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What specifically about a dishwasher is damaging to cookware?

LaureltQ Feb 25, 2011 05:57 PM

Like say an all-clad all-stainless exterior pan?

I could see enamel-coated getting etched or banged up on enamel coated cast iron. Obviously things like carbon steel and cast iron shouldn't go in dishwashers.

How do stainless and nonstick get damaged in the dishwasher short of getting banged up when hitting other items? I also hear this about knives. I have stainless wustof knives, and while I never put them in the dishwasher (too easy to clean by hand and I can't guarantee they won't hit stuff), is the only reason not to put stainless knives in the dishwasher besides the possibility of dulling the edge due to mechanical damage?

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    mikie RE: LaureltQ Feb 25, 2011 06:17 PM

    Two things come to mind, first mechanical banging around and second and perhaps most importantly the detergent used in a dishwasher is tough on metals of all types.

    With regards to the knives, it would be the same thing, mechanical damage banging around with the water jets, but the detergent is also tough on the very fine edge of a knife.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mikie
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      Dave5440 RE: mikie Feb 25, 2011 06:28 PM

      I can tell you one pass through the dishwasher ruined 2 of our non-stick pans, not only didn't they work even the finish was noticeably different, i've heard the same thing about the car wash chemicals(the automated ones) dulling the clear coat.

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      Philly Ray RE: LaureltQ Feb 25, 2011 06:23 PM

      Non-stick cookware should not be cleaned in the dishwasher. The detergent is too harsh.

      As for other items, I have read that the reason they suffer in the dishwasher is because we tend put them in too "clean". Since the detergent is looking for something to wash off, it will attack the finish of plates and cookware if there is no grease, food, etc. to clean. Instead of prewashing, just put your stuff in there as is.

      1. LaureltQ RE: LaureltQ Feb 25, 2011 06:36 PM

        So there's actually chemical damage occurring in the dishwasher? I understand that the detergent is rough on finishes, but is it actually damaging? I can't imagine that barkeepers friend is less tough on my all-clad than the dishwasher.

        If all of these pans shouldn't go in the dishwasher is the reason that the manufacturers say that the pans are dishwasher safe is to sell more?

        2 Replies
        1. re: LaureltQ
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          Dave5440 RE: LaureltQ Feb 25, 2011 06:42 PM

          Yep it really is that harsh

          1. re: LaureltQ
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            Chowrin RE: LaureltQ Nov 5, 2013 07:43 PM

            Yes, the detergent is caustic and damaging. Dont use it to handwash stuff,it will hurt your hands too.

            Barkeepers friend is nothing more than oxalic acid, which, while abrasive, is a normal part of cooking. Heck, I've precipitated it out of kale before! (and it is not caustic at all)

          2. monku RE: LaureltQ Feb 25, 2011 06:43 PM

            Dishwashing detergents are being made with less phosphates to help the environment and not cleaning as well.
            http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/sci...

            1 Reply
            1. re: monku
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              Dave5440 RE: monku Feb 25, 2011 06:56 PM

              In Canada they pulled all the phosphates out, now i'm looking for a water softener just for the dishwasher, 3 passes through everything was covered in a white haze , now i'm putting in a quart of vinegar at the last rinse to stop it , and filled the jet dry dispenser with vinegar as well

            2. Chemicalkinetics RE: LaureltQ Feb 25, 2011 07:23 PM

              Hi LaureltQ,

              I agree with Mikie. The detergents used for automatic dishwasher are usually much harsher than the one we use by hand. That said, my impression is that these stainless steel cookware will not be permanently damaged by them. A bit of stain maybe, but nothing cannot be fixed. Now, anodized aluminum cookware is a completely different matter.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                Dave5440 RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 25, 2011 07:32 PM

                I couldn't believe what it did to my aluminum parts for my meat grinder , destroyed the finish

                1. re: Dave5440
                  Chemicalkinetics RE: Dave5440 Feb 25, 2011 07:39 PM

                  Yeah, aluminum is much more reactive than stainless steel. I can totally see that. Probably worse for anodized aluminum than bare aluminum because the anodized surface can be striped off.

                  So what did you do after that incident? Were you able to fix the part by sanding the affected surface or buy new parts?

