Whether you’ve been cooking up a Full English or boiling some pasta, you’ll need to give your pots and pans a good clean. Grease, sauce, and other food residues can leave nasty stains on pans that can build up if not tackled quickly.
The dishwasher can be an excellent time saver when it comes to washing pots and pans. However, not everything can be put in the dishwasher and you may find yourself asking “can you put frying pans in the dishwasher?” or “is it okay to put stainless steel pots in the dishwasher”? But, fear not, with our simple guide you can determine if your pots and pans are dishwasher suitable or not.
Can You Put Pots and Pans in the Dishwasher?
Cast iron pots and pans should never be put in the dishwasher. When a dishwasher is running, the conditions inside are hot and wet, which isn’t ideal for cast iron. These conditions will cause cast iron pots and pans to rust and will wash way the seasoning (the protective, non-stick coating). Wash cast iron cookware by hand to keep it safe.
Using the dishwasher for pots and pans that are specially designed to be non-stick is only recommended if the manufacturer advises so as the dishwasher could diminish their non-sticky quality quicker. Check the instructions that came with your pot or pan, or look the manufacturer up online to find this out. If you don’t have the product instructions anymore or don’t know the brand, then play it safe and hand wash your pan to ensure its non-stick quality is not weakened.
Putting aluminium pans in the dishwasher may not always be a good choice. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if your pot or pan is dishwasher-safe – if it is, this means it’s fine to put your aluminium pot in the dishwasher. However, this type of material is prone to scratching so make sure no other dishes or utensils are balancing against the pot.
Aluminium may also develop a dull finish over time, so if your pot or pan is dishwasher safe, it’s a good idea to alternate between hand washing and popping it in the dishwasher to preserve it’s gleam for longer.
Most experts state that it’s okay to use the dishwasher to clean stainless steel pots and pans – but there are some cautions to be aware of. The excessive humidity of the dishwasher could corrode the metal whereas washing by hand allows you to better able to control the temperature of the water. If you want to be extra safe, wash your stainless steel pots and pans by hand, especially if they’re really stained. However, if you are short for time, as long as your stainless steel pan is marked as dishwasher safe it should be okay to put in the dishwasher – just make sure your pan is spaced far enough away from other materials to avoid scratching and to ensure proper washing and drying.
Using the dishwasher for pots and pans made of copper is not recommended. Washing them in the dishwasher risks tarnishing their beautiful shine and colour. Instead wash by hand, and if your copper pan has a burnt bottom try sprinkling some salt on it, then cover with white vinegar and let the solution get to work for 15 seconds before scrubbing.
Knowing What to Put in Your Dishwasher
So, next time you find yourself asking, “can frying pans go in the dishwasher?” just remember, if you have a dishwasher safe pan or pot (as stated by the manufacturer) then there shouldn’t be a problem putting it in the dishwasher – plus this will save you time and effort.
However, it’s always good to be aware of the above cautions about certain materials and bear these in mind when washing your pots and pans. Sometimes, it may just be better to preserve the life of you pan and wash it by hand, especially when you need that extra bit of elbow grease to get rid of stubborn stains.
For more advice on cleaning pots and pans, check out our articles on how to clean non-stick cookware, how to clean burnt saucepans, and washing dishes and cookware by hand.