Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Feb 12, 2009 08:39 AM

Dishwasher Safe there such a thing?

The title says it all. I was just given a Calphalon set of knives for Xmas. I have washed knives in the dishwasher before and the giver asked and was assured by the salesman (at Bed, Bath and Beyond) that they were dishwasher safe. I just pulled out my 6" utility knife from the upper rack and it has quite a few rust spots on it! I am not happy. I called Calphalon and was told that their knives are not dishwasher safe after all.

So, is there anyone out there who makes good knives that you can put in the dishwasher? I don't see why that is such a big deal. So far I have not heard of them. I hate being a slave to my tools and, yes, I do not want to have to spend "a few extra seconds" merrily hand washing and lovingly drying some inanimate object. I'd rather be swilling Veuve Clicquot or something less drudgy.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Then angle for a large private income and staff to do it! Seriously, it's doubtful the opportunity cost on your time is that high. Quality cutlery requires a little TLC. If you're that strapped for time, get some cheapo knives you can toss into the dishwasher with impunity.

    1. Good quality, dishwasher safe knives?

      Not that I've seen, then again, I've never looked for them.

      Even the cheap stainless knives will rust in the dishwasher if you don't remove and dry them when the machine is finished.

      1. No. You're just going to have to spend the extra few seconds and wash them by hand. It's not like thy have cooked on grease on the blade - it shouldn't take much time and effort.

        1. If I spend 2 minutes a day washing the knives by hand, that is 2 x 365=730 minutes or 12.1666 hrs/yr washing knives. If I spend 3 minutes a day washing the knives by hand, that is 3 x 365=2,095 minutes per year or 18.25 hrs/ year washing knives. Saying, "Oh, it's just a couple of minutes a day...what's the big fuss." is not getting to the end of the thought. Time adds up. The point is to spend less time every day doing things you don' t like to do, and more time doing things you do like to do. Making a dishwasher safe knife is a lot easier than coming up with quite a few modern conveniences, I don't see why it hasn't been done. Maybe it has been, has it?

          8 Replies
          1. re: Fabienne301

            I have henkels and wustoff knives, both chef's and paring. I don't put the big knives in but do put the little ones in. No particular reason for my inconsistency, other than perhaps worrying about hurting myself on the big ones. Anyway, there is no problem with the dishwasher on those. And I am not going to be intimidated by those who say I shouldn't do what I'm doing. Everyone has their own priorities and choices in life, and it's a real drag to be lectured to :)

            1. re: DGresh

              I have Wusthoff and Henkels and they go in the DW with no problem. None.

              1. re: c oliver

                Ditto on the Henkels, but my best knives are Sabatier carbon steel and they always get hand-washed. If I'm just chopping up a vegetable the Henkels are fine, but for serious surgery and really precise work they just don't cut it. ;-)

            2. re: Fabienne301

              You need to order takeout.

              What about the time to load the dishwasher and empty the dishwasher? Take your calculator to that and see what you come up with.

              Seriously, the biggest problem is that all knives are made of steel, and even stainless steel can rust if it is left to drip dry Even flatware stainless will rust after a while, because the serrated edges tend to hold water longer at the edge than say, a spoon.

              My second point is that chef's and utility knives are sharp and dangerous, and the stitches you or your housemate will one day require at the ER is going to cost you a good chunk of time, inconvenience and pain.

              1. re: RGC1982

                My knives go in the DW at times. They aren't rusted. Why is that??? Regarding your second point, isn't someone more apt to cut themselves on a knife lying submerged in the sink than being lifted out of a DW?

                1. re: c oliver

                  Only a fool would submerge sharp knives in the sink to handwash them. I know you know better.

                  If you knives aren't rusting, you are fortunate. Maybe your knives are made of a different blend of metals, have a different finish, or perhaps you use your drying cycle while others don't. You may empty your dishwasher immediately after the cycle finishes, and others leave them in that damp environment overnight on a regular basis. Who knows exactly why. I have washed knives in the DW in the past, and rust eventually presented itself on serrated flatware knives near the edges and some utility knives I used to wash in the dishwasher. It happened on more than one type of knife from several manufacturers. I have since invested in fairly expensive knives, and I have decided that they need to be treated better. That said, go ahead keep doing what you are doing because it works for you. No reason to follow manufacturer's instructions if you have found a better way. It's your kitchen.

              2. re: Fabienne301

                Cleaning my Global (carefully) takes about a minute. Taking it from my room to the (shared) kitchen and unboxing it, then taking it back takes about another minute.

                Slicing throuch chuck steak or vegetables efficiently saves me back that time easily. I've spent about 15 minutes trying to dice steak with a bad knife before so I appreciate having the correct tools. Another point is that a sharp knife will cut through onions cleanly and won't crush them; this means you won't cry while cutting them.

                Plus it's a fact that sharpen knives are safer because you don't need to expend as much pressure when cutting; you're less likely to chop your finger off. And if you use your knife a lot, you're less likely to injure your hands from RSI or blisters etc.

                So to summarise:
                Pros: Efficiency, cleaner cuts, retaining fingers, less chance of injury.
                Cons: You have to spend a minute cleaning it.

                1. re: Fabienne301

                  Let's not forget the time it takes to walk to the dishwasher instead of the sink. In my house, that's an extra second there and second back. That's 2 seconds per knife [we usually use 5], so 10 X 365 = 3650 seconds or 1.01 hours. So that would be only 17 hours per year instead of the 18.25. I know what you're thinking... Washing 5 knives a day would take more than 2 minutes, but you see we cut corners on the washing process. Also, you may group the knives together before walking to the dishwasher, but I find this actually takes more time. We did an experiment, where the wife and kids and I just shared one knife, but this lead to problems at the dinner table.

                  Anyways, I found a good explanation at
                  The problem isn't the knife, it's the chemicals in the dishwasher.

                  Moral of the story, sometimes you've got to but the 18 and a quarter hours effort per year into something if you want it to last. I mean, my time would go down to 0 hours by making the kids do the dishes, but then you know... then I would have a bunch of rusted knives and chipped plates.

                2. Victorinox "Fibrox" line of knives could probably take the dishwasher even though hand washing is still recommended by the manufacturer.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Cary

                    I use Victorinox steak knives that are dishwasher safe and they work well.