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                    Dave5440 RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 26, 2011 08:18 AM

                    I ended up buying a new grinder, the motor was starting to smoke on it anyway, and any SS i've ever put in (or left in not intending to run it) has never been affected

                2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  LaureltQ RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 25, 2011 07:40 PM

                  This is what I imagined was the case. I can't imagine that there would be permanent damage to SS cookware. I have a junky nonstick pan my mother in law bought us when my hubby and i started dating that has probably only been washed in the dishwasher and it is still in great shape after 5 years. Perhaps that has more to do with how often I use it versus other pans than how it stands up to the dishwasher.

                  1. re: LaureltQ
                    Chemicalkinetics RE: LaureltQ Feb 25, 2011 07:47 PM

                    I agree. All Clad (like many others stainless steel manufacturers) claims their Stainless Steel cookware are dishwasher safe:

                    http://www.all-clad.com/consumer-serv...

                    I just looked up the All Clad website (as you can tell above) and surprised to find out that All Clad has made a new line of anodized aluminum cookware which can endure the dishwasher environment. Evidently, All Clad put another layer of "something" to protect the anodized aluminum. Here: "The revolutionary exterior coating technology allows LTD2 to endure the harshness of daily dishwasher":

                    http://www.all-clad.com/collections/L...

                    Finally, my vauge understanding is that the newer dishwasher detergents have gotten less aggressive in recent times.

                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    wekick RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 27, 2011 07:14 PM

                    It seems that I have seen kind of an iridescent dark blue damage to a stainless pan at sometime, with something washed in the DW. I can't remember the exact circumstance. Maybe my mom's pans. Would a copper bottom contribute to that? I do wash my KA stainless mixing bowl with no problems, but wash most all pots and pans by hand, do to that memory.

                  3. Eiron RE: LaureltQ Feb 25, 2011 08:56 PM

                    LaureltQ, who's telling you that stainless steel gets damaged? And what are they saying happens exactly?

                    Knives: blades will get dull faster due to banging around & caustic detegents, but also handles will suffer. Plastic handles will lose their surface components (plasticizers) from the combination of detergent chemistry & heat of the wash water & drying cycle. Wood handles will succumb even sooner.

                    1. Jay F RE: LaureltQ Feb 26, 2011 05:36 AM

                      Isn't the heat in the DW too high for knife edges, i.e., they "melt" at some microscopic, yet critical, level?

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                        LovinSpoonful RE: LaureltQ Feb 26, 2011 05:53 AM

                        Stainless steel cookware is fine to put in the dishwasher. I have All-clad stuff that has been going in for 10 years or more that is perfect.

                        Knives are fine so long as a) the handles are dishwasher safe and b) they will not knock against anything. It's the physical banging of the edge that is at issue. As an experiment I tucked a decent and just sharpened Henckels knife in the corner of the dishwasher for like 20 cycles, took it out and there was no discernable damage to the edge, so I put all my stainless knives in there now, when convenient.

                        DON'T put anodized alum cookware in. I have a ruined Calphalon pot top that will show you how one cycle will take the destroy the finish.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: LovinSpoonful
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                          BruceMcK RE: LovinSpoonful Feb 26, 2011 06:13 AM

                          The manager at the Calphalon Culinary Centre told me she can tell if anodized Calphalon has been through the dishwasher just once, and it will void the warranty. Someone I know puts her anodized pots (not Calphalon) through the dishwasher regularly and I was horrified how quickly they went from sexy gray-black to pasty whitish aluminum. I was horrified, but she did not care.

                          This obviously does not apply to the new generation of dishwasher safe anodized like Calphalon Unison and All-Clad LTD2 (which is soooo cool!).

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                          E_M RE: LaureltQ Feb 26, 2011 06:46 AM

                          Certain detergents will etch or pit stainless. We don't use Cascade for this reason.

                          However, with whatever we do use, we wash everything. Stainless, non-stick (admittedly not a good idea), sterling, aluminum (haven't ruined it...yet), etc.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: E_M
                            johnb RE: E_M Feb 27, 2011 03:48 PM

                            I use whichever detergent is cheapest, and that often turns out to be Cascade (on sale of course--the other fav is Electrosol). I have washed SS cookware and SS knives, and have never seen ill effects on either. I have some Dexter Russel paring knives (sani-safe) that go thru in every load and over the years have therefore probably gone thru the DW 7-800 times or more and there is no effect whatever. So what is the problem with Cascade?

