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JLeslie's avatar

Do you put your nonstick pots and pans in the dishwasher?

Asked by JLeslie (54496points) June 2nd, 2014

I hate dishes and pots and pans piled up in the sink and I also hate washing them. Not a great combination. I wash all my pots and pans by hand, because I have in my mind the dishwasher will ruin the nonstick. Is that true? Or, just an old wives tale? They aren’t the cheapy Teflon, I have Analon and Caphalon, so I thought maybe they would hold up ok? I don’t want to wear them out before their time, or cause more of the surface to shed onto my food.

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26 Answers

jca's avatar

I heard that the dishwasher will ruin them. I try to do them by hand.

canidmajor's avatar

I have put the non-stick in the dishwasher and regretted it. I have heard that the problem is that regular dishwasher detergent contains bleach, which degrades the nonstick coating. I haven’t tried with a bleach free type, but they might work.

CWOTUS's avatar

Whoa… I can haz non-stick pots and pans now? I can haz a dishwasher? I don’t have either of those things, and I’m fine with that.

However, in the interest of being at least moderately responsive to the Q, I think that most manufacturers warrant their non-stick coatings as long as the items are placed in the top rack of the dishwasher. Mechanically, that part of the appliance has lower-pressure spray, and will have less movement of the abrasive elements in the detergent at that elevation. The lower rack has higher water pressure, more abrasive action from the (usually powdered) detergent and more direct exposure to the high levels of detergent contained in the wash water and residing in the bottom of the machine.

Pachy's avatar

I’ve never had a problem doing it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I usually wash my pots and pans by hand. They take up too much room in the dish washer.
The first thing I do every morning is load the dishwasher, and fill up the sink with hot soapy water, which I pretty much use all day. It’s not such a pain to wash the pots and pans when you already have most of the leg work done…..

Lightlyseared's avatar

Nope although that’s mainly because I don’t have a dishwasher. I have some le creuset non stick pans (not the cast iron ones just your standard stainless steal with coating) that I bought about 10 years ago which I have afforded no special treatment and the non-stick surface is pristine. (The underside is all weird colours where I’ve over heated them and burnt them an what have you but hey can’t have everything.)

SecondHandStoke's avatar


I don’t abuse my fine knives either.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I put it all in the dishwasher. My cookware is Cuisinart stainless. I only have one small skillet which has a coating; I use it for scrambling eggs. It goes into the dishwasher.

dappled_leaves's avatar

If I had a dishwasher, I wouldn’t. But I prefer to wash all dishes by hand – it makes everything last longer.

Whether your non-stick pans can stand up to dishwasher use would depend on what heat your dishwasher attains, and whether there will be abrasion during the cycle. Those are basically the things that cause and propagate damage in non-stick cookware in any situation.

josie's avatar

No. The whole point of non stick is that it wipes clean. Putting it in the dishwasher is a waste of water and energy, and it may do more harm than good.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III So you don’t bother to make sure all the dishes are and pots and ans are clean before you go to bed at night, you just deal with it all during the day? I din’t always get to everything at night ether, and I feel like I wish I did.

Then if I understand you have the same soapy water all day long. I never thought to do that. I think I would feel like that water would get too dirty. How exactly des your system work? Do you rinse the pans after use and then let them sit in the soapy water? Or, you wash them immediately after use?

livelaughlove21's avatar

I have cheap non-stick, so I put it in the dishwasher without really caring what happens to it. I haven’t had a problem, though. I usually wash pots and pans by hand just to save space in the dishwasher.

I could never leave dishes in the sink all night. Ugh, that would drive me nuts. I do a good bit of the dishes as I cook, and finish them up right after I finish eating. The sink is always empty and the counters are always wiped down before I go to bed.

My mom always has a sink full of water at her house. Grosses me out. Nothing like putting your hands in dirty, cold, vaguely soapy water when you have a dish to wash. Blech. If there’s water just sitting in my sink, it’s because the dog’s kong is soaking in it, and it’s always drained well before it gets cold.

johnpowell's avatar

I use cheap stuff and I have always put it in the dishwasher. I didn’t even know that it should be avoided.

I also don’t use dishwasher soap. I wash in the sink and only use the dishwasher to rinse.

jca's avatar

@josie: Even though it’s non stick, it still needs some kind of detergent and sponge. If you made something like a saucy food in your non stick pan, you would just wipe it clean and put it away without using soap or water?

rojo's avatar

I put purty near everything in the dishwasher.

ibstubro's avatar

I stopped putting my pots and pans in the dishwasher. They’re cleaner/just as easy in the zinc [har] and don’t hog the DW.

Stacking is hard on pots and pans, and if you keep colanders, etc. in the same cabinet, they can eat non-stick alive. I learned that the hard way.

jca's avatar

@ibstubro makes a good point. Be careful stacking metal items on top of the non stick items.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Machine washing also wrecks graphics on drinkware.

It also bakes off the seasoning on nonstick. You would never put that fine iron skillet in the washer would you?

I like my pans like I like my women.

With a thick heavy bottom.

jca's avatar

@SecondHandStoke: Definitely cast iron needs TLC!

dappled_leaves's avatar

@SecondHandStoke So true. I have always found it amusing that a dishwasher has been a sign of status, while simultaneously being proof that one doesn’t own fine dishes or cookware.

ibstubro's avatar

As a dealer in second hand goods, I can testify that machine washing will eventually kill just about everything. Warp plastic, cloud glass, dull graphics on glass and china, and on and on.

But, the developed world is all about ‘disposable society’, is it not? A dishwasher just allows you to consume, conspicuously, sooner.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie Nah, I just do yesterday’s pots and pans the next morning. However, there aren’t a lot of them at one time. Just one, maybe 2.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III That’s my basic MO also. Sometimes some dishes are left out, because if my husband goes to bed early I can’t do the dishes, not even put them in the dishwasher, forget unload the dishwasher, without waking him up. The new house I have two sets of doors between the master and the kitchen, so I hope he won’t be able to hear anything.

jca's avatar

The nice thing about the dishwasher is, if you want to clear out the sink but don’t have the energy to do the dishes, you can put the dirty dishes in the DW and leave them there until you fill it up.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca It’s why I am putting two dishwashers in my new house. I can even hide dirty pots in it, and still pull the pots out and wash the at a ater time.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yep. That’s what I like about dish washers too!

It’s funny…my kids both have dishwashers but they don’t use them. They prefer to wash them by hand. You know…washing dishes, and that warm water, is a catharsis. Also, believe it or not, they have good memories about doing dishes. Most of the time I would rinse while they washed, and we’d talk and joke and laugh. :D I remember my son nagging me once, when he was about 11, because I’d just put the silverware in the drainer helter skelter. He scolded me that “all the spoons go in this one, and all the forks go in this one and all the knives go in this one!”
Yes sir!

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