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6 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Dish Soap (Slideshow)

6 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Dish Soap (Slideshow)

You can do a whole lot more than wash your dishes with this soap

If you or a pet are sprayed by a skunk, skip the tomato juice bath (which can be costly, messy, and impractical). Washing in scented dish soap will also remove the bad smell.

Remove Skunk Smell

If you or a pet are sprayed by a skunk, skip the tomato juice bath (which can be costly, messy, and impractical). Washing in scented dish soap will also remove the bad smell.

Prep for a Manicure

Because dish soap is a great de-greaser, it will also remove oil from your skin and nails. Prep your hands for a manicure by soaking them for a few minutes in a bowl of warm water and dish soap. Removing the excess oil from your skin and nails will allow the nail polish to better adhere to your nails.

Kill Weeds

Don’t like the idea of chemical-based weed control? Spray a combination of water, an all-natural dish soap, vinegar, and salt on pesky weeds (the dish soap acts as a binder that allows the weed-killing ingredients to stick to weeds leaves and stems).

Kill Fleas

Though dish soap can’t prevent fleas, it will get rid of the ones your pet already has. Simply give your pet a bath in warm, dish-soapy water. Just be sure to rinse your pet well so that the dish soap doesn’t irritate or dry out the animal's skin.

Make a Clarifying Shampoo

Don’t spend money on a special clarifying shampoo. Washing your hair with dish soap on occasion will remove oil and build up just as effectively — but do this sparingly, as overuse can dry or damage the hair and scalp.

Trap Fruit Flies

If you have fruit flies around your kitchen, set a trap by leaving shallow bowls of fruit-scented dish soap out on the counter. The smell will attract the flies, and once their wings are coated in the soap they won’t be able to fly away.


8 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of those “best things since sliced bread” inventions, saving you countless hours otherwise spent stooped over the sink. But, of course, we’ve yet to create a device that’s a kitchen-cleanup panacea — there are some things the dishwasher just shouldn’t tackle.

Anything Wood

We’re talking cutting boards, wooden utensils (like spoons) and knives with wooden handles. Why? Dishwasher detergent is abrasive and will scratch wood over time. Plus, the heat of the drying cycle can cause the wood to warp or even crack. Rinse and hand-wash cutting boards soon after you use them, but don’t submerge them in water. A little baking soda can help scrub away stains, too.

Photo: karandaev/iStock

Cast Iron

It took a lot of effort to get your cast-iron cookware perfectly seasoned! Don’t ruin it (or potentially cause your pan to rust) by using the dishwasher as a cleaning shortcut. Instead, rinse your cast iron in hot water, scrubbing with a soft sponge to lift stuck-on food. Don’t use dish soap (it could break down the seasoning), and dry thoroughly with a towel.

Photo: ivanastar/iStock

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum pots and pans can technically go in the dishwasher, but they’ll oxidize and fade from shiny to dull after a single cycle. Aluminum cookware’s doppelganger, stainless steel cookware, can often go in the machine — but always heed manufacturer guidelines.

Photo: kamontad123/iStock

Copper or Other Precious Metals

Those pretty copper pots could dull or discolor in the dishwasher. Keep silver, gold and bronze heirlooms out, too they’ll tarnish and will eventually lose their gleaming finish.

Photo: Albuquerque/iStock

Nonstick Cookware

Generally, the nonstick coating just doesn’t hold up well in the turbulent washer. You can likely make an exception for items that are labeled “dishwasher-safe” by the manufacturer, but give them a second look after they come out of the machine, to note any damage.

Certain Plastic Items

You should take the manufacturer’s lead on this one — some softer plastics can’t handle the dishwasher’s heat. Hardier items like food processor bowls, plastic cutting boards and mixing bowls can often go in the dishwasher, but know that most clear plastic will get scratched and dulled over time if you wash it this way. Also, it’s often wise to place plastic items in the top rack of the washer, where they’re farther away from the heat.

Photo: FotografiaBasica/iStock

Kitchen Knives

Placing your good knives in the dishwasher is a big no-no. The detergent will dull a knife's blade — frustrating as you slice and dice, and also unsafe, as you’re more likely to lose control of a dull knife. Plus, the hot water and heat in the drying cycle will loosen knives’ handles. Wash your kitchen knives carefully by hand in hot soapy water instead.