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                            eliz553 RE: LaureltQ Feb 26, 2011 07:53 AM

                            As long as the DW is loaded so that the contents are not scraping against each other, All Clad stainless is not harmed at all by the DW. (I do have a life outside of the kitchen).

                            I hand wash good knives (99 cent paring knives go in the DW).

                            Just use common sense.

                            1. kaleokahu RE: LaureltQ Feb 27, 2011 07:51 PM

                              Hi, Laurel:

                              No one has mentioned abrasives. I believe most DW detergent contains a lot of abrasives, and even a little combined with heat and strong detergent is very harsh on what's inside.

                              IMO, no, banging damage is not the only reason to avoid the DW for SS knives. The wear imparted by the *sandblasting* will selectively prefer the edge and erode and mess up your bevels. You also have to deal with the effects of the DW on handle materials--it's not good to repeatedly scour and bake plastics and epoxy-impregnated materials.

                              BTW, a DW usually does a mediocre job anyway. Today I started cleaning up a set of 1950s Revereware for another poster (Hi, Lucy!), that I know was run through a DW. 5 minutes with BKF and a Scotchbrite was far superior to *umpteen* times through the DW. By the time it comes off the buffer, it will look almost new.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                Chemicalkinetics RE: kaleokahu Feb 27, 2011 09:38 PM

                                "Today I started cleaning up a set of 1950s Revereware for another poster (Hi, Lucy!)..."

                                What? I have some pans too. Can I send them to you? :)

                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                  johnb RE: kaleokahu Feb 28, 2011 05:19 AM

                                  "........Today I started cleaning up a set of 1950s Revereware for another poster (Hi, Lucy!), that I know was run through a DW. 5 minutes with BKF and a Scotchbrite was far superior to *umpteen* times through the DW. By the time it comes off the buffer, it will look almost new....."

                                  This seems to me to not be exactly an appropriate comparison. Nobody expects any dishwasher, including hand washing in the sink, to yield the same results as a thorough scrubbing/polishing with BKF. However, I doubt many folks clean their pots that way routinely, so I doubt it is of much significance.

                                  Also, IMO comments like "BTW, a DW usually does a mediocre job anyway" are particularly incomplete. There is no such thing as "a DW." There are many DW's out there, some old, some new, some cheap, some expensive, some well designed and some not, some well-maintained and some not, some with owners who know how to use them to get good results, and some without (lots of people don't even know how to property stack a DW). There are many DW's that are perfectly capable of doing a good job with pots, and some that aren't. Blanket statements, as so often appear in these topics, really are of somewhat limited value.

                                  1. re: kaleokahu
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                                    chezmom RE: kaleokahu Nov 15, 2013 08:10 AM

                                    Could someone tell me what BKF is? A commercial product, or something you mix yourself? Or is it plain old elbow grease....

                                    1. re: chezmom
                                      DuffyH RE: chezmom Nov 15, 2013 08:12 AM

                                      BKF = Barkeeper's Friend, a mildly abrasive scouring powder.

                                      Elbow Grease would be shortened to EB, yes? ;)

                                      Edit - I forgot to mention that BKF's active ingredient is oxalic acid, a mild acid.

                                      1. re: DuffyH
                                        hotoynoodle RE: DuffyH Nov 15, 2013 08:46 AM

                                        elbow grease = eg, no? ;)

                                        1. re: hotoynoodle
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                                          chezmom RE: hotoynoodle Nov 15, 2013 10:16 AM

                                          Well of course. I was trying to make BKF into something like Brute Kinetic Force ;)

                                          1. re: chezmom
                                            DuffyH RE: chezmom Nov 15, 2013 10:42 AM

                                            Brute Kinetic Force?

                                            Inventive, and somewhat militaristic. I like it!

