Most of us like to think we’re far too important to worry about things like washing up. We’re too busy wowing guests with dazzling wit and biting topical insight to care about the mountain of crusty plates and scorched pans currently congealing in the sink. We’ll cross that particular horrible bridge when we come to it, and only after several bottles of wine.
However, as comparatively unexciting as it may be, there are a few rules which every washer-upper must obey. This is particularly true when everyone’s favourite electronic kitchen aid comes into the frame. Sure, it’s incredibly convenient to chuck everything in, close the door and carry on with your evening. But since when has life ever been that straightforward? To help you avoid any accidental dishwasher related mishaps, here are seven things that never ever put in your dishwasher.
1. Sharp Knives
A proper set of sharp knives are the pride and joy of any serious kitchen. However, if you want to reduce your favourite tools to the status of shiny baby cutlery, don’t put them anywhere near the dishwasher. Not only will it dull the blade, but taking them in and out is an incredibly easy way to accidentally cut yourself.
2. Non-Stick Pans
It isn’t magic that makes non-stick pans the ultimate ally for any cook who can’t be bothered with stirring. Despite appearances, the non-stick surface is actually incredibly fragile, and can easily flake off if subjected to the high heat of the dishwasher. In order to keep them in peak physical condition, non-stick pans are best cleaned by hand.
3. Cast Iron Cookware
If maintained and stored correctly, high quality cast iron cookware can last for generations. Such maintenance does not involve the dishwasher. Dishwasher detergents will strip away at the pans’ non-stick surfaces, rendering them useless long before they should be. It’s a pain, but hand washing is a must.
Chopping boards, stirring spoons, salad tongs - anything wooden in the kitchen must be kept out of the dishwasher. Both the water and the high temperatures involves will distort the wood, leading to splitting and warping beyond repair. Instead, scrub gently with warm water from the sink. It will be slower, but you won’t end up with splintered spoons.
5. Measuring Jugs
There’s nothing worse than squinting at the side of a faded measuring jug, trying to guess how much liquid you’ve just added to your meal. Avoiding such an unnecessary hassle is yet another reason to avoid the dishwasher. The high temperatures can strip away at the measurements along the side, leaving you with little more than a glorified teacup.
6. Repaired Plates
For fans of DIY, the dishwasher is the ultimate nemesis. Sure, it might spare you 15 minutes here or there, but it can spell doom and gloom for anyone who owns crockery that has been previously repaired. As the element heats up and the water starts churning, so too will the glue holding the cracks together begin to melt, resulting in a washer full of broken china once the cycle has stopped.
7. Water Bottles/Travel Mugs
Whether for environmental concerns or because you want to look snazzy, travel bottles are the height of 21st century fashion. All the more reason to avoid putting your accessories in the dishwasher. The heat will eventually end up melting the seal that keeps your drinks cold and beverage in place, leading to an inadvertently soggy scenario of the sort that everyone wants to avoid.
In many ways, the dishwasher is the ultimate double-edged sword. On the one hand, keeping a clean kitchen has perhaps never been more convenient. On the other, it’s easier than ever to accidentally ruin some really expensive stuff. It’s worth remembering that just because it’s easy doesn’t make it right.