Can You Put Metal in the Dishwasher? Is it Safe?

Can You Put Metal in the Dishwasher? Is is Safe? Discover What Metals Are Not Dishwasher Safe? Cooking and cleaning can be a challenge for many cooks, as there are often a number of questions about proper cookware care.

Key Highlights:

  • Most metals can be washed in a dishwasher, but it’s essential to check manufacturer instructions for specific care.
  • Stainless steel is the only metal that is 100% dishwasher safe; others can be damaged.
  • Metals like brass, copper, aluminum, cast iron, non-stick coated, and gold/silver-plated should not go in the dishwasher.
  • Reasons to avoid metal in dishwashers include damage to protective coatings, sharp objects causing problems, and heat weakening certain metal items.
  • Washing non-stainless steel metals by hand with gentle detergents is recommended to preserve their quality and lifespan.
Can You Put Metal in the Dishwasher

One of the common queries is can metal go in dishwasher? which metals are safe for use in a dishwasher.

Is it OK to Wash Metal?

Yes, it is OK to wash most metals. Before washing any metal, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s care instructions, as some metals may require special care. In general, you should use a mild detergent, warm water, and a soft cloth or sponge when cleaning metal surfaces. Rinse any soap residue with clean water and dry thoroughly after washing for the best results.

Can You Put Metal in the Dishwasher? Is All Metal Dishwasher Safe?

Unfortunately, not all metals are safe for the dishwasher and could be damaged by its strong detergents or high heat. The only metal that is 100% dishwasher safe is stainless steel. It is difficult to damage and will not rust. Cookware made of cast iron or carbon steel rusts quickly from the water. That is why cast-iron cauldrons and pans are recommended not to be washed but thoroughly wiped with a cloth. 

Knowing which materials to avoid will help you protect your investment and ensure that you get the best results from your dishes.  

What Metals Cannot Go in the Dishwasher?

It is generally best to avoid putting any metal items in the dishwasher, as they can be damaged or corroded over time due to high temperatures and strong detergents. Some metals that should never go in the dishwasher include brass, copper, silverware, aluminum foil, cast iron, and nonstick cookware. For these metals, it is better to clean them by hand.

Why Every Metal Can’t Go in the Dishwasher?

Whether it’s knives, spoons, forks, or baking pans, there are several good reasons why metal should not go in the dishwasher. Here is an article that explains why:

  • Metal and dishwashers don’t mix: they form a volatile combination that could leave your kitchen full of chaos. For instance, most metals contain rust-resistant coatings. Such coatings deter corrosion. And while this coating is extremely durable, it doesn’t appreciate being skinned with boiling temperatures and harsh detergents, which means placing them in a dishwasher can potentially remove these protective layers
  • Sharp objects: such as knives, combined with excessive vibration from a running dishwasher, can damage electrical wiring within the unit, causing more problems than its worth. Even if your cutlery is stainless steel & uncoated, splashing water and strong detergents onto sharp edges can cause pitting on their surface as well as build up around joints which should be periodically greased for safe operation.  
  • Heat: The heat of the dry cycle, along with heat produced during a rinse cycle, can weaken tempered blades found on tools such as chef’s knives, making them prone to breaking if used for cutting something tough after months of dishing.

What Metals Are Not Dishwasher Safe?

The introduction of the dishwasher has revolutionized how people load and clean their dishes, but only some materials/metals can be safely cleaned with a dishwasher.

It is essential to know which metals are not suitable for washing in a dishwasher to ensure that your dishes and kitchenware remain in pristine condition.

Here’s what you need to know about which metals cannot be placed in a dishwasher:

1. Aluminum  

Aluminum is a soft metal that can quickly corrode when it comes into contact with the dishwasher’s abrasive detergents or high-heat settings. Although throwing an aluminum pan into the dishwasher may seem convenient, leaving it exposed to harsh chemicals may eventually cause pitting and corrosion on the surface, making them unattractive or unusable.

2. Brass

Brass is an alloy made up of copper and zinc, but neither of these components can survive a trip through the dishwasher. Often, users will think it is okay because it has been lacquered or coated for protection; however, neither can protect the brass from a hot water cycle in a dishwasher.

3. Copper

Although copper cookware can make beautiful decorative pieces, it should never be put into a dishwasher as it has a reaction to moisture and caustic detergents, which cause discoloration. This is especially true with antique copper cookware pieces with more intricate details that could easily become damaged in the washing process.

4. Cast Iron

Cast iron pans are notoriously difficult to clean and require special care in order to avoid rusting or other damage due to excess water exposure. While they may look great when seasoned properly – searing beef crisping potatoes.

They need much more manual intervention than throwing them into your appliance would provide. The special coating could be removed if cast iron pans were exposed to harsh chemicals combined with extremely hot temperatures inside your machine, leaving them worse than before being washed.

5. Non-stick coated metal

Non-stick coatings on metal can be damaged by the high heat and harsh detergents used in the dishwasher. Over time, the coating may flake off, making it less effective and potentially unsafe to use.

6. Wooden Utensils

Furthermore, wooden utensils should never go through a dishwashing cycle as most types of wood react adversely when exposed to hot water or soap residue from automatic cleansers. They can become misshapen, stained, and splintered due to excessive exposure to moisture or slippery elements found in soapy suds that build up inside of most machines over time.

7. Steel & Iron

There are some exceptions where steel or iron cookware can be used in a door washer, such as cast-iron and porcelain-enameled pans. These pans must usually carry specific instructions regarding their use in the dishwasher (though they should still be checked regularly to prevent rusting).

All steel pots and pans without any enamel coating or special treatment should never go into the dishwasher; handwash these items instead.

8. Gold or silver-plated metal

Gold or silver-plated metal can tarnish and discolor in the dishwasher, and harsh detergents can damage the delicate plating.

Silver is one of the most beautiful items that often grace dining tables at nighttime affairs. Unfortunately, silver does not do well in temperatures above 140°– an amount easily reached in a powerful hot water cycle from a modern home dishwasher. Abrasive detergents should also not touch silver, as this may cause discoloration on its vintage surface over time if used too frequently or inappropriately.


It is always best to check the manufacturer’s instructions before putting any metal items in the dishwasher, as some items may have specific care instructions or warnings.


Metal TypeDishwasher Safe?
Stainless steelYes, preferred in a pre-soak setting and with detergents without chlorine and ammonia
Copper and BrassNo, best washed by hand due to their tendency to tarnish and darken
AluminumNo, unless the product annotation specifies dishwasher safety or if it has a diamond or titanium coating
EnamelwareNo, hand washing is recommended to avoid damaging the enamel
Cast ironNo, recommended not to be washed but wiped thoroughly with a cloth
Non-stickNo, avoid putting in the dishwasher to prevent damage to the non-stick coating

If your important kitchen tools are anything other than stainless steel, then make sure you wash them by hand instead of dishwasher using gentle detergents so as not to upset delicate finishes and extend their lifespan significantly!