Photo: eddygaleotti/iStock

Fine China, Crystal or Painted Plates

Please don’t ruin the heirloom hand-painted dishware your grandmother passed down to you (or the pretty plates you bought at Anthropologie, for that matter). These delicate items can chip, fade or lose their finish in the dishwasher. Any silverware with carved antler or bone handles should stay out of the machine as well.


8 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of those “best things since sliced bread” inventions, saving you countless hours otherwise spent stooped over the sink. But, of course, we’ve yet to create a device that’s a kitchen-cleanup panacea — there are some things the dishwasher just shouldn’t tackle.

Anything Wood

We’re talking cutting boards, wooden utensils (like spoons) and knives with wooden handles. Why? Dishwasher detergent is abrasive and will scratch wood over time. Plus, the heat of the drying cycle can cause the wood to warp or even crack. Rinse and hand-wash cutting boards soon after you use them, but don’t submerge them in water. A little baking soda can help scrub away stains, too.

Photo: karandaev/iStock

Cast Iron

It took a lot of effort to get your cast-iron cookware perfectly seasoned! Don’t ruin it (or potentially cause your pan to rust) by using the dishwasher as a cleaning shortcut. Instead, rinse your cast iron in hot water, scrubbing with a soft sponge to lift stuck-on food. Don’t use dish soap (it could break down the seasoning), and dry thoroughly with a towel.

Photo: ivanastar/iStock

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum pots and pans can technically go in the dishwasher, but they’ll oxidize and fade from shiny to dull after a single cycle. Aluminum cookware’s doppelganger, stainless steel cookware, can often go in the machine — but always heed manufacturer guidelines.

Photo: kamontad123/iStock

Copper or Other Precious Metals

Those pretty copper pots could dull or discolor in the dishwasher. Keep silver, gold and bronze heirlooms out, too they’ll tarnish and will eventually lose their gleaming finish.

Photo: Albuquerque/iStock

Nonstick Cookware

Generally, the nonstick coating just doesn’t hold up well in the turbulent washer. You can likely make an exception for items that are labeled “dishwasher-safe” by the manufacturer, but give them a second look after they come out of the machine, to note any damage.

Certain Plastic Items

You should take the manufacturer’s lead on this one — some softer plastics can’t handle the dishwasher’s heat. Hardier items like food processor bowls, plastic cutting boards and mixing bowls can often go in the dishwasher, but know that most clear plastic will get scratched and dulled over time if you wash it this way. Also, it’s often wise to place plastic items in the top rack of the washer, where they’re farther away from the heat.

Photo: FotografiaBasica/iStock

Kitchen Knives

Placing your good knives in the dishwasher is a big no-no. The detergent will dull a knife's blade — frustrating as you slice and dice, and also unsafe, as you’re more likely to lose control of a dull knife. Plus, the hot water and heat in the drying cycle will loosen knives’ handles. Wash your kitchen knives carefully by hand in hot soapy water instead.

Photo: eddygaleotti/iStock

Fine China, Crystal or Painted Plates

Please don’t ruin the heirloom hand-painted dishware your grandmother passed down to you (or the pretty plates you bought at Anthropologie, for that matter). These delicate items can chip, fade or lose their finish in the dishwasher. Any silverware with carved antler or bone handles should stay out of the machine as well.


8 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of those “best things since sliced bread” inventions, saving you countless hours otherwise spent stooped over the sink. But, of course, we’ve yet to create a device that’s a kitchen-cleanup panacea — there are some things the dishwasher just shouldn’t tackle.

Anything Wood

We’re talking cutting boards, wooden utensils (like spoons) and knives with wooden handles. Why? Dishwasher detergent is abrasive and will scratch wood over time. Plus, the heat of the drying cycle can cause the wood to warp or even crack. Rinse and hand-wash cutting boards soon after you use them, but don’t submerge them in water. A little baking soda can help scrub away stains, too.

Photo: karandaev/iStock

Cast Iron

It took a lot of effort to get your cast-iron cookware perfectly seasoned! Don’t ruin it (or potentially cause your pan to rust) by using the dishwasher as a cleaning shortcut. Instead, rinse your cast iron in hot water, scrubbing with a soft sponge to lift stuck-on food. Don’t use dish soap (it could break down the seasoning), and dry thoroughly with a towel.

Photo: ivanastar/iStock

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum pots and pans can technically go in the dishwasher, but they’ll oxidize and fade from shiny to dull after a single cycle. Aluminum cookware’s doppelganger, stainless steel cookware, can often go in the machine — but always heed manufacturer guidelines.

