Interior

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
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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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Aluminum

anodized aluminum cookware on countertop
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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

nonstick pan on stove
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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
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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

copper cookware hanging in kitchen
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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.