                                          2. re: hotoynoodle
                                            DuffyH RE: hotoynoodle Nov 15, 2013 10:39 AM

                                            Excuse me while I go slap myself upside the head. :(

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                                      charlie33458 RE: LaureltQ Nov 3, 2013 10:10 AM

                                      My experience is that neither All -Clad or Calphalon products are completely dishwasher safe. The problem is that the dishwasher detergent, in this case Cascade, etches away the interior of the metal clad sandwich,which i believe to be aluminum. The stainless outer surfaces of the cookware are unaffected. The result over time is that while the cookware appears to hold up to washing in the dishwasher, the edges of the cookware over time become razor sharp and will cut you if you are not carefull handling them. This is occurring on both the pots and the fry pans, and does not change the overall appearace of the cookware or its performance.

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: charlie33458
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                                        chefwong RE: charlie33458 Nov 3, 2013 11:30 AM

                                        I have AC pans and pots I dump in the DW. They have seen DW power WITH phosphates for the majority of it's lifetime.

                                        The only thing really noticable is just the *exterior exposed* alum. sandwich getting oxidized. But that about it. Normal for it to look *bigger* when the pan is nice and hot....and I just happen to observe it when I'm lifting the lid off of it and such. But I don't have any that show any level or slight delamination FWIW

                                        1. re: chefwong
                                          DuffyH RE: chefwong Nov 3, 2013 05:45 PM

                                          I've had my Calphalon Tri-Ply for ~12 years and prior to a few years ago had no issues. It's only since the advent of phosphate-free detergents that the damage is occurring. I believe it's largely due to the newer harsh cleansers.

                                          I tried a milder cleanser but it didn't clean well at all. I've since gone back to using the harsh cleaners, but I've added a sacrificial zinc slug to each wash. My thinking is that the zinc will oxidize before the aluminum, thus saving my pots.

                                          So far, the zinc has only lost 1g of weight. OTOH, my pots don't seem to be getting worse. Perhaps it's working.

                                          1. re: DuffyH
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                                            chefwong RE: DuffyH Nov 3, 2013 06:21 PM

                                            Duffy -

                                            What DW powder are you using. Cascade Platinume or the Quantum Tabs ? Just wondering what phosphate free you are using.....I recall blurbs about some etching and stuff, but then again, this is subjective.

                                            I'm still on Cascade with phosphates...and have some to last me a good while....

                                            What damage are you seeing. I'm curious..

                                            Crazy on these VOC laws and such. I've stocked up on brake cleaner and all sorts of whazoo if I think that it might get banned one day,,

                                            1. re: chefwong
                                              DuffyH RE: chefwong Nov 4, 2013 05:58 AM

                                              Hi chef,

                                              I'm using Finish Quantum. It's pretty much the same as Cascade Complete or Platinum. The one I tried that does have phosphates is Bubble Bandit, which was sort of ok, my plates and glasses were clean, but had no real sparkle. It didn't do well on my pots at all. Mostly it had no real scouring power, as my Finish does.

                                              Check out this thread for information on the damage that's occurring. For most pans, it may be a minor issue, as a bit of good sanding would round off the raw steel edge.

                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/909015

                                              My issue has been a bit more complex, because Calphalon uses aluminum rivets with steel caps. Sadly, only the inside of the pots/pans have caps, with exposed aluminum on the outside. Some of their short-walled pans no longer have aluminum rivets, but all of their pots still have them. Wouldn't you know, I hand wash frypans and sautés, putting saucepans in the DW.

                                              One of my pan lids failed as a result of aluminum corrosion. Here's a link to the comment with photos that show the kind of damage I'm seeing - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9090...

                                              1. re: DuffyH
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                                                chefwong RE: DuffyH Nov 4, 2013 08:15 AM

                                                If memory recalls, Platinum was *preferred* over Quantum in the phosphate free world. Complete being not even being a contender.

                                                Interested read on Bandit. All reviews I've read have been *glowing * reviews and very positive

                                                Let me read your other threads. Alum will just oxidize, that just the nature of the beast though....for any alum in the DW. I took a quick look at the last thread. Will do a MACRO look at the edges of the AC pans. They do look like that when the pout has been on the burner for awhile.. Let's see how it looks when it's bone cold and dry.

                                                1. re: chefwong
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                                                  chefwong RE: chefwong Nov 4, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                  Heh - Maybe it's time to upgrade to DEM Atlantis.
                                                  My AC's are beaters and my Demeyere's are beauty queens. I tend to hand wash them always. The copper is *capped*.