Photo: kamontad123/iStock

Copper or Other Precious Metals

Those pretty copper pots could dull or discolor in the dishwasher. Keep silver, gold and bronze heirlooms out, too they’ll tarnish and will eventually lose their gleaming finish.

Photo: Albuquerque/iStock

Nonstick Cookware

Generally, the nonstick coating just doesn’t hold up well in the turbulent washer. You can likely make an exception for items that are labeled “dishwasher-safe” by the manufacturer, but give them a second look after they come out of the machine, to note any damage.

Certain Plastic Items

You should take the manufacturer’s lead on this one — some softer plastics can’t handle the dishwasher’s heat. Hardier items like food processor bowls, plastic cutting boards and mixing bowls can often go in the dishwasher, but know that most clear plastic will get scratched and dulled over time if you wash it this way. Also, it’s often wise to place plastic items in the top rack of the washer, where they’re farther away from the heat.

Photo: FotografiaBasica/iStock

Kitchen Knives

Placing your good knives in the dishwasher is a big no-no. The detergent will dull a knife's blade — frustrating as you slice and dice, and also unsafe, as you’re more likely to lose control of a dull knife. Plus, the hot water and heat in the drying cycle will loosen knives’ handles. Wash your kitchen knives carefully by hand in hot soapy water instead.

Photo: eddygaleotti/iStock

Fine China, Crystal or Painted Plates

Please don’t ruin the heirloom hand-painted dishware your grandmother passed down to you (or the pretty plates you bought at Anthropologie, for that matter). These delicate items can chip, fade or lose their finish in the dishwasher. Any silverware with carved antler or bone handles should stay out of the machine as well.


8 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of those “best things since sliced bread” inventions, saving you countless hours otherwise spent stooped over the sink. But, of course, we’ve yet to create a device that’s a kitchen-cleanup panacea — there are some things the dishwasher just shouldn’t tackle.

Anything Wood

We’re talking cutting boards, wooden utensils (like spoons) and knives with wooden handles. Why? Dishwasher detergent is abrasive and will scratch wood over time. Plus, the heat of the drying cycle can cause the wood to warp or even crack. Rinse and hand-wash cutting boards soon after you use them, but don’t submerge them in water. A little baking soda can help scrub away stains, too.

Photo: karandaev/iStock

Cast Iron

It took a lot of effort to get your cast-iron cookware perfectly seasoned! Don’t ruin it (or potentially cause your pan to rust) by using the dishwasher as a cleaning shortcut. Instead, rinse your cast iron in hot water, scrubbing with a soft sponge to lift stuck-on food. Don’t use dish soap (it could break down the seasoning), and dry thoroughly with a towel.

Photo: ivanastar/iStock

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum pots and pans can technically go in the dishwasher, but they’ll oxidize and fade from shiny to dull after a single cycle. Aluminum cookware’s doppelganger, stainless steel cookware, can often go in the machine — but always heed manufacturer guidelines.

Photo: kamontad123/iStock

Copper or Other Precious Metals

Those pretty copper pots could dull or discolor in the dishwasher. Keep silver, gold and bronze heirlooms out, too they’ll tarnish and will eventually lose their gleaming finish.

Photo: Albuquerque/iStock

Nonstick Cookware

Generally, the nonstick coating just doesn’t hold up well in the turbulent washer. You can likely make an exception for items that are labeled “dishwasher-safe” by the manufacturer, but give them a second look after they come out of the machine, to note any damage.

Certain Plastic Items

You should take the manufacturer’s lead on this one — some softer plastics can’t handle the dishwasher’s heat. Hardier items like food processor bowls, plastic cutting boards and mixing bowls can often go in the dishwasher, but know that most clear plastic will get scratched and dulled over time if you wash it this way. Also, it’s often wise to place plastic items in the top rack of the washer, where they’re farther away from the heat.

Photo: FotografiaBasica/iStock

Kitchen Knives

Placing your good knives in the dishwasher is a big no-no. The detergent will dull a knife's blade — frustrating as you slice and dice, and also unsafe, as you’re more likely to lose control of a dull knife. Plus, the hot water and heat in the drying cycle will loosen knives’ handles. Wash your kitchen knives carefully by hand in hot soapy water instead.

