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Did I ruin my All-Clad LTD pan?

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It's a pan I inherited and did not know it was not dishwasher safe. After a couple of cycles in my dishwasher, the black outside coating has started to come off. The cooking surface and the handle still look fine. I called All-Clad customer service, but the woman I spoke to was unable to answer my questions. She suggested I send it to them so they can look at it, but I would rather not.

So, here are my questions:
Has this happened to anyone? Is the pan still good, or have I ruined it? What is the function of that black coating? Other than washing away the black outside layer, is there any other reason I shouldn't put it in the dishwasher?

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  1. First, as you probably have found out, you are not supposed to put the LTD in a dishwasher. In fact, none of the All Clad cookware are recommended to be put in a dishwasher, but especially so for LTD. They are only for hand washing. It is obvious now, but it is still worth mentioning

    Second, if you want to be absolutely sure, you should sent the cookware back to All Clad. None of us here can actually see the cookware, so we are only doing some "educational guessing".

    My guess is that you most likely have ruined the exterior layer, but did not do much harm beyond that -- at least not in any major way. The exterior anodized surface is ruined. The interior cooking layer of LTD is either stainless steel or Teflon (PTFE). Stainless steel is definitely fine. The PTFE is likely to be fine, but you will find out very soon.

    <What is the function of that black coating? >

    In short, to make the aluminum more stable (chemically and physically), but that layer is probably gone now.

    < Other than washing away the black outside layer, is there any other reason I shouldn't put it in the dishwasher?>

    Are you considering putting the cookware back in the dishwasher?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Thanks for your reply. I have a couple All-Clad d5 pans, which are dishwasher safe, so I assumed the LTD pan was too--big mistake!

      The interior is stainless steel, and it looks perfect.

      Re: considering putting it back in the dishwasher, if the ONLY reason to hand wash the pan is to protect the black
      outside layer, and I've already ruined that layer, then I see no reason why I couldn't stick it in the dishwasher. But I love this pan and wouldn't want to do more harm to it.

      1. re: brandygirl

        < I have a couple All-Clad d5 pans, which are dishwasher safe>

        I see. Thanks. Yes, d5 is dishwasher safe. At one point, All Clad simply advised against dishwasher usage for all its cookware lines. Anyway, LTD is definitely a no. The reason is that the aluminum readily react with the automatic dishwasher solution.

        <considering putting it back in the dishwasher, if the ONLY reason to hand wash the pan is to protect the black >

        Kind of a yes, a no thing. Yes, it is true that the hand washing step is to protect the black anodized layer. But, (a big but), the black color anodized layer is to protect the core aluminum. Now, that the black layer is removed, and your core aluminum is probably exposed. More the reason why you should avoid using the dishwasher. If you continue to put them in the dishwasher, then the core aluminum may get damaged as well. A picture worth a thousand words, so here is a LTD pictorial diagram:

        http://img2.wfrcdn.com/lf/49/hash/499...

        Oh yes, are your cookware LTD or LTD2?

    2. Hi, Brandy:

      Yjere's bad news, good news and real news.

      The black outside coating (was) anodized aluminum, and unfortunately your DW has removed it, forever I'm afraid. That's the bad news.

      The good news is that the LTD should continue to function well. The function of the exterior coating was largely cosmetic, although the anodizing made it marginally easier to clean.

      The real news is that quality aluminum cookware should not go in the DW. You can probably get by with DW-ing it for some time, but the machine will take its toll.

      Aloha,
      Kaleo

      1. I found this older LTD pan at a thrift store: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8990...

        Not only has the exterior of the pan become so oxidized from being washed in the dishwasher that it now looks chalky, but the exterior also has fine, hairline cracks running around it. (Since I bought it used, I can't be 100% sure that it was the dishwasher that caused the cracks.)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Eiron

          <but the exterior also has fine, hairline cracks running around it. >

          Is this something that developed after you purchased the cookware or were these cracks there when you bought the cookware?

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Hey Chem,

            They were there when I bought the pan. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I still haven't done anything with this pan! It still sits on my workbench with a bottle of CLR....

        2. Other posters have explained what happened to the anodized aluminum exterior of your pan. Here's the thing with contintinuing to put that pan in the dishwasher, which you are probably tempted to do since the interior is fine: what are the rivets made of? I have a really great stainless steel tri-ply saucepan that my spouse always put in the dishwasher, until one day I examined the rivets and found they were deteriorating from the dishwasher detergent - the rivets appear and feel chalky. So I assume the rivets are aluminum, and if I continue to put that pan in the dishwasher the rivets will eventually fail. I love the pan, and use it often, so handwashing is required now.

          1. Well, it seems the consensus is that the pan will most likely function okay, and I definitely need to hand wash the pan from now on. Thank you for your input.