                                                  I don't know if the same for their lower priced Apollo or 5 Play Line. I have a large 22 quart Apllo and it's a exposed alum disc on it

                                                  1. re: chefwong
                                                    DuffyH RE: chefwong Nov 4, 2013 07:22 PM

                                                    IIRC, Quantum was top dog until Platinum came along.

                                                    1. re: DuffyH
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                                                      chefwong RE: DuffyH Nov 4, 2013 07:30 PM

                                                      Duffy. I looked at my AC pieces. I don't know if it's just more due to design of the pan. I would not call them wearing but etching. It's more pronounced on the 6 qt saute , or 8 qt wide stock in which the cladding is more flared towards the sides.

                                                      I looked at a AC 2Qt Sauce. This sees DW just as much....just not as much as the bigger ones. It's perfectly smooth/flush on the cladding.

                                                      When I go to my other home, I'm going to look and compare more pieces. You have sparked my interest...

                                                      1. re: chefwong
                                                        DuffyH RE: chefwong Nov 5, 2013 06:40 AM

                                                        chef,

                                                        Citric acid may play a part, too. I sometimes use a lemon dish soap for hand washing, and it's got, you guessed it, citric acid. Anything that can create a galvanic reaction will cause some damage.

                                                        Still, there's no loss of aluminum in my frypans, which are also 12 years old. There's a white passivation layer, but that's pretty much it.

                                                        1. re: DuffyH
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                                                          chefwong RE: DuffyH Nov 6, 2013 02:15 PM

                                                          Duffy -

                                                          Not going to my other place until next weekend but did some more looking.

                                                          My large AC 10 or 12qt stock *can't recall* what size, which seems seldom use - the exterior is still fairly *high polished* - as a testament on how much use it sees. Due to size I know I hardly ever put it into the DW. Anyhow, the alum core IS a mm or 2 lower than the out/inner steel FWIW.

                                                          However, during lunch, I also swung by WS. The closest thing to compare was the 5 ply since WS does not carry the 3 ply no more. Not sure if it was due to the 5 plys, but the sandwich was fairly flush with no detectable *mm* lower like I see in very sparingly used stockpot that I used as a reference point

                                                          1. re: chefwong
                                                            DuffyH RE: chefwong Nov 6, 2013 06:56 PM

                                                            That's very interesting about your stockpot. My hand washed frypans haven loss of aluminum, yet your stockpot shows significant wear.

                                                            Do you routinely use a citrus-scented dish soap? Lemon? Orange?

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                                          Florida Hound RE: LaureltQ Nov 3, 2013 01:07 PM

                                          Many helpful comments up and down this thread. Our "issue" with results from the dishwasher was with designs on glassware and ceramic mugs. Bright red became faded browns after a few trips through. We still use some drinking glasses that had ducks all around the glass, but the ducks are headless. A few weeks ago, I wanted to return a souvenir mug to a national park we visted a year earlier, since we were going for a return visit. My wife pulled the mug out of our luggage before we had left home and scolded me for any blame of the product- our harsh dishwasher was the cause.
                                          We wash a lot of our newer glasses and ceramics by hand now.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: Florida Hound
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                                            mellian RE: Florida Hound Nov 15, 2013 01:55 PM

                                            Hand wash anything ceramic that has decals on it or they will fade in the dishwasher. Sometimes, they will even displace! I have a cat mug and on of the eyes on the cat slipped down at an odd angle after being in the dishwasher.

                                            1. re: mellian
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                                              Florida Hound RE: mellian Nov 16, 2013 03:22 AM

                                              I had not thought of the designs as decals, but they might well be. I just figured the art work was baked into the glass or mug (baked, or whatever term the industry would use). But in any event, I have learned that a lot of it does fade!

                                              1. re: Florida Hound
                                                DuffyH RE: Florida Hound Nov 16, 2013 06:15 AM

                                                Paint also comes off in the DW. After replacing 2 glass measuring cups, I now hand wash all painted items.

                                                1. re: DuffyH
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                                                  Florida Hound RE: DuffyH Nov 16, 2013 04:31 PM

                                                  I had forgotten about measuring cups. The painted measurements on a typical shot glass also bite the dust in the dish washer.

