Dishwasher safe cookware has a dirty secret. We know that dishwasher safe cookware makes clean up a breeze. Do you know the real cost of that easy clean-up? Do your cooking, eat your tasty treats, and when you are done, place the cookware into the dishwasher. What could be easier. A lot of cookware is not dishwasher safe. Even manufacturers of dishwasher safe cookware often recommend NOT using the dishwasher! That’s the dirty secret. In this article I will reveal more about the dirty secret and show you how I identify the brands and product lines labeled as dishwasher safe cookware.
Dishwasher Safe Cookware Facts
- The average dishwasher uses between 9 and 12 gallons of water per load of dishes.
- The expected product life of a dishwasher is 9 years.
- Washing dishes by hand uses approximately 20 gallons of water.
- Approximately 25% of dishwashers on the market today meet Energy Star Goals.
- Replacing a 10-year old dishwasher with an Energy Star-qualified model can save you more than $30 a year in energy costs
- A new sound- insulated model can be up to 75 percent quieter than a unit that’s ten years old.
- It has been estimated that using a dishwasher can save up to 3 weeks time over a year
The Issue with Dishwashers
If you think about it, dishwashers have a pretty difficult job to do. We expect to be able to load up a machine with dirty dishes, have that machine splash water on them, splash on some cleaning detergent, dry it, and have everything come out sparkling clean. No dirt. No spots. And to make matters even more difficult, if we want to be “green”, we want the dishwasher to do it with as little water as possible. In order to do the job we expect it to do, the dishwasher has to get a little rough. It has to use high water temperature, harsh cleaning chemicals, and high heat.
It is the high water temperature mixed with harsh cleaning agents and the high drying heat that gives cookware trouble. Most often, the concern is with the cleaning agents and how they can either tarnish a cookware surface, remove a cookware surface, or get under the surface and make it peel or separate from the cookware. Cookware is not cheap, and if your new $100+ frypan goes into the dishwasher, and comes out less effective or tarnished, that is not the results desired. Nonstick cookware is notorious for not being dishwasher safe. The dishwasher is simply to harsh on the nonstick surface. Many manufacturers of dishwasher safe cookware even provide instructions that the cookware CAN be used in the dishwasher, but recommends against it.
Dishwasher Safe Pots and Pans
The rule of thumb is anodized aluminum cookware, nonstick cookware, and non-enameled cast iron pots and pans are NOT dishwasher safe. Some manufacturers are making progress in those areas. Stainless steel cookware and ceramic cookware are generally dishwasher safe. My favorite brand for nonstick dishwasher safe cookware is Scanpan. Look for the Your Cookware Helper exclusive dishwasher safe logo:
Automatic dishwashers are very tough on cookware. The high water temperature, harsh cleaning chemicals, and high drying heat can tarnish cookware surfaces, remove cookware surfaces, or make cookware surfaces peel. Look for our exclusive Dishwasher Safe Cookware logo on the product pages.