Pots and Pans in the dishwasher


Settle a longstanding feud in our household for me: is it safe to put pots and pans in the dishwasher?

Assume we have both stainless steel and various non-stick pans. Assume we have frypans, sauce-pots, and larger pots that would conceivably fit, but we're not talking about cast iron pans here, or bakeware. The answer may differ based on the type of pan specifically being used, but assume all boxes and manuals have been lost since we bought the pans and we don't know if it's rated for the dishwasher.

Best Answer

There is no problem with putting either stainless steel or non-stick pans in the dishwasher in terms of their materials. However:

  • Non-stick pans are often better washed gently by hand without too much soap, so they retain a bit of oil. This helps them stay non-stick. You may note that a dishwashed non-stick pan is quite sticky the first time you use it after a wash.

  • Non-stick pans hold odours quite readily. Many dishwasher soaps are quite strongly scented, and this can be retained in the pan itself, and thus transferred to your food when it's heated up. I remember well a batch of marinara sauce with a noticeable lemon-fresh overtone!

  • Dishwashers knock everything around while they work. If your pans' handles are sturdy this shouldn't be an issue, but you can find that handles can loosen up after a few bouts in the dishwasher.

So, in summary, yes, you can put pots and pans in the dishwasher, with caution. Personally I put my Ikea stainless steel pans with welded handles in without a second thought, but I reserve my non-stick Tefals with bolted handles for hand-washing.

Go not to the Elves for advice, for they will say both no and yes