Can Metal Go in the Dishwasher?

Discover Can Metal Go in the Dishwasher: Generally, most metals are safe to use in a dishwasher. Stainless steel is the most common and preferred material, as it can handle heat well and won’t corrode or rust over time.

Other dishwasher-safe metal types include aluminum, copper, anodized aluminum, cast iron, and silver-plated materials. Before using any metal in the dishwasher, check to ensure it is labeled as “dishwasher-safe” by the manufacturer.

Is it OK to Wash Metal?

Yes, it is OK to wash most metals. Before washing any metal, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s care instructions, as some metals may require special care. In general, you should use a mild detergent, warm water, and a soft cloth or sponge when cleaning metal surfaces. Rinse any soap residue with clean water and dry thoroughly after washing for the best results.

Is it OK to Put Metal in the Dishwasher?

Yes, it is generally OK to put metal in the dishwasher. It is important to use caution and ensure that any metal items are placed in the upper rack of the dishwasher. Placing metal items such as utensils or silverware in the lower rack can damage them due to increased heat and pressure. 

It is also important to check for any manufacturer instructions that state otherwise before placing an item made of metal in the dishwasher.

What Metals Can Be Washed in the Dishwasher?

The only metal that is 100% dishwasher safe is stainless steel. It is difficult to damage and will not rust. Cookware made of cast iron or carbon steel rusts quickly from the water. That is why cast-iron cauldrons and pans are recommended not to be washed but thoroughly wiped with a cloth. 

What Metals Cannot Go in the Dishwasher?

It is generally best to avoid putting any metal items in the dishwasher, as they can be damaged or corroded over time due to high temperatures and strong detergents. Some metals that should never go in the dishwasher include brass, copper, silverware, aluminum foil, cast iron, and nonstick cookware. For these metals, it is better to clean them by hand.

See What Metal is Safe and What is Not Safe to use in Dishwasher

However, not all tableware is dishwasher-safe. To ensure that your food isn’t served with toxic metals in it, you need to know what types of metals are safe to use in the dishwasher.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to make an informed decision if most people need to learn which metals are unstable or dangerous around various temperatures and water pressures.

Metal TypeDishwasher Safe?
Stainless steelYes, preferred in a pre-soak setting and with detergents without chlorine and ammonia
Copper and BrassNo, best washed by hand due to their tendency to tarnish and darken
AluminumNo, unless the product annotation specifies dishwasher safety or if it has a diamond or titanium coating
EnamelwareNo, hand washing is recommended to avoid damaging the enamel
Cast ironNo, recommended not to be washed but wiped thoroughly with a cloth
Non-stickNo, avoid putting in the dishwasher to prevent damage to the non-stick coating

Below, I’ll outline the best options for metal use in your dishwashers and explain how they interact with hot sanitizing water.

1. Stainless steel

Some say stainless steel is the only metal that is 100% dishwasher safe. It is difficult to damage and will not rust.

Stainless steel utensils can and should be washed in the dishwasher, preferably in a pre-soak setting and with detergents without chlorine and ammonia.

2. Copper and Brass 

Copper, brass, and aluminum are best washed by hand. Copper and brass are very capricious metals, prone to tarnishing and darkening, so prolonged exposure to hot water and detergents will leave their marks on them. 

Metals that tend to tarnish (copper and brass) are also best avoided in the dishwasher. At a minimum, they will lose their luster under the influence of harsh detergents.

3. Aluminum is a little easier

Of course, the detergent’s hot water, acids, and alkalis will oxidize this metal, and it is better to wash aluminum utensils by hand. But if a frying pan, pot, or cauldron has a diamond or titanium coating, then nothing threatens them. Usually, in the annotation of the product, the manufacturer indicates whether the dishes can be washed in the dishwasher.

Do not put aluminum dishes in the dishwasher: they will become dull and blackened, with cloudy white dry spots. Aluminum is one of the softest and most “responsive” metals; it reacts with alkalis, acids, and water. To eliminate this, manufacturers cover it with a protective oxide layer.

But dishwasher detergents contain phosphates, and they can destroy the coating. This does not make food harmful, and the dishes can be used, but outwardly they will look unsightly and last less.

4. Enamelware

Enamelware will not be washed in the dishwasher. When manually cleaning dishes from food, there is a greater chance of damaging the enamel than automatic washing.

And an important point – it is better not to load dishes with a nonstick coating into the dishwasher since aggressive agents will destroy the nonstick layer. Many manufacturers write that their dishes can be washed in the dishwasher using delicate and gentle products.

4. Cast iron

Cookware made of cast iron or carbon steel rusts quickly from the water. That is why cast-iron cauldrons and pans are recommended not to be washed but thoroughly wiped with a cloth. 

5. Non-stick

Do not put in the dishwasher and pans with nonstick coating. Remains of food are easily removed from such a surface with an ordinary damp sponge, and in the machine, the nonstick layer is easily damaged.

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In conclusion, you should feel comfortable and confident putting metal items like cutlery, utensils, cookware, and dishes in the dishwasher as long as they don’t have a manufacturer’s warning against them. As always, remember to check the labels to find out what’s safe and follow any guidelines on care for your dishware.

No matter which type of dishes or utensils you want to put in the dishwasher, make sure to take extra caution with fragile items. To prevent any possible damage or discoloration due to heat exposure, arrange your items cautiously and consult an expert before going all in with everything.