10 things that absolutely should not go in the dishwasher

Updated on 24 Jul 2023
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Without the dishwasher, we would still be in the stone age, so to speak. Fortunately, for years now, it has been possible to put the dirty cups, forks, spoons, plates and so on into this ‘box’ and within moments you have a completely clean set of dishes. Still, you may not put everything in your kitchen in it. In this blog, I discuss 10 things that absolutely should not go in the dishwasher! 

1. Not all types of plastic

Many types of plastic can go in the dishwasher without a problem. When it comes to spatulas, cups, trays et cetera, they can all withstand the heat of the machine. However, it is a good idea to check whether they really can. There is usually a label on the item stating whether or not it can go in the dishwasher. No one is waiting for a deformed and discoloured utensil. Some trays, cups and objects are better washed by hand. 

2. What to do with cast iron

You might not have known this, but cast iron pans and other items made of this material should not actually go in the dishwasher either. This is because there is a layer of fat on the pan that prevents it from rusting. With a dishwasher, this layer is polished away, which can cause the pan to rust faster. So how should you clean such a pan? Wipe it with kitchen paper or rinse it with water. 

3. Crystal glasses become dull

Do you have beautiful glasses in the cupboard and want to use them mainly for those moments that really count? Then you should especially not wash them in the dishwasher. This is because most dishwashers cause glasses to become very dull and lose their shine. It is also very fragile and the dishwasher can do quite a bit of damage due to the differences in temperatures. You can also choose to run another (special) programme especially for fragile items. 

4. Was grandma’s crockery also self a

I recommend that you also keep old, antique items out of our modern ‘washing-up boxes’. If the crockery is worth a lot to you, it is better to wash it by hand. If you do put it in the dishwasher, there is a risk that the beautiful art on the cups will be faded or washed away completely. Besides, like crystal glasses, it is very fragile. 

5. Keep your chef’s knives sharp

If you are a true kitchen prince or princess, then you probably have some good knives that allow you to cut meat, fish and vegetables easily and quickly. We recommend keeping these knives especially out of the dishwasher. Not only can they rust, but they also become blunt much faster. 

6. The non-stick pans

Many pans today are coated with a non-stick coating. The chemical detergents used in a dishwasher can potentially damage this non-stick coating. So wash the pans mainly by hand. 

7. What to do with wooden objects

Have you been putting wooden items in the dishwasher for years? Then you will undoubtedly notice the consequences for your wooden cutting boards and spatulas. In the long run, the dishwasher is disastrous for items made of wood. It will start splitting, cracking and splinters will begin to chip off. 

8. Silver, copper and aluminium

There are some metals that are better left out of the dishwasher. Silver, for example, can be damaged in the dishwasher, and copper, tin and aluminium are also metals that are best washed by hand. 

9. Thermos jugs and cups

From personal experience, I can tell you that not every thermos or mug can go in the dishwasher. Nowadays, more and more items with a thermos coating are dishwasher safe, but this must be indicated on the item. Older thermos objects in particular are definitely not dishwasher safe.

10. Lasagne and animals?

So far, we have covered the logical items that should not go in the dishwasher, but you don’t want to know how many people put other things in the dishwasher. There are videos telling people how to cook lasagne in a hot dishwasher. Someone else was fined over 30,000 euros for putting a dog in the dishwasher. It shouldn’t be an issue, but still: only put utensils, cutlery, cups and plates in the machine. 

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