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Do you wash your SS cookware in the dishwasher?

In my new house, I now have my first dishwasher. I know something's can be ruined in the dishwasher, so I have been reluctant to put my tri ply SS cookware in there. About the only think I have put in the dishwasher is my dishes (stoneware) and anything glass, and my SS eating utensils. I know not to put aluminum in there, and I don't put plastic in there either. But I am thinking the SS cookware should be ok. What about copper?

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  1. Using the dishwasher is the whole reason I bought tri ply aluminum-stainless with stainless handles years ago. My pans are at least a decade old and still in good shape--with the occasional help of a little wet Barkeeper' s Friend.

    Please do not put copper in the dishwasher. It is soft and does not do well with harsh detergents. I have a few of the 2.5 stainless-lined copper pans and they always get hand-washed. Polishing happens once in a while.

    You might check the website of your cookware manufacturer to see what the official position on using the dishwasher is, especially if you have a"lifetime warranty" which you don't want to void.

    1. Definitely. SS cookware is machine washable. So is most plastic so long as you put it on the top rack.

      1. When I bought new cookware back in 2000, I specifically chose stainless because it can be dishwashed. I put any stainless pot or pan into the dishwasher. This is one of its best features.

        1. Do not put copper in the dishwasher. Or aluminum. It can permanently discolor them.

          I don't wash cookware in the dw very often, but the tri-ply stainless has been through numerous times with no effect but thorough cleaning.

          1. Hi, dixiegal:

            *Fully* clad SS is generally OK. If your pans are exposed-edge, you may ultimately have erosion at the rims caused by the DW.

            Copper is a no-no in the DW.


            1. dixiegal,

              On putting SS in the DW, the answer is, it depends. On two things; the brand of cookware and your DW detergent.

              Some cookware makers use aluminum rivets. The more aggressive detergents can corrode aluminum rivets and (to a lesser extent) the aluminum sandwich in your tri-ply pans.

              What brand are your pans and detergent?

              1. Yes, you can put most stainless steel cookware in dishwasher, but most manufacturers still suggest otherwise. They usually state "Dishwasher safe, but recommend for hand washing"...etc.

                Dishwasher liquids are very aggressive, and they have to. Just something to think about.

                Definitely not for copper.

                12 Replies
                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  The new Viking cookware I bought states exactly that. As expensive as cookware is and as little time as it takes to hand wash, why put your SS cookware at any risk. Seems to me that if the cookware manufacturers were that comfortable with the dishwasher, they wouldn't have a disclaimer.

                  1. re: mikie

                    My understanding is that there is a huge "gray" area of the definition of damage. I don't think putting any high end or low end stainless steel cookware into a dishwasher will actually break them. It may get discolored, stained, and look old, yet still functional. This may be why many manufacturers put a disclaimer on their cookware.

                    <As expensive as cookware is and as little time as it takes to hand wash,>

                    Home dishwashers were probably invented not to save time, but to save skin. :) Hand dishwasher liquid used to be very aggressive and damaging to skin. I remember washing my mother and people in her generation wearing thick yellow gloves to wash dishes.

                    I am partially joking of course.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Yes, I remember the gloves, still use them when I use BKF, it re.ally dries out your hands, plus it says on the can wear gloves, along with other cautions.

                      I do think that in most cases the dishwasher does save time. Not that much for me because I'm a pre rinser, but we don't run it after every meal, sometimes not even every day.

                      I'm not worried about runining a SS pan in the dish washer, but if the manufacturer was that confident there would be NO ill effects, they wouldn't add the disclaimer.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Using a dishwasher is also more energy efficient than handwashing. So, that is another reason to fill the DW with pots & pans that are machine washable, rather than washing them by hand.

                        1. re: masha

                          <Using a dishwasher is also more energy efficient than handwashing.>

                          Only partially true. I remember reading an article about this. If you compare using a dishwasher vs using hot water hand dish washing, then the dishwasher save more water and more energy. However, if you use cold water for hand washing like I do. :) Then, hand washing save more energy.

                          Edited: Remember this old post?


