Many people wonder if it’s safe to put stainless steel in the dishwasher.
Yes, it is safe to wash stainless steel cookware and flatware in the dishwasher.
The question is understandable and the concern is that it may start to rust or that it may be reactive to a chemical or heat.
Here is exactly why it is safe to put stainless steel in the dishwasher, and some examples of things you shouldn’t put in your dishwasher.
Why Stainless Steel is Safe in the Dishwasher
One of the pros of stainless steel cookware is the durability and resiliency of the metal.
Stainless steel is an alloy blend containing mostly, iron, chromium, and nickel.
This blend of metals makes stainless steel highly resistant to corrosion.
Stainless steel is non-reactive to the heat the dishwasher may provide, so what about the soap and water?
The truth is that it takes major damage to ruin the protective layer of chromium that keeps stainless steel from rusting.
The soap is the only real concern, but if it is rinsed off quickly in the cycle and not allowed to sit on the surface, it will have no lasting effect.
Stainless Steel Pots and Pans
Not everyone will agree because dishwasher soap is strong and corrosive, but it will not affect quality stainless steel.
The major concern is not for stainless steel cookware in the dishwasher but rather cheaply made handles and bolts that may not be stainless steel.
You can always look for the dishwasher safe markings to put your mind at ease, but if it’s truly stainless steel, there is no need to worry.
One of the only instances in which you would not want to use the dishwasher is if you have seasoned your stainless steel pan to help avoid sticking food.
This will strip your layer of seasoning and it will no longer be effective.
Stainless Steel Flatware
Fully stainless steel utensils are perfectly safe in the dishwasher, but there are some things to be aware of.
You should never wash silver and stainless steel utensils together as they can have a bad reaction together with dishwashing soap.
This is a weird chemical reaction that can totally ruin your flatware altogether.
If you use both silver and stainless steel, just wash them in different loads or separately by hand.
If your flatware starts to get a buildup of hard water spots, you can use a stainless steel cleaner to get rid of them.
Just make sure to rinse the cleaner thoroughly off of the surface before using them.
Stainless Steel Knives
While stainless cookware is generally safe to wash in the dishwasher, knives are a different story.
There are plenty of knives that claim to be dishwasher safe, but you should still consider washing them by hand.
Stainless steel is safe in the dishwasher as mentioned before, but the sharp edge of knives is not safe from the corrosive soap.
Washing your knives in the dishwasher is one of the fastest ways to ruin them.
The knife can also move around and rub against things that may cause unnecessary wear and tear.
If you wash your knives by hand it ensures your blades don’t sit too long in corrosive soap and lose their sharp edge.
Rusty spots on parts of the knives that aren’t stainless steel can be avoided by immediately drying them with a cloth after hand washing.
What to Remember
If you have something you fear is not quality stainless steel, you may want to do more research on that particular product before you just throw it in.
Stainless steel cookware is safe in the dishwasher, but not everything else is.
For example, you should not put aluminum or cast iron in the dishwasher.
It is good to pay attention and consider what we are putting into the dishwasher.
The main concerns for stainless steel are highly acidic foods, and major scratches that damage the protective layer of metals.
To resolve these simply do not let acidic food sit too long on your stainless steel.
Rinse off cookware and flatware before putting them in the dishwasher and take care when using metal utensils.
Meanwhile, you can cook hard, and clean easy knowing your stainless steel cookware is safe in the dishwasher.