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Never Put These 6 Items in the Dishwasher, Experts Say

If you don't hand-wash these items, you'll end up having to replace them.

There's arguably no machine more helpful than a dishwasher when it comes to keeping your kitchen in order. The miracle appliance can take a post-dinner stack of plates and make them sparkling clean practically with the push of a button. But just because you can fit plenty into your dishwasher doesn't mean there aren't some items that should never be put into it. Read on to see which kitchen utensils you should stick to washing by hand.

RELATED: The One Thing You Should Never Put in Your Washing Machine, Experts Warn.

Any Metal Besides Stainless Steel

cast iron pan dishwasher tips

Anyone who's owned a cast-iron skillet or a set of copper or aluminum pots and pans knows the extra care it takes to keep them working and looking good is worth the effort. But if you have cookware made of any metal other than stainless steel, experts warn that you should keep it out of the dishwasher at all costs. Otherwise, running them through the appliance can cause them to become discolored or rust, ruining a potentially heirloom-quality kitchen item.

Wooden Items

Round cutting board in the kitchen.

Wood is an essential element in many kitchen tools. But those same spoons that are delicate enough to use on your non-stick pans without scraping them will also wither, warp, and crack in the heat and humidity of a dishwasher cycle. If you're using wooden utensils, cutting boards, or bowls, stick to handwashing them and drying them off immediately if you want them to last as long as possible.

Insulated Cups or Thermoses

woman pouring coffee from thermos

Thermoses and insulated cups are perfect for anyone who wants their poolside beverage to stay cool in the sun or their coffee to stay hot during their commute. But while they may feel like one of the sturdiest pieces of drinkware in your cupboard, the high temperatures in the dishwasher could damage the vacuum seal that makes them so effective. Eventually, they could fill up with water and become unusable.

But the hollow design isn't just limited to insulated drinkware. You should also be careful of whisks, old-fashioned ice cream scoops, and certain pots and pans that may have hollow handles—even if they're made of dishwasher-friendly stainless steel.

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Jars or Containers With Paper Labels

unused mason jars in home toss these things from your house for instant happiness

Sometimes, it can be efficient to repurpose an old pickle jar or hummus tub as a storage vessel once you've emptied it. But if you're running it through the dishwasher as you recycle it, experts warn that it's essential to remove any labels stuck to them beforehand. Otherwise, the paper and adhesive can become stuck in your appliance's filter or clog its drain.

Kitchen Knives

Kitchen Knives {Never Buy on Craigslist}

Where would a chef be without their knives? No matter how simple a dish you're preparing, a well-sharpened blade is as essential as a stovetop itself. But if you're planning on keeping your knives in top shape, the last place you'll ever want to put them is in the dishwasher.

Besides being a danger when loading and unloading, the soap and high temperatures will dull your blades and split handles quickly, diminishing their lifespan. Even worse? The sharp knives could damage the rubber coating on your dishwasher rack and cause them to rust. Stick to the chef's number one unspoken rule and always wash your blades by hand.

Cheese Graters

Close up of a piece of cheese being used on a cheese grater

For as easy as they make turning a block of cheese into a shredded pile, cheese graters can be incredibly complicated to clean. However, experts say you should avoid the temptation to toss them in into the dishwasher with other dirty items post-prep. Not only are wash cycles not very good getting the nooks and crannies clean of cheddar and parmesan, but the detergent will also dull the small, sharp blades just like kitchen knives. Stick to using a sponge and soapy water to wash your cheese grater instead.

RELATED: 6 Foods in Your Kitchen That Are Bringing Mice Into Your Home.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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