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Dishwasher Dilemma: What You CAN and CAN’T Wash


Dishwasher Dilemma: What You CAN and CAN’T Wash

Cristina Soriano

You can put absolutely everything in the dishwasher, right? Or so, that’s what I thought…

A few weeks ago I was over at a dear friends home and in my valiant effort at being a polite guest, I offered to do wash all the dishes. Easy I thought – all I have to do is stick them in the dishwasher. Oh darling, how I was wrong! Oh, Silly me! 

So, for those of you, who like me, are clueless about dishwashers – except that they facilitate your cooking clean up – here’s a comprehensive list on what you can and can’t put in the depths of the appliance.  


 More often than not, I am from the belief that most items in your kitchen can be put into the dishwasher. So, rather than writing out a yes list, here are 9 items that should NOT be placed on the wire racks or in the cutlery caddy.

  1. Sharp, good knives – they will go blunt quicker in the dishwasher
  2. Cast iron  - it will not only rust in the dishwasher but the deliciously seasoned layer of oil and lard that you’ve been cooking so hard for, will be stripped away.
  3. Insulated mugs – the vacuumed seal between the two layers in an insulated mug can get broken in the dishwasher forcing you to well, get a new mug.
  4. Crystal – not only can the rapid changes in temperature cause the crystal to crack, but the harsh detergent can cause the crystal to turn cloudy as well. Say goodbye to the crystal-clear shine… (ha ha, see what I did there?)
  5. Wooden utensils and chopping boards – because of the high levels of heat, the wood can crack and warp.
  6. Hand painted dish-ware – the water jets will strip away the delicate strokes off of the plates your Grandmother painted for your 18th birthday.
  7. Copper cups, pots and pans – the metal will dent.
  8. Graters and garlic press – high-pressure water jets clean the food particles off your plates and bowls, but they can’t get into the nooks and crannies of your grater or garlic press.
  9. Delicate stemmed glassware – the chemicals in the dishwasher can be abrasive and cause the delicate stemware to crack.


The dishwasher can be used to clean more than just kitchen tools. Here are a few other everyday objects you can get squeaky clean in the dishwasher too!


  1. Baseball cap – get that sweaty cap clean without risking any damage to the shape.
  2. Kitchen sponges – prolong the life of your kitchen sponge by putting it in the dishwasher.
  3. Plastic hairbrush – sometimes they deserve a good clean. 
  4. Wellie boots – they won’t be bent out of shape and you won’t have to get your hands full of mud!
  5. Fan grills, switch plates, vent covers – no explanation necessary.
  6. Small toys – little toddler running around the house? Put his toys in the dishwasher to ensure that they are germ free!
  7. Tools – just be sure to dry them off after the cycle is complete, that way they won’t rust!
  8. Shin guards, kneepads, mouth guards – you’re home will no longer smell like a locker room. You’re welcome.

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