10 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

Taking care of your dishwasher includes paying close attention to what you’re putting inside it. Some materials can be destroyed in just one dishwasher cycle. Depending on the setting, dishwashers can spray water and soap from strong jets for as long as two hours. Some delicate items can’t take that level of deep cleaning, and won’t last.


Here’s a list of some things you should never place in a dishwasher. Keep in mind this list is not exhaustive, and you should always use your best judgement when deciding if something can go in your dishwasher.


Wooden Utensils

The hot water from dishwashers can ruin the consistency of wood, and warp its original finish. Instead of using a dishwasher, wash cutting boards, wooden spoons, and other wooden utensils by hand with cold or tepid water.


Fine China

If you have older china, gently wash it by hand. Delicate china can chip in the dishwasher, or even break apart. If your china is newer, make sure it states that it is dishwasher-safe before cleaning. Even if your china is new, you may not want to take the risk, and play it safe by skipping the dishwasher altogether.


Pots & Pans

Can baking trays or pots and pans go in the dishwasher? If they have non-stick surfaces, it's not a good idea. Their non-stick surfaces could disintegrate over time if you put them there. 


Chef Knives

Knives can lose their sharp edges quickly in a dishwasher. Be especially wary of placing knives with  wooden handles in the dishwasher as well.


Cheese Graters

In addition to knives, cheese graters can also lose their sharp edges in a washing machine. Cheese graters should never be deeply-cleaned in a dishwasher. Each crevice of a cheese grater should be carefully cleaned by hand.



Not only will copper lose its color in the dishwasher over time, but when copper comes in contact with water, it can add unwanted chemicals to your dishwasher by the metal breaking down. It’s best to always wash copper items by hand.



Wine glasses are especially vulnerable. These glasses are extremely thin and delicate, and they can break easily in a dishwasher. The hot water of a dishwasher can also make your crystal appear dull over time. These items should be treated with great care – even when washing by hand.


Stainless Steel

Heat, detergent, and stuck-on food will tarnish stainless steel. There are exceptions to this rule, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations before placing stainless steel in your dishwasher.


Dishwashing Soap

Your dishwasher requires specific detergent. Don’t use the same soap for a dishwasher that you’d use for washing dishes by hand. Putting the wrong type of soap in your dishwasher can cause an unwanted overflow of suds and bubbles, potentially damaging your kitchen, and possibly even your basement if enough leaks out.


Certain Plastics

Be sure to check if a plastic item is dishwasher-safe before you put it in. Some plastics will burn in a dishwasher even if they’re placed on the top rack. And burning plastic is obviously no good.


Final Rinse Tips

Now that you know what things aren’t dishwasher-safe, remember to always deep-clean the machine (including the dishwasher seals, traps, and removable pieces) for each load.


Also, make sure to use the correct cycle and duration. The right setting can mean the difference between cleaning or breaking your dishes.


Remember to never overload your dishwasher, and to always remove stuck-on stains before placing anything inside.

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