Can Metal Cookware Really Be Dishwasher-Safe?

You might be surprised to learn which types of cookware are best washed by hand.
Savannah Sher Avatar
metal cookware in dishwasher

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When compared with hand-washing, dishwashers save time, use less water, and offer higher levels of sanitation. While cleaning everything using a dishwasher seems like a dream, not all cookware is dishwasher safe. In fact, in 2022, popular cookware brand All-Clad offered a settlement to customers after certain products that were labeled as dishwasher-safe ultimately developed sharp edges when cleaned in a dishwasher. Let’s explore which types of metal cookware are dishwasher-safe and which are better off being washed by hand in order to avoid damaging them.

Stainless Steel

stainless steel cookware on pot rack

Stainless steel is one of the most popular cookware materials due to its versatility and performance, and—thankfully—it’s also dishwasher safe. Generally speaking, all stainless steel and multi-clad cookware can be cleaned in the dishwasher without issue. One potential concern, however, is the humidity level inside a dishwasher, which could cause warping over time. Those looking to be extra cautious should consider washing stainless steel cookware by hand instead.

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anodized aluminum cookware on countertop

Uncoated aluminum cookware is softer than stainless steel, making it more prone to scratches and best washed by hand. Though hard-anodized cookware is much more durable, it, too, should only be hand-washed because many detergents can damage the protective aluminum-oxide coating.


nonstick pan on stove

While some nonstick cookware is designed to be dishwasher-safe, as a general rule, it’s best to hand-wash any pot or pan featuring a nonstick coating. These coatings can chip off or wear away when exposed to high heat in the dishwasher. Luckily, hand-washing nonstick pans is easy since food particles don’t stick to the surface.

Cast Iron

cast iron cookware on rack

Cast iron cookware can last for generations but is famously finicky and requires special care. The first rule of owning a cast iron pan is that it should never go in the dishwasher. Not only will the high-temperature water of a dishwasher remove the pan’s seasoning, but it can also cause the material to rust over time.

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copper cookware hanging in kitchen

Copper pots and pans have a beautiful vintage look, but their shiny finish isn’t made to withstand the high heat used in a dishwasher. Copper may dull or tarnish when washed in a dishwasher, so it’s best to wash it by hand instead.