10 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

The first time you moved into a home with a dishwasher, it was a revelatory life-will-never-be-the-same moment. But that doesn’t mean that this glorious machine should be used for everything. Here, ten items that are better off being scrubbed with some good old-fashioned elbow grease.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher in 3 Easy Steps (Because It Definitely Needs It)

wooden chopping board with food around it

1. Anything Wood

Sure, those gorgeous salad tongs from your wedding registry may look OK after a spin in the dishwasher, but push your luck too many times and they’ll end up warped or cracked. Play it safe by washing cutting boards and any utensils with wooden handles by hand instead.

crystal glasses with brandy
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2. Crystal

It goes without saying that your expensive and fragile glassware should be hand-washed rather than risk getting cracked or chipped in the machine.

old cast iron skillet with oil
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3. Cast Iron Skillet

After putting in all that hard work (and oil) seasoning your skillet, don’t ruin it by putting it in the dishwasher. Instead, clean it with kosher salt and dry it off on the stove in order to prevent rust.

cheese grater with cheese
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4. Cheese Grater

Fact: A sprinkle of cheese makes every meal better. But that doesn’t mean you want remnants of last week’s Parmesan hanging around. Here’s how to really get your grater clean (and in just five seconds).

dirty pan in sink
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5. Nonstick Pans

While some brands are dishwasher-safe, others might lose their non-stick quality so it’s always best to check with the manufacturer first.

copper mug with moscow mule

6. Copper Items

When it comes to copper pans and mugs, your best bet is to wash them by hand since the dishwasher can dull the finish. (And those Moscow Mules deserve the best.)

insulated travel mug
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7. Insulated Travel Mugs

Yep, even the ones marked “dishwasher-safe.” Not only could the high temperature damage the vacuum seal, but water might get stuck between the inner and outer layers, giving your favorite mug a musty smell.

cutting watermelon on wooden board

8. Chef’s Knives

Sorry, but your machine's high-temperature water can dull and damage the blades. Instead, wash them up by hand and dry them with a towel immediately afterward.

7 Essential Knives Every Home Chef Should Own

jam jars
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9. Anything With Labels

Recycling that old jam jar into retro drinking glasses is a great idea, but remove the sticker first. That’s because it could come off in the dishwasher and get stuck in the filter, leading to costly repairs down the line.

vintage tea set
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10. Your Grandma’s Dinnerware

The machine can eat away at any gold trim or hand-painted details. Make like Nana and hand-wash vintage items instead.

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...