A dishwasher can save a ton of time and we can’t live without one until your favorite coffee cup or sentimental plate breaks. To avoid the heartbreak and frustration here are 10 things you should never put in the dishwasher.
Air Fryer Basket
I’m sorry to deflate your air-fried balloon, but it’s best to wash this part by hand to protect the integrity of that surface. Even if the manufacturer consider it dishwasher safe due to the internal non-stick coating the basket has many crevices where dishwasher detergent can be trapped and pollute your future frying fun.
Wooden Cutting Board
Putting a wooden cutting board in the dishwasher is not recommended for several reasons. Firstly, the intense heat and moisture in a dishwasher can cause the wood to warp and crack. Wooden cutting boards are made from pieces of wood that are glued together. The prolonged exposure to water and heat in a dishwasher can weaken the glue, leading to the board falling apart. Additionally, the heat can cause the wood to expand and contract, resulting in warping or splitting. This not only affects the aesthetic and flat surface of the board, making it difficult to use, but also compromises its structural integrity.
Secondly, the harsh detergents used in dishwashers can strip away the natural oils that keep wooden boards conditioned. Over time, this can lead to the wood becoming dry and brittle, which makes it more prone to cracking and breaking. Furthermore, the chemicals in dishwasher detergents can seep into the pores of the wood, which might not be safe for food contact. To maintain the longevity and functionality of a wooden cutting board, it’s better to wash it by hand with mild soap and warm water, and regularly condition it with a food-safe mineral oil to preserve its natural moisture.
Like cutting boards, washing wooden spoons in the dishwasher can be detrimental to their longevity and quality. The harsh environment inside a dishwasher, high temperatures and prolonged exposure to water and detergents, can cause significant damage to wooden utensils. Wood, being a natural and porous material, tends to absorb water, which can lead to swelling and warping. This distortion not only affects the spoon’s shape and functionality but can also cause the wood to crack or split over time. Furthermore, the intense heat of a dishwasher can dry out the wood excessively, stripping it of its natural oils and moisture, which are essential for maintaining its strength and durability. Wash by hand and oil regularly.
The primary concern revolves around the damage to the nonstick coating. Dishwashers temperature and detergent can be too aggressive for the delicate nonstick surface. The combination of heat and cleaning agents can cause the nonstick coating to deteriorate or peel off, significantly reducing the pan’s nonstick properties. This not only affects the pan’s performance in cooking, where food might begin to stick and burn, but also raises health concerns if the flaked-off particles mix with food.
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Cast Iron Pans
The primary issue is that the dishwasher’s harsh environment can strip away the seasoned coating of the cast iron. This seasoning, a layer of polymerized oil, is what gives cast iron pans their non-stick properties and protects them from rust and corrosion. The high heat, moisture, and strong detergents in a dishwasher can break down this seasoning, leading to a loss of the non-stick surface and leaving the pan vulnerable to rust. Additionally, the prolonged exposure to water in a dishwasher can initiate rusting, especially if the pan is not dried immediately after washing.
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Dishwasher detergents can corrode the metal, leading to the dulling of the blade. This dulling not only impairs the knife’s cutting efficiency but also makes it more dangerous to use, as a dull knife requires more force to cut, increasing the risk of slippage and injury. Additionally, the extreme heat and moisture in the dishwasher can damage the handle of the knife, especially if it’s made of materials like wood or certain plastics, which can warp, crack, or lose their finish.
To-Go Plastic Containers
Putting to-go plastic containers in the dishwasher can be problematic for both the containers themselves and the dishwasher’s effectiveness. Many of these containers are not designed to withstand the high temperatures and harsh detergents used in dishwashers. The intense heat can cause the plastic to warp or melt, altering the shape of the container and potentially releasing harmful chemicals. Warped or misshapen containers will not seal properly, reducing their usefulness for storing food.
Additionally, placing to-go plastic containers in a dishwasher can impact the efficiency of the cleaning cycle. These lightweight containers can easily be tossed around by the water jets, potentially blocking the spray arms or filters.
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While stainless steel is generally durable and resistant to corrosion, the dishwasher’s high heat and harsh detergents can compromise the integrity of the bottle. Many stainless steel water bottles have insulated layers designed to keep liquids at a desired temperature. The extreme temperatures in the dishwasher can damage this insulation, reducing the bottle’s effectiveness in maintaining temperature. Moreover, if the bottle has painted or printed designs, these can fade or peel off under the abrasive action of dishwasher detergents and the heat of the drying cycle. This not only affects the aesthetic appeal of the bottle but can also expose the underlying metal to the elements, increasing the risk of corrosion over time.
In addition to potential damage to the bottles, washing them in a dishwasher might not effectively clean their interior. The narrow neck and elongated shape of most water bottles can prevent water and detergent from reaching all interior surfaces, especially in dishwashers without specialized jets for bottle cleaning. This incomplete cleaning can lead to the buildup of bacteria and mold, particularly in hard-to-reach areas like the bottle’s bottom or the lid’s crevices.
Putting baby bottles in the dishwasher can be problematic for several reasons, particularly concerning their cleanliness and the integrity of the materials. Baby bottles need to be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized to ensure they are safe for an infant’s use, as babies are highly susceptible to bacteria and other harmful pathogens. While dishwashers can clean dishes effectively, they may not always reach the necessary sterilization level required for baby bottles. The nooks, crannies, and narrow necks of baby bottles can make it challenging for dishwasher water jets and detergents to fully cleanse every part of the bottle. Additionally, milk residues and formula can become baked on in the high heat of the dishwasher, making them even harder to remove and potentially leading to bacterial growth.
Moreover, the harsh environment inside a dishwasher can damage the components of baby bottles. Many baby bottles have parts made of plastic, silicone, or other materials that may not withstand the extreme heat and potent detergents used in dishwashers. This exposure can lead to warping, melting, or the breakdown of materials, which can cause the bottles to leak, malfunction, or release chemicals. Also, the abrasive nature of dishwasher detergents can cause wear and tear on the bottles and their parts.
The unique frosted finish on these glasses, often achieved through processes like acid etching or sandblasting, can be sensitive to the harsh conditions inside a dishwasher. The temperatures, detergents, and abrasive action of water jets in a dishwasher can degrade the frosted texture, leading to a loss of its distinct matte appearance. Over time, this can result in the glasses looking patchy or uneven. Moreover, if the frosting is applied as a coating rather than being etched into the glass, it can start to peel or flake off under the intense cleaning and heat cycles of the dishwasher.
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