Photo: eddygaleotti/iStock

Fine China, Crystal or Painted Plates

Please don’t ruin the heirloom hand-painted dishware your grandmother passed down to you (or the pretty plates you bought at Anthropologie, for that matter). These delicate items can chip, fade or lose their finish in the dishwasher. Any silverware with carved antler or bone handles should stay out of the machine as well.


8 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of those “best things since sliced bread” inventions, saving you countless hours otherwise spent stooped over the sink. But, of course, we’ve yet to create a device that’s a kitchen-cleanup panacea — there are some things the dishwasher just shouldn’t tackle.

Anything Wood

We’re talking cutting boards, wooden utensils (like spoons) and knives with wooden handles. Why? Dishwasher detergent is abrasive and will scratch wood over time. Plus, the heat of the drying cycle can cause the wood to warp or even crack. Rinse and hand-wash cutting boards soon after you use them, but don’t submerge them in water. A little baking soda can help scrub away stains, too.

Photo: karandaev/iStock

Cast Iron

It took a lot of effort to get your cast-iron cookware perfectly seasoned! Don’t ruin it (or potentially cause your pan to rust) by using the dishwasher as a cleaning shortcut. Instead, rinse your cast iron in hot water, scrubbing with a soft sponge to lift stuck-on food. Don’t use dish soap (it could break down the seasoning), and dry thoroughly with a towel.

Photo: ivanastar/iStock

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum pots and pans can technically go in the dishwasher, but they’ll oxidize and fade from shiny to dull after a single cycle. Aluminum cookware’s doppelganger, stainless steel cookware, can often go in the machine — but always heed manufacturer guidelines.

Photo: kamontad123/iStock

Copper or Other Precious Metals

Those pretty copper pots could dull or discolor in the dishwasher. Keep silver, gold and bronze heirlooms out, too they’ll tarnish and will eventually lose their gleaming finish.

Photo: Albuquerque/iStock

Nonstick Cookware

Generally, the nonstick coating just doesn’t hold up well in the turbulent washer. You can likely make an exception for items that are labeled “dishwasher-safe” by the manufacturer, but give them a second look after they come out of the machine, to note any damage.

Certain Plastic Items

You should take the manufacturer’s lead on this one — some softer plastics can’t handle the dishwasher’s heat. Hardier items like food processor bowls, plastic cutting boards and mixing bowls can often go in the dishwasher, but know that most clear plastic will get scratched and dulled over time if you wash it this way. Also, it’s often wise to place plastic items in the top rack of the washer, where they’re farther away from the heat.

Photo: FotografiaBasica/iStock

Kitchen Knives

Placing your good knives in the dishwasher is a big no-no. The detergent will dull a knife's blade — frustrating as you slice and dice, and also unsafe, as you’re more likely to lose control of a dull knife. Plus, the hot water and heat in the drying cycle will loosen knives’ handles. Wash your kitchen knives carefully by hand in hot soapy water instead.

Photo: eddygaleotti/iStock

Fine China, Crystal or Painted Plates

Please don’t ruin the heirloom hand-painted dishware your grandmother passed down to you (or the pretty plates you bought at Anthropologie, for that matter). These delicate items can chip, fade or lose their finish in the dishwasher. Any silverware with carved antler or bone handles should stay out of the machine as well.


8 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of those “best things since sliced bread” inventions, saving you countless hours otherwise spent stooped over the sink. But, of course, we’ve yet to create a device that’s a kitchen-cleanup panacea — there are some things the dishwasher just shouldn’t tackle.

Anything Wood

We’re talking cutting boards, wooden utensils (like spoons) and knives with wooden handles. Why? Dishwasher detergent is abrasive and will scratch wood over time. Plus, the heat of the drying cycle can cause the wood to warp or even crack. Rinse and hand-wash cutting boards soon after you use them, but don’t submerge them in water. A little baking soda can help scrub away stains, too.

Photo: karandaev/iStock

Cast Iron

It took a lot of effort to get your cast-iron cookware perfectly seasoned! Don’t ruin it (or potentially cause your pan to rust) by using the dishwasher as a cleaning shortcut. Instead, rinse your cast iron in hot water, scrubbing with a soft sponge to lift stuck-on food. Don’t use dish soap (it could break down the seasoning), and dry thoroughly with a towel.

Photo: ivanastar/iStock

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum pots and pans can technically go in the dishwasher, but they’ll oxidize and fade from shiny to dull after a single cycle. Aluminum cookware’s doppelganger, stainless steel cookware, can often go in the machine — but always heed manufacturer guidelines.

