The beauty of a dishwasher is that you can just toss everything in it after dinner, let it run, and sit back and relax, right? Unfortunately, that's not exactly the case. The rough cycle that gets your plates and bowls sparkling clean can do some kitchen equipment more harm than good, potentially ruining them.
Keep these items out of dishwasher and hand wash them instead:
1. Wooden (and bamboo) everything
Keep those cutting boards, spoons, and big salad bowls out of the dishwasher—the hot, wet environment of a cycle can be extremely damaging.
"Prolonged exposure to water (especially hot water) can make wood and bamboo warp or crack. It'll also strip off its protective layer of oil and open up the grain so that it not only looks less lovely, it feels rough to the touch," says our Associate Food Editor Anna Stockwell.
2. Cast Iron
Washing your skillet in the dishwasher can not only cause it to rust, it will also remove it's precious seasoning that prevents food from sticking.
3. Good cutting knives
It's fine to throw your butter knives in there, but keep that chef's knife or any other good quality knives out of the silverware basket. The dishwasher can dull those knives faster than hand washing can.
4. Anything insulated
Want that travel mug to keep your coffee hot? Wash it by hand. The vacuum seal between the inner and outer shell can break and the space can even fill with water when it's is washed in the dishwasher.
You may think you're being clever by throwing the aluminum tray you used to bake a potluck lasagna in right in the dishwasher to clean it and reuse it, but unfortunately you're not. Since the containers are lightweight, they can bump around in the machine and leave black marks on the other items in there. The same goes for any aluminum cookware you may own.
If you own anything made of copper, strictly hand wash it—dishwasher detergent is more powerful than regular dish soap and can discolor it.