What Not to Put in a Dishwasher: 13 Mistakes to Avoid

If you want to keep yours in good health, it’s crucial to learn what not to put in a dishwasher.

We love dishwashers; they save time and effort, they’re hygienic and, if you only run them when they’re full, they save water too.

You can use them for more than just dishes as well, so they can help with all kinds of cleaning jobs.

Related: Check out all the things you never knew were dishwasher-safe.

There are some items that should never go into the dishwasher though. – Like, ever. – Read on to avoid a dishwasher-disaster.

  1. Household and backyard tools
    We have seen this on many a list of dishwasher-safe items but for us, it is a huge no-no! First off, the chance of rusting an item that you could get years of use from just isn’t worth it.

    Secondly, think of the harsh chemicals we sometimes use with these kinds of tools: when decorating, fixing things, creating DIY projects, or when using them in the yard.

    Putting items that have been exposed to these kinds of chemicals into your dishwasher is not going to do the appliance any favors – nor you if it transmits chemicals or other nasties onto your dishes afterward.

    Unless you really need a clean hammer that badly, just say no!

  2. things that should not be cleaned in the dishwasher

  3. Enameled, nonstick or cast iron pans
    Enameled or cast iron cookware such as Le Creuset conduct heat brilliantly, are super versatile, look great in your kitchen and last for years if treated right. The downside is that they take a little bit of TLC.
  4. Never put any enameled or cast iron pans into the dishwasher but wash them by hand instead, and dry them thoroughly afterward.

    Also, be sure to never let them soak in water for more than a few minutes. Cheaper nonstick cooking tins and pans can go into the dishwasher and take the risk, but if it’s something that you’re attached to, don’t take the chance. When in doubt; leave it out.

    Really hard to shift, baked-on food can be cleaned off cast iron with this:

    The Ringer - The Original Stainless Steel Cast Iron Cleaner

    The Ringer – The Original Stainless Steel Cast Iron Cleaner

    things not to put in the dishwasher

  5. Crystal glassware
    Thin and delicate or fine glassware and hot temperatures are not good together. It’s better to hand wash than risk scratching or breaking.
    For ‘crystal’ clear glassware a specialty cleaning detergent like this is perfect:
    Crystal Clean: Wine Glass Cleaner

    Crystal Clean: Wine Glass Cleaner

  6. Wooden anything
    This is probably obvious to many but putting in wooden kitchen tools, bowls, chopping and cutting boards will ruin their appearance and significantly shorten their lifespan.

    Wooden kitchen utensils and especially cutting boards are something you want to clean often though, they can easily harbor harmful bacteria. This product will sanitize will also protecting the utensils themselves:

    Howard Products Cutting Board & Wooden Utensils Cleaner

    Howard Products Cutting Board & Wooden Utensils Cleaner

    things that can't go in the dishwasher

  7. Items with prints and painted finishes
    Prints/stickers/intricate designs, these are all hand wash only. Some may say dishwasher-safe, however, they might be referring to the material the item is made from, rather than the likelihood of the print coming off so bear that in mind.
  8. things you can't put in the dishwasher

    The best natural detergents to keep your dishwasher in good condition

    Detergent Booster

    Hard Water Detergent Booster

    A biodegradable, non-toxic detergent booster to combat hard water marks and stains
    Dishwasher rinse aid

    Natural Rinse Aid

    Naturally removes residual hard water deposits like iron, calcium, lime, and rust during the rinse cycle
    Natural Dishwasher Pods

    Natural Dishwasher Pods

    This detergent will leave dishes and glasses superbly clean and without residue
    Dishwasher Salt

    Dishwasher Salt

    Salt is a must for keeping your dishwasher running well and silverware shiny, this one is coarse grain and non-gmo

    Want to shop all our cleaning & organization supply picks in one place? Check out our dedicated shopping page, full of all our best finds from the interwebs!

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