Dishwasher + Knives = bad. Newbie needs 'splaining.
Newbie on this site, and I come from complete service background (can hear the hisses now!)
I'm moving into the foodie area cos of my love for the food I see going out to my tables. I've done heaps of reading here on CHOW, so I'm happy with my baby-steps.
I just wanted to ask - I keep hearing how good knives get bashed around in the dishwasher. How? Do they get thrown around in the cycle or something?
When I first got into the good knives it said not to put them in the dish washer. Since I usually have a large pot or pan that gets washed in the sink. (As well my thermo mug isn't dishwasher safe) It was no problem to add the knife to the hand wash cycle.
No big deal. I didn't even question it.
According to Martha, nothing made of wood should go in a dish washer.
If you think dishwashers get things clean by squirting water at them, think again. Dishwashers get things clean with heat and fairly strong, caustic alkali detergents. Now, some people might not care about what appens to that really thin bit of metal at the cutting edge of their knife while it's exposed to hot alkaline chemicals, but anyone that's spent upwards of $75 on a single knife certainly should! Not to mention the edge contact with any other metal objects in the silverware basket.
A knife is a precision tool, and should be treated as such. As soon as you're done using a knife (and by done, I mean won't be cutting anything with it before whatever is on it dries), you *should* rinse, sponge, rinse and wipe dry, and put it back in the rack / magnet / holder / whatever.
If it takes you longer than 20 seconds to clean and hang a knife, something's wrong with your layout or technique.
There's little hissing about newcomers here (most pf the grumbling is on site talk). Yes, knives can rattle around n the dishwasher, and it's not good for wooden handles. In cutting many things, you can just put the knife under sold water and briefly use a nylon brush. It's a mattter of a few seconds, no longer than it takes to put it in your dishwasher and take it out..
Much of the problem is heat, chemicals and friction. If you lay them down they can cut the plastic coating of the racks of your dishwasher, causing them to rust, and bump up against other things, dulling or chipping the blade. If you put them tip down in the silver rack they could be damaged. Tip up is suicidal. If the handles are wood, you run the risk of them splitting or cracking. The "convenience" of using the dishwasher doesn't make sense to me when I could possibly damage or destroy a $100 knife.
It takes 30 seconds to wash a knife by hand. Why bother with the dishwasher when you'll most likely need the knife before you run the machine!
The problem with knives in a dishwasher is two-fold. The liquid used is very alkaline and will destroy the handles and the high heat of a dry cycle will crack handles and etch the blades.
I never understood putting a knife in the DW because they are so easy to clean with a wet rag or even a few swipes of a 3M scrubbie. Dry it off with a side towel and you are good to go.