Can Cooking Pans be Washed in the Dishwasher? 

Can Pans be Washed in the Dishwasher

There is no question about the appeal of using a dishwasher on a regular basis at home. They provide you with the utmost convenience by tremendously cutting down the time and effort you spend on washing your dishes.

Furthermore, dishwashers also help to minimize the risks of breakage of crockery in your home as they ensure that you don’t need to handle dishes as often as you would otherwise.

As a result, your kitchen looks neater and gets clutter-free within a few minutes when you load all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher. This is why a dishwasher is a useful appliance to have in your home. It ultimately allows you to entertain more guests by significantly simplifying the clean-up process of your kitchen.

However, just like every other electronic appliance, dishwashers also come with certain guidelines and limitations. The use of dishwashers to wash every single type of cookware isn’t always recommended. The high temperature inside it can actually damage certain types of frying pans.

This is why you need to be careful about this if you want to prevent your pans from getting worn-out quickly.

Why Do Certain Pans Get Damaged by the Use of Dishwashers?

Whether you use your pans to make a rich white pasta sauce or to fry chicken nuggets in them, cooking in your pans can often leave stubborn stains on them.

In fact, you might even think about washing your pans in your dishwasher in order to remove the buildup of food residue from them without putting in the extra effort but this is not always safe.

There are plenty of reasons why the use of dishwashers can damage a frying pan. One main reason is that the detergents used in dishwashers are usually more aggressive than other dishwashing soaps.

They contain abrasive compounds like sulfates and phthalates for removing stubborn stains of food and this can be damaging for the cookware.

Another reason is that dishwashers tend to damage frying pans is because they use extremely hot water inside them for thorough cleansing. The hot water’s temperature in some dishwashers can be as high as 160 °C.

Not every single pan is designed to withstand such high temperatures so the hot water from a dishwasher can actually tarnish the pan’s surface or erode its non-stick coating.

The last and final reason a dishwasher can be harmful to a frying pan is due to the mechanical banging of other dishes and utensils against it. When there are sharp objects like knives and forks placed close to a frying pan inside a dishwasher, they can create scratches on its surface.

This happens because utensils easily move around a bit when the high pressure of water inside a dishwasher hits them. However, this problem can easily be avoided if you place your utensils properly and far away from your pan.

Which Frying Pans Can You Put in the Dishwasher? 

We admit it can be quite tricky to determine which pans are dishwasher-safe and which ones aren’t especially if you don’t have access to their manuals. This is why we’re here to help!

Consider this article a complete guide to help you figure out which pans from your kitchen can take the heat of dishwasher and which ones can’t.

As a result, you can safely put some of your pans in the dishwasher to make them squeaky clean in a matter of minutes. To clean others you will have to put in some effort and wash them by hand to avoid damaging them quickly.

Can Non-Stick Pans be Washed in the Dishwasher? 

When discussing different types of frying pans, it is only fair that we discuss the most popular type first. Non-stick pans are undoubtedly the most commonly used type of cookware in the kitchen. They are super handy as their non-stick surface makes it easy to cook sticky foods in minimum oil without a hassle.

However, what we don’t realize about non-stick pans is that they provide this convenience at a high cost of being fragile. The high temperature inside a dishwasher can easily deteriorate the non-stick coating on these frying pans quickly.

Aggressive detergents also pray a huge role in rapidly tarnishing their smooth surface.

Even when non-stick pans are advertised to be dishwasher-safe, we still recommend washing them by hand instead. You won’t see the non-stick coating peeling off right after washing them in a dishwasher but doing so will definitely speed up the erosion process in the long run.

Alternatively, if you continue to wash them by hand, you will be able to maintain the quality of your cookware for longer periods of time.

This is why our advice to you is to not put your non-stick pans in the dishwasher. Since food hardly ever gets stuck on them, you can easily wash them yourself.

This will help you ensure that the non-stick quality of your pan doesn’t diminish quickly so you don’t have to invest in a new non-stick pan anytime soon.

Can Cast Iron Pans be Washed in the Dishwasher? 

The answer to the question above is a big no. You should never put your cast iron pans in the dishwasher and here are the reasons why.

First of all, the prolonged washing time and excess water in dishwashers can easily cause your cast iron pans to rust. So, if you want to avoid rusting your cast iron pan quickly, then do not put them in the dishwasher.

