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Pans and pots require good cleaning after use as the food particles, grease and sauce leave nasty stains on the pan. Cleaning pans is one of the primary ways of maintaining them. These pans if not cleaned well, may accumulate with buildup, which contributes to their degradation. Dishwashers, on the other hand, are an excellent addition to your kitchen as they save time and do a pretty good job of cleaning our utensils. So, are pans dishwasher safe?
While dishwashers are a lifesaver, definitely not everything can go into it. If you put the wrong utensils in the dishwasher, you run the risk of destroying your dishwasher. In this article, we will take a closer look at everything you need to know about a dishwasher pan.
Table of Contents
How can you identify a dishwasher pan?
Dishwasher mark- Pans are not like our clothes which come with a dishwasher mark. There is no universal dishwasher mark that marks pans safe for use in the dishwasher. However, some companies use common symbols to indicate a safe dishwasher pan. Some common symbols include a square with a plate beneath some water droplets. You may have seen such a symbol before. The symbol has not been universally rolled out, however.
Manufacturer’s instructions- Every pan usually comes with a set of guidelines for use and cleaning. The manufacturer will indicate whether the pan is a dishwasher pan or not. So, if you are having doubts about your pans and pots, you should read the instruction manual that came with the pans. If you cannot find the manual, you can always go online and search or contact the manufacturer directly.
Look out for the material- Different materials used in making pans react differently to being tossed in the dishwasher. Some pans may get damaged, or the humidity in the pan contributes to their degradation. Let’s take a more in-depth look at different materials and whether they are dishwasher-safe.
i. Copper- pans made using copper should never be put in a dishwasher. The cleaning conditions inside the dishwasher are very thorough. There are high chances that copper pans will lose their shine and lustrous color when tossed in the dishwasher. If your pan is severely stained, it also not recommended to use harsh abrasives to scrub it. You can sprinkle some salt on the bottom of the pan and top it with some vinegar. Let the solution rest for a while, or until the stains wear off, then you can gently scrub. Avoid harsh abrasives that can scratch the pan.
ii. Cast iron– pans and pots made using cast iron should never be cleaned in a dishwasher for whatever reason. The conditions in a dishwasher that are usually hot and wet are perfect for rusting. The humidity in the dishwasher machine will also contribute to get erosion of the non-stick coating or the protective seasoning/ wash our cast iron pans by hand if you intend to keep them for long.
iii. Aluminum- pans made from aluminum are not ideal for dishwashers. However, if the an comes with a dishwasher safety mark or the manufacturer’s instruction recommend a dishwasher, then it should not be a problem. However, remember that aluminum is not the most durable material. The dishwasher’s severe conditions contribute to degradation. Also, the surface of an aluminum pan can be easily scratched by other pans, pots, and cutlery in the dishwasher. You should, therefore, exercise caution of cleaning the pans alone or creating space between the bother utensils. You should alternate cleaning your aluminum pans by hand and dishwasher. Its recommended cleaning them in the dishwasher only if you are in a hurry to preserve their gleam and shine longer.
iv. Stainless steel- pans made from stainless are dishwasher safe. These pans are marked as dishwasher safe by most manufacturers so it should not be a problem cleaning them in the dishwasher. However, even with the go-ahead, there are factors to take into consideration. For instance, the temperatures and humidity in the dishwasher but these pans at risk of rusting and corrosion. Washing them by hand is always safer since you can control the warmth of the water. Also, it’s recommended that you ensure enough space between the pans and other utensils to avoid scratching. You should also ensure that the pans are dried thoroughly after washing.
v. Porcelain and stoneware pans are dishwasher-safe. However, you need to look out for glazers and decals that could be damaged in the dishwasher. Pans with plastics handles should not be put in a dishwasher unless clearly stated by the manufacturer to avoid warping.
Can non-stick pans be washed in a dishwasher?
Non-stick pans should be cleaned in a dishwasher even if the manufacturer recommended. Here is the reason. Non-stick pans are usually coated with a thin material like Teflon or ceramics. The material quickly wears with time since its typically a fragile coating unlike pans made from stainless steel. These coatings, when exposed to high temperatures and humidity in a dishwasher deteriorate even faster. Before you know it, you will be buying new pans which are not ideal.
Non-stick pans should be cleaned by hand always. You should also avoid using harsh abrasives that will scratch the coating. Although some on-stick materials are being advanced in technology, the conditions in a dishwasher are still very tough and can contribute to damage.
We recommend generally cleaning your pans by hand more often even if they are dishwasher pans. The cleaning conditions in a dishwasher are very rough and contribute to the deterioration and scratching of most pans.
The humidity inside a dishwasher may be damaging to some pans depending on the material used. Therefore, it’s essential to be sure whether it’s a dishwasher pan or not instead of second-guessing. The most reliable way of doing so is to read the manufacturer provided manual for care instructions. You can also check for a dishwasher symbol. If you are having any doubts about it, it’s best to handwash the pans to avoid damaging the pan or the dishwasher.