The first time you moved into a home with a dishwasher, it was a revelatory life-will-never-be-the-same moment. But that doesn’t mean that this glorious machine should be used for everything. Here, ten items that are better off being scrubbed with some good old-fashioned elbow grease.
1. Anything Wood
Sure, those gorgeous salad tongs from your wedding registry may look OK after a spin in the dishwasher, but push your luck too many times and they’ll end up warped or cracked. Play it safe by washing cutting boards and any utensils with wooden handles by hand instead.
It goes without saying that your expensive and fragile glassware should be hand-washed rather than risk getting cracked or chipped in the machine.
3. Cast Iron Skillet
After putting in all that hard work (and oil) seasoning your skillet, don’t ruin it by putting it in the dishwasher. Instead, clean it with kosher salt and dry it off on the stove in order to prevent rust.
4. Cheese Grater
Fact: A sprinkle of cheese makes every meal better. But that doesn’t mean you want remnants of last week’s Parmesan hanging around. Here’s how to really get your grater clean (and in just five seconds).
5. Nonstick Pans
While some brands are dishwasher-safe, others might lose their non-stick quality so it’s always best to check with the manufacturer first.
6. Copper Items
When it comes to copper pans and mugs, your best bet is to wash them by hand since the dishwasher can dull the finish. (And those Moscow Mules deserve the best.)
7. Insulated Travel Mugs
Yep, even the ones marked “dishwasher-safe.” Not only could the high temperature damage the vacuum seal, but water might get stuck between the inner and outer layers, giving your favorite mug a musty smell.
8. Chef’s Knives
Sorry, but your machine's high-temperature water can dull and damage the blades. Instead, wash them up by hand and dry them with a towel immediately afterward.
RELATED: 7 Essential Knives Every Home Chef Should Own
9. Anything With Labels
Recycling that old jam jar into retro drinking glasses is a great idea, but remove the sticker first. That’s because it could come off in the dishwasher and get stuck in the filter, leading to costly repairs down the line.
10. Your Grandma’s Dinnerware
The machine can eat away at any gold trim or hand-painted details. Make like Nana and hand-wash vintage items instead.