with wooden handles and perhaps a different steel. Anyway it's probably written by lawyers not engineers, like so many other manufacturers' recommendations, to give them added support in case of a lawsuit or unhappy customer or whatever.

                                    1. re: johnb

                                      It may be that "Sani-Safe" refers to the fact that the knives (particularly the handle material and construction) can be completely sanitized in a sanitizing rinse sink like you'd also often find in restaurants (in a 3 stage sink/dish set up).

                                3. re: Ora

                                  Your popular post automatically becomes about putting expensive knives in the DW, because the issue of which everyday knives to get disappears if you can DW the Globals etc.

                                  Well, including carvers I've (shamefully) got over 50 good ones and they've all been through the machine without mercy. Some of them have been doing this for over 20 years without the slightest problem, so I really think that you need not worry. Also you can be sure of a proper raw meat clean and no raw stuff in the sink.

                                  1. re: Robin Joy

                                    Thanks for responding to the question in my post :)
                                    I just don't want to chance the dishwaher with my Globals. Wow--50 knives! Now I don't feel bad buying more! I am going to get those Kershaw Shuns from W-S as the price is right and they looked really nice, in the store--what the heck, life is short!

                                    1. re: Ora

                                      Hey Ora, don't go using me as an excuse to go crazy with a credit card!
                                      I know that 50+ is way too many but I'm lucky enough to have two addresses here in the UK, and it's only a couple a year over my kitchen life. What happens is that I often buy an "improvement" on something that I already have.....Hence the four Chinese cleavers. If I held a yard sale the neighbours would start talking!

                                      My Globals are fine in the DW, not new looking, more well used, which I think is nice. Start with a small one.

                              2. I think I may give these a try: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...
                                At $79 for the three most used knives, plastic handles and dishwasher safe, seems like a very good deal!

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: Ora

                                  I put our "cheapie" knives in the dishwasher and haven't noticed anything being wrong with them. And I don't think the argument about the detergent is relevant since we use all natural/no chemical detergent.

                                  1. re: rockandroller1

                                    This stuff? http://www.blueheronorganics.com/serv...
                                    What the heck does "contains no harmful chemicals" even mean??? If I let an infant suck down the contents of a standard size table salt shaker the kid would probably die before he could even vomit it back up, does that make table salt 'harmful'?

                                    And is the implication that Cascade DOES contain 'harmful' chemicals? Huh? I don't think I an going to eat either product. Very very curious. Seems like some real PT Barnum marketing tactics in play here...

                                    Who is to say that "all natural" detergent is not harsh as all get out -- have you ever been to a strip mine where they get phospate? This is "all natural" but looks like something from science fiction: http://virtualguidebooks.com/Utah/Sal...

                                    1. re: renov8r

                                      Cascade and the like are pretty powerful detergents and in the area I live in the water is very hard. Those knife blades could become pitted after awhile. As I said before, it just takes a moment to wash a knife and return it to its slot.

                                  2. re: Ora

                                    That's about twice the cost of a similar Dexter-Russel set:
                                    http://www.webstaurantstore.com/dexte... (no idea if this is a good place to get knives from, just a good example from google).

                                    Dexters are perfectly great cheap knives. Slightly brittle blades but decent-enough steel. Mine spend a great deal of time in the dishwasher with no problems at all.

                                    1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                      Love the price! But not the same knives, nor is there an explict claim of "dishwasher safe". At that price, it is worth the risk though. Thanks for the heads up!

                                      1. re: Ora

                                        No reputable manufacturer is going to make a "dishwasher safe" claim. Because of all the reasons mentioned in various posts in this thread. But with anything, it's a trade-off. Is the potential for some cosmetic damage to a cheap blade worth the convenience to you? It is to me; my Global goes in the washer all the time too. I've never had any damage to any blade that way.

                                        Here's Dexter-Russell's official statement on washing their knives:
                                        Everything in there is applicable to any knife you might ever buy.

                                        1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                          Actually, several (not many) manufactures do make the claim. I provided one such example. The question is whether the claim stands up.

                                          1. re: Ora

                                            I have a couple of the Henckels knives you referred to in your first post. To my eternal shame, they have gone through the dishwasher occasionally. They are no worse for it.

                                            Personally, I think the perils of the dishwasher are somewhat exaggerated. It's okay for a plastic cup, but it'll melt stainless steel. Yeah, okay.

                                            They're also ten dollar knives. If something happens (in or out of the dishwasher) to one of them, it won't break my heart.

                                              1. re: Jennifer_B

                                                >>"It's okay for a plastic cup, but it'll melt stainless steel. Yeah, okay."

                                                You're absolutely right, though it's not as completely dumb as you might think. The problem is that during the manufacturing process, the steel in a good knife has gone through a fairly complex series of temperature changes. These steps are designed to alter the molecular structure of the steel with the goal being a blade of precise hardness: it can't be too hard or the blade will chip, it can't be too soft or the edge will bend and never stay sharp. And the problem is, these molecular changes happen at fairly low (well below the melting point) temperatures. The good news is, they don't begin to happen until about 250 degrees Celsius. Since your dishwasher isn't going to be hotter than 100 degrees C, this is not going to be an issue.

                                              2. re: Ora

                                                I no longer can tell what your point is. Buy some and find out.

                                                Also, I said "reputable" and "manufacturers". Williams-Sonoma is a distributor. In any case, here is the Shun statement on dishwasherability. They use the term "dishwasher safe" and then go on to state the EXACT SAME WARNINGS that Dexter-Russell makes. http://www.kershawknives.com/faq.php

                                      2. i know this post is old but i wud like to say i do own a block set of j.a. henckles FORGED knives. and i do wash mine by hand sumtimes and the other 90% of the time i put in the dishwasher. iv had them for 5 years and i dunno why nobody has mentioned they are lifetime warranty so if they do get damaged all u hav to dk is take them to a bed bath and beyond or ship them bak to j.a. hanckles and they will replace no questions asked. my husband tried to cut a frozen roll of ground beef with one of our knives and broke the tip off we took it to bed bath and beyond and they gave us a new one right then and there. so wash away girls and dont worry. i agree lifes too short to worry about knives. so buy the ones that hav a lifetime guarantee happy washing!!!!

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: emathews2010

                                          i agree gurl. i take my knife an kut up chikn and just saw thru the bonez no problm i just luv!! these knifes. that there is the advantage of FORGED knives rite? wen I abuse them i simply tack them bak into the shop to make them give me knew ones to.1 time my husband cut rite into big bonez 4 r doggy the knive looked like it were serated even but we just took it back to the shop easy as pie an they give us new knive no question asked. i agree life iz to short to learn to use a knife properly just brake them and return them.

                                          1. re: emathews2010

                                            Am I the only one who thinks that it's simply wrong to willfully (EatFoodGetMoney sounds positively gleeful about it) mistreat manufactured goods in the knowledge that someone else will pick up the tab if anything breaks?

                                            Would any Hound encourage such an attitude in their children, for instance?

                                            Damage from normal use or faulty manufacturing etc. is of course a different matter.

                                              1. re: TeRReT

                                                I didn't read it that way originally, but you may well be right, in which case I apologise unreservedly to EFGM. We obviously think alike!

                                              2. re: Robin Joy

                                                Knowing EatFoodGetMoney's in his previous posts, and knowing that he is very knowledge about kitchen knives, I agree with TeRReT that EatFood was being sarcastic.

                                                He is very funny.