Secondly, the seasoning of cast iron pans also gets washed away in dishwashers due to the wet and hot conditions inside. This is not ideal for you as the seasoning of a cast iron pan is crucial for making its surface non-stick. This is what prevents your food from constantly sticking to it.

Destroying the seasoning by putting your pan in a dishwasher only means you have to season them all over again. This requires you to take out time and put in a lot of effort into baking the pan at high temperatures with oil. Consequently, by washing a cast iron pan in a dishwasher, you’re only doubling the workload for yourself.

This is why we suggest you never wash your cast iron pans in a dishwasher. Wash your cast iron pan by hand as this isn’t much work anyway. All you have to do is simply rinse them with lukewarm water and a soft sponge.

This will keep the seasoning on them intact. Furthermore, if food bits ever get stuck on your cast iron pan, never try to get them out by scrubbing aggressively. Instead, put your pan on the stove and add some water in it. As the water starts to boil, the food bits will also automatically come off from the pan’s surface.

Can Aluminum Pans be Washed in the Dishwasher? 

When it comes to deciding whether you can put aluminum pans in the dishwasher or not, you always need to check their manuals first. The aluminum pans which are not dishwasher-safe usually show visible discoloration and stains after the first few washes so be on the lookout for these signs.

On the other hand, some aluminum pans are specifically designed to withstand the wet conditions and heat inside a dishwasher. Hence, it says they are dishwasher-safe in their manuals so you can put them in the dishwasher.

Just be careful to balance the aluminum pan properly inside the dishwasher and put it far away from metal utensils. This is to avoid the pan from getting scratches on its surface.

Moreover, if you are a person who was drawn to an aluminum pan because of the beauty of the cookware, then we suggest you don’t put them in the dishwasher. Not popping your aluminum pan in the dishwasher will help you preserve its original gleam for a longer period of time.

Can Stainless Steel Pans be Washed in the Dishwasher? 

Many experts suggest that it is acceptable to wash your stainless steel pans in the dishwasher as steel is strong enough to endure such conditions.

So, whenever you feel like you are running short on time you can definitely pop your stainless steel pans in the dishwasher. Just don’t forget to make sure they are spaced far enough from another crockery to avoid any contact which can cause scratches.

However, some people have the opinion that the high humidity levels of a dishwasher can lead to corrosion of the metal.

This is why you need to ensure your stainless steel pan is marked dishwasher-safe before you put them in a dishwasher. Furthermore, if you have the time and want to be extra careful then it is better if you wash them by hand.

Can Copper Pans be Washed in the Dishwasher? 

When it comes to copper pans, the use of a dishwasher is highly not recommended. This is because putting copper pans in the dishwasher considerably damages their bright color and flawless shine.

Instead, we suggest you wash them by hand ensure that their luster and shine remains intact. If the bottom of your copper pan has become burnt over time, you can fix this through other techniques.

A common method to clean burnt bottoms of copper pans is to sprinkle a generous amount of salt on them. Then, add some white vinegar in the copper pan and let this solution works its magic.

After waiting for about 20 seconds, you should try to scrub off the burnt parts on the bottom of your copper pan. You will be surprised to see how easily the pan gets cleaned after soaking it in salt and vinegar.

Final Words

As you know by now, the use of a dishwasher can greatly damage a pan due to its high temperature, aggressive detergents, and the mechanical banging inside it. This is why in order to safeguard your cookware from such damages, you must be cautious and make the right decision.

As a general rule of thumb, always remember to never put your non-stick pans, copper pans, or cast iron pans in the dishwasher. Putting them in the dishwasher can damage them significantly so you should always avoid doing this at all costs.

Washing these pans by hands will help you prolong their working life and as a result, you will be able to use them comfortably for years to come.

For all other pans, you need to take certain things into considerations. The first thing to do to help you decide is to check the manual of the pan you are intending to put in the dishwasher. If the manual says the pan is dishwasher safe, you can go ahead and pop it in the dishwasher fearlessly.

Doing this will help you save your precious time and you can use this time to do other things.

However, if the manual does not claim that the pan is dishwasher safe, then you must be careful in making a decision. Take the metal of the pan into account and do proper research before you start washing your pan in the dishwasher.

The rules for each type of pan differ depending on the metal they are made of.

We have discussed every type of pan in detail above to help make a more informed decision. We hope this article is useful in guiding you on what to do the next time you are confused about putting a pan in the dishwasher.

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