Photo: kamontad123/iStock

Copper or Other Precious Metals

Those pretty copper pots could dull or discolor in the dishwasher. Keep silver, gold and bronze heirlooms out, too they’ll tarnish and will eventually lose their gleaming finish.

Photo: Albuquerque/iStock

Nonstick Cookware

Generally, the nonstick coating just doesn’t hold up well in the turbulent washer. You can likely make an exception for items that are labeled “dishwasher-safe” by the manufacturer, but give them a second look after they come out of the machine, to note any damage.

Certain Plastic Items

You should take the manufacturer’s lead on this one — some softer plastics can’t handle the dishwasher’s heat. Hardier items like food processor bowls, plastic cutting boards and mixing bowls can often go in the dishwasher, but know that most clear plastic will get scratched and dulled over time if you wash it this way. Also, it’s often wise to place plastic items in the top rack of the washer, where they’re farther away from the heat.

Photo: FotografiaBasica/iStock

Kitchen Knives

Placing your good knives in the dishwasher is a big no-no. The detergent will dull a knife's blade — frustrating as you slice and dice, and also unsafe, as you’re more likely to lose control of a dull knife. Plus, the hot water and heat in the drying cycle will loosen knives’ handles. Wash your kitchen knives carefully by hand in hot soapy water instead.

Photo: eddygaleotti/iStock

Fine China, Crystal or Painted Plates

Please don’t ruin the heirloom hand-painted dishware your grandmother passed down to you (or the pretty plates you bought at Anthropologie, for that matter). These delicate items can chip, fade or lose their finish in the dishwasher. Any silverware with carved antler or bone handles should stay out of the machine as well.


8 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of those “best things since sliced bread” inventions, saving you countless hours otherwise spent stooped over the sink. But, of course, we’ve yet to create a device that’s a kitchen-cleanup panacea — there are some things the dishwasher just shouldn’t tackle.

Anything Wood

We’re talking cutting boards, wooden utensils (like spoons) and knives with wooden handles. Why? Dishwasher detergent is abrasive and will scratch wood over time. Plus, the heat of the drying cycle can cause the wood to warp or even crack. Rinse and hand-wash cutting boards soon after you use them, but don’t submerge them in water. A little baking soda can help scrub away stains, too.

Photo: karandaev/iStock

Cast Iron

It took a lot of effort to get your cast-iron cookware perfectly seasoned! Don’t ruin it (or potentially cause your pan to rust) by using the dishwasher as a cleaning shortcut. Instead, rinse your cast iron in hot water, scrubbing with a soft sponge to lift stuck-on food. Don’t use dish soap (it could break down the seasoning), and dry thoroughly with a towel.

Photo: ivanastar/iStock

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum pots and pans can technically go in the dishwasher, but they’ll oxidize and fade from shiny to dull after a single cycle. Aluminum cookware’s doppelganger, stainless steel cookware, can often go in the machine — but always heed manufacturer guidelines.

Photo: kamontad123/iStock

Copper or Other Precious Metals

Those pretty copper pots could dull or discolor in the dishwasher. Keep silver, gold and bronze heirlooms out, too they’ll tarnish and will eventually lose their gleaming finish.

Photo: Albuquerque/iStock

Nonstick Cookware

Generally, the nonstick coating just doesn’t hold up well in the turbulent washer. You can likely make an exception for items that are labeled “dishwasher-safe” by the manufacturer, but give them a second look after they come out of the machine, to note any damage.

Certain Plastic Items

You should take the manufacturer’s lead on this one — some softer plastics can’t handle the dishwasher’s heat. Hardier items like food processor bowls, plastic cutting boards and mixing bowls can often go in the dishwasher, but know that most clear plastic will get scratched and dulled over time if you wash it this way. Also, it’s often wise to place plastic items in the top rack of the washer, where they’re farther away from the heat.

Photo: FotografiaBasica/iStock

Kitchen Knives

Placing your good knives in the dishwasher is a big no-no. The detergent will dull a knife's blade — frustrating as you slice and dice, and also unsafe, as you’re more likely to lose control of a dull knife. Plus, the hot water and heat in the drying cycle will loosen knives’ handles. Wash your kitchen knives carefully by hand in hot soapy water instead.

