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11 Things You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

Not everything belongs in your dishwasher. (What a shame!) From cast iron skillets to ceramics, here are 11 sudsy shortcuts you probably shouldn't take.

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Empty cast iron frying pan on dark grey culinary backgroundShutterstock / Sea Wave

Cast-Iron Cookware

The best thing about cast-iron is all that baked-on seasoning! It’s what gives your food great flavor and protects the pan from rust. When you send your cast-iron through the dishwasher, you’ll lose that superb seasoning. Here are our do’s and don’ts for cleaning cast-iron.

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close up of african american female hands typing on keyboardShutterstock / Syda Productions

Computer Gear

Electronics are among the germ-iest things in your home, but believe it or not, some people like to get all those crumbs off their keyboard by giving it a run through the dishwasher. While it may come out clean, water can remain in the keyboard and cause damage. (Your computer mouse isn’t dishwasher safe, either!)

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Hands washing light pink women's bra in the blue basin.Shutterstock / FotoDuets


If your favorite bra has a “no tumbling” tag, it may be tempting to try washing it in the dishwasher. But dishwasher detergents can contain chemicals that are harsh on the skin, and the rinse aids aren’t great for fabrics. We suggest hand washing your delicates instead.

Psst: Go ahead and use your dishwasher to clean these surprising things.

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Close up of male hand cutting tomato on cutting board with sharp knifeShahrokost/Shutterstock

Sharp Knives

When it comes to your cutlery, it’s best to clean the old fashioned way. Your knives are an investment that you’ll want to keep for years to come, so hand wash ’em with a soft sponge and dish soap.

(Don’t miss more ways you might be damaging your knives—without knowing.)

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Wooden spoon over a pot on the stoveShutterstock / pharaoh1404

Wooden Spoons

The dishwasher’s water and heat can cause wooden spoons to warp, leaving you with a crooked spoon handle. You might also end up with a cracked spoon. (Bummer!)

A good wooden spoon is essential in almost every recipe—including all these savory pasta sauces.

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Close up of male's hand holding thermo mug with hot coffee driving in a carShutterstock / Lithiumphoto

Insulated Travel Mugs

When an insulated mug is exposed to high heat, it can damage the mug’s vacuum seal. That makes it hard for your beloved mug to keep coffee warm and can be a catalyst for mold growth. Yuck!

Try our favorite coffee drinks in your squeaky-clean mug.

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Egg being fried in healthy, eco friendly, ceramic nonstick skilletShutterstock / Marie C Fields

Nonstick Pots and Pans

The dishwasher’s high heat, along with the cleaning process, can affect your pan’s nonstick coating. As a result, the coating can start to flake off, ruining the pan’s nonstickiness. Not good! How else would you make eggs for these breakfast burgers?

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Woman painting traditional plates at a fair.Shutterstock / luanateutzi

Hand-Painted Items

That bowl you painted or the mug your child made at school should be left out of the dishwasher. Not only can the heat damage the paint and distort the artwork, but often the materials used to make the item usually aren’t safe for the dishwasher.

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Bright baby dishware on tableShutterstock / Africa Studio

Some Plastics

Before you wash your child’s favorite plastic cup or bowl, check the label. Many plastics claim to be dishwasher safe, but the heat can still cause them to warp or melt.

Have a plastic cutting board? That definitely should go in the dishwasher—here’s why.

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stainless pressure cooker on kitchenShutterstock / ROLAND ANCLA LEGASPI

Pressure Cooker Lids

You made this tender BBQ chicken recipe in your pressure cooker. Now what?

When you put your pressure cooker lid in the dishwasher, food particles and detergent can get stuck in the regulator or safety valves. Instead, wash all your pressure cooker pots, tops and gaskets by hand.

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Vintage blue dinner plates, with pink rose tea cup and gold cutleryShutterstock / Alison Henley

Antique Items

Your grandmother’s china isn’t a strong candidate for the dishwasher. (It’s delicate, and you’d hate to open the dishwasher and find something has chipped.) Hand wash all your family heirlooms, especially those with metallic trim or embellishments.

Does your dishwasher need to be cleaned? Here’s how to tackle that.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.