                                                  1. re: Florida Hound
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                                                    dixiegal RE: Florida Hound Nov 17, 2013 03:29 AM

                                                    I have had the problem of paint coming off my glass measuring cups with hand washing. I don't even have a dishwasher. The only thing I can think that may cause this, is leaving them in soapy water too long.

                                                    1. re: dixiegal
                                                      DuffyH RE: dixiegal Nov 17, 2013 07:34 AM

                                                      dixiegal,

                                                      Do you ever use lemon or citric dish soap? The citric acid is the same ingredient that makes high-end DW detergent so effective. It's very harsh, and one cookware maker (maybe Calphalon? I've forgotten) is now advising against the use of lemon dish soap.

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                                            PandaCat RE: LaureltQ Nov 3, 2013 05:52 PM

                                            I have only had a diswasher in my life for about 6 mo (I'm 32- never used one before). All my dishes came out covered in a white residue. I changed detergents and it's better but some seem permanent. This thread is incredibly interesting to me.

                                            17 Replies
                                            1. re: PandaCat
                                              LaureltQ RE: PandaCat Nov 5, 2013 09:35 AM

                                              I've found that I get a white residue on dishes when I throw stuff with a lot of fat in/on it in the dishwasher and use an eco-friendly detergent. It's worst on plastic, but gets on everything. Another run through with something stronger seems to fix things.

                                              1. re: LaureltQ
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                                                tracyrowan RE: LaureltQ Nov 15, 2013 08:40 AM

                                                I second the fat-residue connection. I have a very old dishwasher that only really works well if all the dishes are well rinsed, but sometimes I miss grease on a knife or plate, and inevitably I'll have white residue on those pieces when it comes out of the machine.

                                                That said, the only things that have suffered from being put in the dishwasher were some glasses. I put them in on delicate but the colors faded and mottled anyway.

                                              2. re: PandaCat
                                                John E. RE: PandaCat Nov 5, 2013 07:34 PM

                                                Go buy Cascade Complete dishwasher detergent in the little pillows. I noticed the white residue and after research, and another Chowhound thread, this is the dishwasher soap that works the best without the residue.

                                                1. re: John E.
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                                                  chefwong RE: John E. Nov 6, 2013 02:08 PM

                                                  DW formulations is different for every uses experience. Water temps , soft water, hard water, etc. It's a trial and error - to a degree FWIW

                                                  1. re: chefwong
                                                    John E. RE: chefwong Nov 6, 2013 03:27 PM

                                                    Yeah, and apparently Cascade Complete isn't even the best Casdade. I will say, that I was unaware of the change in phosphates and just complained about the dishwasher not working well. I thought it was just a crappy dishwasher because it ended up leaking and it was replaced. When the new dishwasher wasn't up to the task, that's when I did some investigating. Cascade Complete is working out well for us and it's available anywhere.

                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                      Ronzeno RE: John E. Nov 15, 2013 01:49 AM

                                                      Cascade Complete does the best job for us as well. No residue as with other products.

                                                      1. re: Ronzeno
                                                        hotoynoodle RE: Ronzeno Nov 15, 2013 07:48 AM

                                                        have been using those cascade pillows and been happy. i just moved and have a brand-new dishwasher. ran it yesterday and one stemless wine glass was completely coated in white film. everything else was perfectly clean.

                                                        weird.

                                                  2. re: John E.
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                                                    mellian RE: John E. Nov 15, 2013 01:46 PM

                                                    Sorry to say, this does not work. There is just as much white residue with Cascade Complete than any other. I had a someone come out to check out the dishwasher and he explained that NO detergents will work well anymore because the phosphates were removed due to EPA restrictions.

                                                    1. re: mellian
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                                                      chezmom RE: mellian Nov 15, 2013 07:58 PM

                                                      I had the same problem no matter what dishwashing product I used (although Cascade platinum was better than all the others) until I started using the high-end Finish rinse agent in the rinse agent dispenser. Now the white spots are gone, and the plastic storage containers are dry and spotless at the end of the cycle even though I have an LG dishwasher with no heated drying. It might make a difference for you, hope so.

                                                    2. re: John E.
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                                                      Pat50 RE: John E. Nov 15, 2013 08:01 PM

                                                      Based on that kind of advice I switched to Cascade Complete pillows and the problem immediately got much, much worse. I changed to another detergent and the problem returned to being the odd stainless implement and the black plastic implements only. I won't go back to Cascade. It made the problem worse for me.