Photo: eddygaleotti/iStock

Fine China, Crystal or Painted Plates

Please don’t ruin the heirloom hand-painted dishware your grandmother passed down to you (or the pretty plates you bought at Anthropologie, for that matter). These delicate items can chip, fade or lose their finish in the dishwasher. Any silverware with carved antler or bone handles should stay out of the machine as well.


8 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of those “best things since sliced bread” inventions, saving you countless hours otherwise spent stooped over the sink. But, of course, we’ve yet to create a device that’s a kitchen-cleanup panacea — there are some things the dishwasher just shouldn’t tackle.

Anything Wood

We’re talking cutting boards, wooden utensils (like spoons) and knives with wooden handles. Why? Dishwasher detergent is abrasive and will scratch wood over time. Plus, the heat of the drying cycle can cause the wood to warp or even crack. Rinse and hand-wash cutting boards soon after you use them, but don’t submerge them in water. A little baking soda can help scrub away stains, too.

Photo: karandaev/iStock

Cast Iron

It took a lot of effort to get your cast-iron cookware perfectly seasoned! Don’t ruin it (or potentially cause your pan to rust) by using the dishwasher as a cleaning shortcut. Instead, rinse your cast iron in hot water, scrubbing with a soft sponge to lift stuck-on food. Don’t use dish soap (it could break down the seasoning), and dry thoroughly with a towel.

Photo: ivanastar/iStock

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum pots and pans can technically go in the dishwasher, but they’ll oxidize and fade from shiny to dull after a single cycle. Aluminum cookware’s doppelganger, stainless steel cookware, can often go in the machine — but always heed manufacturer guidelines.

Photo: kamontad123/iStock

Copper or Other Precious Metals

Those pretty copper pots could dull or discolor in the dishwasher. Keep silver, gold and bronze heirlooms out, too they’ll tarnish and will eventually lose their gleaming finish.

Photo: Albuquerque/iStock

Nonstick Cookware

Generally, the nonstick coating just doesn’t hold up well in the turbulent washer. You can likely make an exception for items that are labeled “dishwasher-safe” by the manufacturer, but give them a second look after they come out of the machine, to note any damage.

Certain Plastic Items

You should take the manufacturer’s lead on this one — some softer plastics can’t handle the dishwasher’s heat. Hardier items like food processor bowls, plastic cutting boards and mixing bowls can often go in the dishwasher, but know that most clear plastic will get scratched and dulled over time if you wash it this way. Also, it’s often wise to place plastic items in the top rack of the washer, where they’re farther away from the heat.

Photo: FotografiaBasica/iStock

Kitchen Knives

Placing your good knives in the dishwasher is a big no-no. The detergent will dull a knife's blade — frustrating as you slice and dice, and also unsafe, as you’re more likely to lose control of a dull knife. Plus, the hot water and heat in the drying cycle will loosen knives’ handles. Wash your kitchen knives carefully by hand in hot soapy water instead.

Photo: eddygaleotti/iStock

Fine China, Crystal or Painted Plates

Please don’t ruin the heirloom hand-painted dishware your grandmother passed down to you (or the pretty plates you bought at Anthropologie, for that matter). These delicate items can chip, fade or lose their finish in the dishwasher. Any silverware with carved antler or bone handles should stay out of the machine as well.


8 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of those “best things since sliced bread” inventions, saving you countless hours otherwise spent stooped over the sink. But, of course, we’ve yet to create a device that’s a kitchen-cleanup panacea — there are some things the dishwasher just shouldn’t tackle.

Anything Wood

We’re talking cutting boards, wooden utensils (like spoons) and knives with wooden handles. Why? Dishwasher detergent is abrasive and will scratch wood over time. Plus, the heat of the drying cycle can cause the wood to warp or even crack. Rinse and hand-wash cutting boards soon after you use them, but don’t submerge them in water. A little baking soda can help scrub away stains, too.

Photo: karandaev/iStock

Cast Iron

It took a lot of effort to get your cast-iron cookware perfectly seasoned! Don’t ruin it (or potentially cause your pan to rust) by using the dishwasher as a cleaning shortcut. Instead, rinse your cast iron in hot water, scrubbing with a soft sponge to lift stuck-on food. Don’t use dish soap (it could break down the seasoning), and dry thoroughly with a towel.

Photo: ivanastar/iStock

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum pots and pans can technically go in the dishwasher, but they’ll oxidize and fade from shiny to dull after a single cycle. Aluminum cookware’s doppelganger, stainless steel cookware, can often go in the machine — but always heed manufacturer guidelines.

