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what is dishwasher safe

What is Dishwasher-Safe? A Guide to What You Can and Can’t Put in the Dishwasher

Here we'll share our guide to understanding what is dishwasher safe around your home.    

Our pots and pans go through a lot, from cooking up a Full English at breakfast to pan frying your favourite stir fry for dinner. Food residue such as grease and sauce can leave horrible stains behind if not cleaned up properly. Our guide will give you the answer to questions like ‘what is the symbol for dishwasher safe products?’ and what you may need to hand-wash outside of the dishwasher.

What is the dishwasher-safe symbol?

Unlike a lot of easy-to-spot care symbols we find on our clothes and homeware, there is not a universally rolled out symbol for dishwasher-safe products. Some manufacturers do use similar symbols, however, which consist of a square, with a plate beneath water droplets. But as this is not yet universally used, the following information will help you understand what is dishwasher-safe.

Can you put non-stick pans in the dishwasher?

Unless the manufacturer specifically outlines that your non-stick pans can be washed inside the dishwasher, it is better not to use it. The dishwasher could diminish their non-stick quality at a faster rate, resulting in you having to replace your pots and pans sooner. Always check the manual that came with your pot or pan. If you no longer have the instructions, searching for the model (or just the brand if you’re unsure) online will give you guidance on how best to wash it.

Can you put copper pans in the dishwasher?

Using the dishwasher to clean homeware which is made of copper runs the risk of tarnishing the shine and colour; that’s why it’s better to wash them by hand. Sprinkling salt and then covering the surface with white vinegar is great for cleaning out a burnt surface on your copper pots and pans; simply scrub the burnt area after for gleam and shine to return.

Can you put other materials in the dishwasher?

There are a number of other product materials that you may wonder about when it comes to dishwashing:

  1. Cast iron homeware should never be put into the dishwasher as the hot and wet conditions inside may cause them to rust.
  2. Stainless steel homeware should be ok to wash in the dishwasher. However, be aware that the humidity inside could corrode the metal, so only do so if you are short of time.
  3. Aluminium is another material that due to the likelihood of it becoming scratched could easily get damaged amongst other dishes or utensils in the dishwasher.
  4. Porcelain and stoneware are usually safe to wash in the dishwasher, but be aware that those with decals or on-glaze lustres could become damaged.
  5. Unless it is clearly noted that a plastic home ware item is dishwasher safe, it is better to wash them by hand as the heat could warp the plastic.

Top Tip

If you’re unsure if you can put pans in dishwasher cleaning cycles, always check the manufacturer’s washing instructions and keep an eye out for the dishwasher safe symbol.

Key Steps

  • Always look out for a variation of the dishwasher-safe symbol, or read the manufacturer’s manual for care instructions.
  • Consider the aesthetics of the material, as the humidity inside a dishwasher could damage some materials by removing their shine.
  • If in doubt, hand-washing may be the best course of action.