The dishes - yet another chore that most people despise. So it makes sense to let the dishwasher take care of as much of it as possible. Unfortunately there are cases where a manual wash beats the machine, because not everything is suitable for your dishwashing machine. Here are some tips for your benefit, especially if you want to enjoy your dishwasher for as long as possible.
1: Wooden Cutting Boards
In fact: leave all wooden items out of the dishwasher! If you own wooden spatulas, occasionally use a wooden bowl or dish, or the above mentioned classic wooden cutting board, please remember this: wood should not be in the dishwashing machine.
Why? The warm water, combined with the pressure it is being sprayed around inside the dishwasher, has a bad effect on wood. It can spice the wood open, but worse: tiny splinters and other bits of wood pulp can harm your dishes and cutlery during a washing cycle, accidentally. So make sure to avoid this!
2: Dishes and Cutlery with Food Remains
We know: who purchases a dishwasher to first wash all the dishes manually before loading it. But trust us: rinsing your dishes and cutlery before putting them in the machine is of major importance. This includes graters, garlic presses, pots and pans with caked food remains.
Why? Sure, most dishwashers have a filter that catches food remains and other large chunks before it can clog up your drains, but this filter already needs to be regularly cleaned and replaced. Because when the appliance is working, the organic residue of the previous cycle can circle back around. Eventually this will sneak past the filter, possibly causing your drains to clog and overflow, or even cause electrical short circuits. And if the remains don’t get washed off properly, your cutlery could rust as well.
3: Special (Chef) Knives
Are you saying even my big luxury cutting knives shouldn’t know in the dishwasher? Yes, those are better washed manually as well.
Why? We mentioned rust caused by food remains in point 2, which definitely also goes for these types of knives. If you want to continue to use them for a long time, you best treat them carefully, and the most careful washing of dishes is done by hand. The knives could also shift during a washing cycle and could scratch or damage your other cutlery and dishes.
4: Certain Metal or Plastic Cutlery
Surely you’re exaggerating now? We can’t help it, you really should be careful about what to put in a dishwashing machine. Cutlery and aluminum dishes, tin or copper should not be machine washed. And some plastic types of cutlery also shouldn’t be in the dishwasher.
Why? The metals could change colour if they are exposed to the washing programmes of your machine. And the high water temperature could reshape your plasticware. Tip: usually the packages of your cutlery mentions if they are machine washable!
5: Antique Tableware
Why? The irony is that the original dishwasher was in fact invented to properly wash antique tableware, which the inventor felt was not done right by her maids. But this appliance has been innovated and become much more powerful over the years. So if the dishes contain valuable antiques or items of great sentimental value, they should best also avoid being put in the dishwasher. This will keep them pretty and properly cared for. The spray blade within a dishwasher also rotates which brings some extra danger of damage along with it. Imagine that it would accidentally chip your precious plate!
Ordinary glassware should be fine in the dishwashing machine, but crystal obviously warrants special care. The best approach would be to wash these outside of the machine.
Why? Crystal is much more fragile than glass. The sudden changes in water temperature and the rough washing water will shatter these precious glasses. Always take special precautions with fragile and valuable kitchenware and just show it some tender love in your kitchen sink..
7: Cast Iron
That frying pan is nice and heavy and may help you prepare wonderful meals, and thankfully the dishwashing machine can help clean it out afterwards, right? Er… no, better don’t place it in the dishwasher!
Why? Do you recall that before the first usage of your cast iron pan, you had to boil some vegetable oil in it? This created an anti-stick coating. The machine completely breaks down that effect, which will make food remains cake up your pan and worse. By the way: also don’t manually wash this pan! The best is to polish it with salt and then gently rinse it with warm water.
We know: this is such a long list that by now you must be wondering why you got a dishwashing machine in the first place, but we must also include your thermos in this overview of items best not placed inside. Or at least check wether it can withstand the dishwasher when you purchase it (it should say so on the packaging).
Why? The insulation layer can break down because of the water that is pushed in between. Most modern thermos flasks are dishwasher resistant though, so just to be sure: check the package description.
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