Photo: kamontad123/iStock

Copper or Other Precious Metals

Those pretty copper pots could dull or discolor in the dishwasher. Keep silver, gold and bronze heirlooms out, too they’ll tarnish and will eventually lose their gleaming finish.

Photo: Albuquerque/iStock

Nonstick Cookware

Generally, the nonstick coating just doesn’t hold up well in the turbulent washer. You can likely make an exception for items that are labeled “dishwasher-safe” by the manufacturer, but give them a second look after they come out of the machine, to note any damage.

Certain Plastic Items

You should take the manufacturer’s lead on this one — some softer plastics can’t handle the dishwasher’s heat. Hardier items like food processor bowls, plastic cutting boards and mixing bowls can often go in the dishwasher, but know that most clear plastic will get scratched and dulled over time if you wash it this way. Also, it’s often wise to place plastic items in the top rack of the washer, where they’re farther away from the heat.

Photo: FotografiaBasica/iStock

Kitchen Knives

Placing your good knives in the dishwasher is a big no-no. The detergent will dull a knife's blade — frustrating as you slice and dice, and also unsafe, as you’re more likely to lose control of a dull knife. Plus, the hot water and heat in the drying cycle will loosen knives’ handles. Wash your kitchen knives carefully by hand in hot soapy water instead.

Photo: eddygaleotti/iStock

Fine China, Crystal or Painted Plates

Please don’t ruin the heirloom hand-painted dishware your grandmother passed down to you (or the pretty plates you bought at Anthropologie, for that matter). These delicate items can chip, fade or lose their finish in the dishwasher. Any silverware with carved antler or bone handles should stay out of the machine as well.


8 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of those “best things since sliced bread” inventions, saving you countless hours otherwise spent stooped over the sink. But, of course, we’ve yet to create a device that’s a kitchen-cleanup panacea — there are some things the dishwasher just shouldn’t tackle.

Anything Wood

We’re talking cutting boards, wooden utensils (like spoons) and knives with wooden handles. Why? Dishwasher detergent is abrasive and will scratch wood over time. Plus, the heat of the drying cycle can cause the wood to warp or even crack. Rinse and hand-wash cutting boards soon after you use them, but don’t submerge them in water. A little baking soda can help scrub away stains, too.

Photo: karandaev/iStock

Cast Iron

It took a lot of effort to get your cast-iron cookware perfectly seasoned! Don’t ruin it (or potentially cause your pan to rust) by using the dishwasher as a cleaning shortcut. Instead, rinse your cast iron in hot water, scrubbing with a soft sponge to lift stuck-on food. Don’t use dish soap (it could break down the seasoning), and dry thoroughly with a towel.

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Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum pots and pans can technically go in the dishwasher, but they’ll oxidize and fade from shiny to dull after a single cycle. Aluminum cookware’s doppelganger, stainless steel cookware, can often go in the machine — but always heed manufacturer guidelines.

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Copper or Other Precious Metals

Those pretty copper pots could dull or discolor in the dishwasher. Keep silver, gold and bronze heirlooms out, too they’ll tarnish and will eventually lose their gleaming finish.

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Nonstick Cookware

Generally, the nonstick coating just doesn’t hold up well in the turbulent washer. You can likely make an exception for items that are labeled “dishwasher-safe” by the manufacturer, but give them a second look after they come out of the machine, to note any damage.

Certain Plastic Items

You should take the manufacturer’s lead on this one — some softer plastics can’t handle the dishwasher’s heat. Hardier items like food processor bowls, plastic cutting boards and mixing bowls can often go in the dishwasher, but know that most clear plastic will get scratched and dulled over time if you wash it this way. Also, it’s often wise to place plastic items in the top rack of the washer, where they’re farther away from the heat.

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Kitchen Knives

Placing your good knives in the dishwasher is a big no-no. The detergent will dull a knife's blade — frustrating as you slice and dice, and also unsafe, as you’re more likely to lose control of a dull knife. Plus, the hot water and heat in the drying cycle will loosen knives’ handles. Wash your kitchen knives carefully by hand in hot soapy water instead.

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Fine China, Crystal or Painted Plates

Please don’t ruin the heirloom hand-painted dishware your grandmother passed down to you (or the pretty plates you bought at Anthropologie, for that matter). These delicate items can chip, fade or lose their finish in the dishwasher. Any silverware with carved antler or bone handles should stay out of the machine as well.