Can You Put Pots and Pans in a Dishwasher?

woman loading dishwasher

Cleaning up after a meal should be a breeze, and dishwashers can help alleviate the hassle of scrubbing soiled dishes. As the dishwasher is working hard to clean your dishes, time is in your favor. This real-life magic trick puts time back into your day and gives you the chance to focus on the things around you.

While dishwashers lend a helping hand in the cleaning process, there are certain pots and pans that cannot withstand the power of a dishwasher. Some pots and pans are made with materials that need to be handled with care and should be hand washed. Proper care and maintenance of your cookware can help prolong its lifespan.

Before starting the cycle for your cookware, check out these tips to see if your pots and pans can be cleaned in a dishwasher or if they should be washed by hand.

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How Do You Clean Pots and Pans in a Dishwasher?

Dish Preparationwoman and kid loading dishwasher

Before loading dishes into the dishwasher, dispose of large pieces of food, bones, pits, toothpicks, etc.. The continuous filtered wash system will remove the remaining, smaller food pieces. Before loading the dishwasher, loosen burned-on foods, and empty liquids from glasses and cups.

Foods such as mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, and tomato-based products can cause discoloration of stainless steel and plastics if they sit for long periods of time. It is best to rinse dishes soiled with these foods (especially if you are not running the dishwasher immediately).

If the dishwasher drains into a food disposer, ensure the disposer is completely empty before starting the dishwasher.

Loading the Upper Rack

The Upper Rack is designed for cups, glasses, small plates, bowls, and plastic items marked dishwasher safe. For best results, place bowls, cups, glasses, and saucepans with soiled surfaces facing down or toward the center (tilt dishes slightly for better drainage).

How Do I Know If My Pots and Pans are Dishwasher Safe?

Luckily, cookware is often labeled if it is dishwasher safe. The indication will likely be on the bottom of the pot or pan. They may use a symbol to indicate it is dishwasher safe or even write it out. There may also be a note on the packaging when the item is first purchased. If you are unable to find the mark, you can also check with the manufacturer or user manual to double-check.

What Should Not Go in The Dishwasher?

woman loading dishwasher

  • Do not wash aluminum cookware in your dishwasher.
  • Wooden cookware and utensils should be hand-washed.
  • Do not wash cast iron pots and pans in the dishwasher.
  • Plastic items should not be washed in the dishwasher unless marked dishwasher safe.
  • Do not load silver or silver-plated silverware with stainless steel. These metals can be damaged by contact with each other during washing.
  • Some foods (such as salt, vinegar, milk products, fruit juices, etc.) can pit or corrode silverware, so we recommend rinsing your cookware first before tossing it in the dishwasher.


So, is it okay to put pots and pans in the dishwasher? The simple answer is it depends. As a general rule of thumb, you should first check the washing instructions provided by the manufacturer. When in doubt, hand wash it out! 

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