                          The carbon footprint of doing the dishes:
                          Almost zero CO2e: by hand in cold water (but the plates aren't clean
                          )540g CO2e: by hand, using water sparingly and not too hot
                          770g CO2e: in a dishwasher at 55°C
                          990g CO2e: in a dishwasher at 65°C
                          8000g CO2e: by hand, with extravagant use of water

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            My understanding that using the DW was more efficient is based on this article, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/30/sci...

                            I presume that the handwashing comparison in the article involved relatively "extravagant" use of water -- to use the nomenclature that you cite -- as that is commonly how most people wash dishes.

                            Based on the CO2e figures that you quote, it suggests that using a DW will cut one's carbon footprint dramatically, to approximately 1/10 of the carbon footprint compared to how most people wash by hand -- from 8000g to 770-990g, depending on the water temp of their DW. If they are willing to engage in a more conscientious effort in the manner that they handwash, they can reduce their footprint by a bit more.

                            1. re: masha

                              Yep. I read that NY Times article too. It was before the other three articles. I use cold water, so I am super environmental. :) But I do take hot shower and hot bath. Hmmm...

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                Chem -

                                It's the other way around:

                                Cold shower, hot dishwater, and rinse.

                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          " I remember washing my mother"

                          Oh, my!

                          1. re: law_doc89

                            Hmmm..... I wonder if I have typo there. :)

                        3. re: mikie

                          Back in the day, disclaimers were less common. Most SS was generally sold as dishwasher safe, period. But that was before the phosphates ban (silly, but we're stuck with it) and the recent addition of harsh, aggressive cleaners like citric acid to replace them.

                          We had an interesting discussion about this last year and made some even more interesting discoveries about the stuff that damages cookware.


                          Note that I took the advice of several 'Hounds, got over my aversion to disk bottom stuff, bought some Vollrath Optio sauce pans/stockpot and happily toss them right into the DW with no fear of aluminum corrosion.

                      2. i put in SS revere wear saucepots. i do NOT use any lemon detergent.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: alkapal

                          < i do NOT use any lemon detergent.>

                          I presume you're trying to avoid harsh citric acid, yes? It's not just lemon or citrus scented dish detergents that contain citric acid now. A growing number of makers are adding it to their dishwasher detergents and dish soaps.

                        2. I dont wash plastic (i gets hot enough in there to release some bpa, I'm not super worried just don't) or my ss pots. I find the soap leave funny film on ss that it dosnt on glass or china.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: daislander

                            Plastic can only release BPA if it origonally contained BPA. there are only tow plastics that contain BPA and only one of those is likely to turn up in your kitchen, Polycarbonate (PC). Polycarbonate is easy to identify, it's rigid, and typically transparent or translucent, and primariarly used in drinking containers. The other half dozen or so plastics that are typically found in the kitchen would be just fine in the dishwasher on the top shelf.

                          2. Yes I do.

                            Basically, I put almost anything and everything in my dishwasher that I can without ruining it.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: SaraAshley

                              <I put almost anything and everything in my dishwasher >

                              Do you put your Teddy bear in there too?

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                I've never put a teddy bear - but back in my college days they made this wire "cage" that you could put your baseball caps in to wash them in the dishwasher . . . .

                                1. re: thimes

                                  I do remember people talked about putting caps, stuff animals and surf in to a dishwasher. I cannot remember the exact reasoning. Maybe something about not having the objects shaken too badly. Sometime the washing machines can really tear up objects.

                            2. I don't worry about the dishwasher hurting my SS pots - I throw pretty much everything but iron and copper in the dishwasher - but I also don't think it does such a good job at getting them clean - so I usually end up scrubbing them by hand - also stock pots and the like take up a lot of dishwasher real estate.

                              1. Stainless steel cookware = Yes.

                                Kitchen knives = No, never.

                                Copper cookware (1) = No, never.

                                Aluminum cookware (0) = No, not even if I owned any.

                                Pets = No, never. (Same as Diapers)

                                1. Yes,been doing so since I bought my All Clad back in 1995.....no harm done at all.

                                  1. We don't put most pots and pans in the dishwasher too often. Not necessarily because it will damage them, but because I would rather wash them by hand than put items that bulky in the dishwasher. The top rack has cups, glasses, small plates, and small bowls. The bottom rack is for plates, large dishes, and flatware.