                                                      1. re: Pat50
                                                        John E. RE: Pat50 Nov 18, 2013 08:00 PM

                                                        I forgot that we also use the Finish rinse agent in the dispenser in the door, if that makes a difference. I suppose different dishwashers will work differently with different detergents.

                                                        1. re: John E.
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                                                          chezmom RE: John E. Nov 18, 2013 08:36 PM

                                                          John E: You are so right. It sure does make a difference, since we all have so many variables. The best performance for me, the one that works with:

                                                          1) my water
                                                          2) my water softener system
                                                          3) my dish loading pattern
                                                          4) my particular dishwasher
                                                          5) the temperature of the hot water setting (mine is 125 degrees, wish I could set it higher, to at least 130 -- please don't lecture me about burns)
                                                          6) my pattern of scraping and rinsing of the dishes before they go in, and...
                                                          7) the atmospheric pressure, phase of the moon, state of the union or who knows what else...

                                                          ...is Cascade Platinum pillows and the more expensive option of the Finish rinse agents. The regular Finish formula is OK, but not as good as the higher end one. That's what works HERE, for me. What works for you is likely to be very different, based on all the variables that seem to be at play here. I thank John for reminding us about the rinse agent, which in my situation is crucial.

                                                          1. re: chezmom
                                                            DuffyH RE: chezmom Nov 18, 2013 08:58 PM

                                                            +1 It wasn't until I switched to the Finish Quantum (Yay, Finish Powerball!) that my dishes came out great without adding both salt and rinse aid.

                                                            I'd add my mood to item 7 in your list. Well, my list, I suppose. But mood definitely likely probably always affects #6, so... ;)

                                                            1. re: chezmom
                                                              John E. RE: chezmom Nov 18, 2013 09:12 PM

                                                              I think we are using a generic rinse agent. I will say that I always face the plates towards the center and alternate the large and smaller plates. My wife calls me the dishwasher cop sinse I always rearrange things. I have caught family members putting stuff in the dishwasher 'wrong' on purpose just to mess with me. Since it's a running family 'joke' I have not mentioned it, and neither have they. I'm waiting to see how much patience they have before mentioning anything. I can wait a long time. The middle kid will soon cave.

                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                DuffyH RE: John E. Nov 19, 2013 06:07 AM

                                                                < My wife calls me the dishwasher cop sinse I always rearrange things.>

                                                                That's odd, John. The phrase my Dude is most used to hearing is "You're doing it wrong."

                                                                He hasn't done a load of laundry since the day in 1987 he washed (and dried!) one of my favorite suede pumps, then had the nerve to ask ME how it got in the clean clothes basket.

                                                                I've sort of given up the fight on the DW. They'll never do it right, so I just fix the damage and move on. ;)

                                                                1. re: DuffyH
                                                                  katz66 RE: DuffyH Nov 19, 2013 07:48 AM

                                                                  That is funny

                                                              2. re: chezmom
                                                                katz66 RE: chezmom Nov 19, 2013 04:46 AM

                                                                The only difference is my water is at 145 I like hot for pots dishes and utensils. Yes out of the tap it's about the same. And no my boys never burned themselves. I always fix the water for a first timer in my kitchen and warn them it's really hot and they will always test it. But the DW does heat it's own if needed. Of course the different settings have other temps. But I think you have the correct formula for clean dishes, utensils and pots.

                                                      2. katz66 RE: LaureltQ Nov 15, 2013 05:31 AM

                                                        I have two mieles. A 15 year old one in my house and a 5 year old one in our cabin. They are both great with everything I put in them.

                                                        1. katz66 RE: LaureltQ Nov 15, 2013 08:13 AM

                                                          Well All-clad and Calphalon are not for the dishwasher anyway. When you spend that kind of money on a pot you should hand ways it.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: katz66
                                                            DuffyH RE: katz66 Nov 15, 2013 08:19 AM

                                                            Not so!

                                                            From All-Clad's FAQ: "The ‘Stainless Steel’ collection is completely dishwasher-safe. It is recommended that before you use your Stainless Steel All-Clad you wash it in the dishwasher first to remove any manufacturing residues and this will help to keep it shiny."

                                                            Checking Calphalon's website, several of their lines are dishwasher safe.

                                                            Now whether an owner WANTS to hand wash is another matter, and one of personal preference.

                                                            1. re: DuffyH
                                                              katz66 RE: DuffyH Nov 15, 2013 09:16 AM

                                                              well working in a cooking shop for years the sales people that come in to promote the sales of their wares still recommend to us to push hand washing. just saying what i am told to recommend.

                                                              1. re: katz66
                                                                DuffyH RE: katz66 Nov 15, 2013 09:24 AM

                                                                No question hand washing is more gentle.

                                                                I found it really interesting that AC *recommends* running a new pan through the DW to remove machining residue, when most makers show no preference for that first wash.

                                                          2. law_doc89 RE: LaureltQ Nov 15, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                            Dishwasher compound is abrasive. You have both physical and chemical damage to many surfaces. Stainless should be fine, non stick or enamel or aluminum is a no no.

                                                            Furthermore, for any seasoned pan, you only want to wash the exterior.

                                                            1. m
                                                              mariawildflower RE: LaureltQ Nov 15, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                              I've come up with my favorite way to wash dishes in the dishwasher. I wash the dishes by hand with regular hand-dish washing liquid but load them in the dishwasher un-rinsed. Then, I turn on the light cycle and let it run. With this method they come out so clean; cleaner than either hand washing or automatic dish washing. I do this when I have a bit more time although it is less time consuming than a complete hand wash. No need to use abrasive, expensive automatic dish detergent either!

                                                              Then there are the desperate times when I throw it all in. Eventually though I have to deal with the aftermath of stuck on food and soapy residues.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: mariawildflower
                                                                g
                                                                goodmom RE: mariawildflower Nov 15, 2013 06:46 PM

                                                                Oh! This is one of the best ideas I've ever come across. With only two of us, I find myself letting dirty dishes sit for two or three days in the dishwasher before running it, not to mention that I do my knives, cutting boards, enameled cast iron, etc by hand anyway. Thanks, mariawildflower.

                                                                1. re: goodmom
                                                                  kaleokahu RE: goodmom Nov 15, 2013 10:54 PM

                                                                  And it's what a lot of plumbers recommend.

                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                    m
                                                                    mariawildflower RE: kaleokahu Nov 16, 2013 04:50 AM

                                                                    Why so?

                                                                  2. re: goodmom
                                                                    m
                                                                    mariawildflower RE: goodmom Nov 16, 2013 04:50 AM

                                                                    Yes, i do a tiny copper pot with that method - blasphemy!- but it's ok! Wouldn't do it with aut. dish detergent. hmmmm I wonder about putting a well seasoned cast iron....

                                                                  3. re: mariawildflower
                                                                    DuffyH RE: mariawildflower Nov 16, 2013 06:09 AM

                                                                    Do you include items that you wouldn't normally put in the DW? Painted glass (measuring cups) and aluminum spring to mind.

                                                                    Do you use a rinse aid or salt?

                                                                    1. re: DuffyH
                                                                      m
                                                                      mariawildflower RE: DuffyH Nov 16, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                                      Yes, I do include measuring cups. I don't have a lot of aluminum and haven't tried putting that in with my, (what should we call it?) hand wash auto rinse method.

                                                                      I did put anodized aluminum once in the dishwasher with regular Automatic dishwashing liquid and it turned dark grey.

                                                                      No rinse aid or salt and I live in AZ where there is hard water. I have been using "Method" dishwashing liquid during the hand wash.

                                                                      1. re: mariawildflower
                                                                        DuffyH RE: mariawildflower Nov 16, 2013 02:21 PM

                                                                        And no hard water spots?

                                                                        1. re: DuffyH
                                                                          m
                                                                          mariawildflower RE: DuffyH Nov 17, 2013 07:17 AM

                                                                          none if I allow the heated dry

                                                                  4. katz66 RE: LaureltQ Nov 16, 2013 06:36 AM

                                                                    Some of the problems with spots is the fact that you have hard water. Miele DW has a place to add rock salt to soften the water. I have no spots with anything I use. I also use less detergent then it tells you to use.

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