7 Items You Should Never Put in the Dishwasher

Do you know which items are not dishwasher safe?

Amanda Thomas
5-minute read
Episode #215

Cast Iron

While you may be able to get away with putting a few items on this list into the dishwasher once or twice, cast iron pans are something that you should absolutely never put in the dishwasher. The reason for this is because you have likely spent a lot of time trying to season that cast iron pan. The seasoning is made up of layers of oils that can be stripped by a single cycle in the dishwasher. Don’t ruin all the work you’ve put in to creating the perfect cast iron pan by throwing it in the dishwasher. In fact, don’t even hand wash it. A cast iron pan can be kept in ideal condition by simply wiping it out with a damp rag after each use. Or, do as most of our grandmas did and just keep it on the stove top with a layer of last night’s oil still in the bottom of the pan. Your call, but just don’t put it in the dishwasher!

Hand-Painted Dishes

Another item that absolutely should never go in the dishwasher are hand-painted dishes. I have a set of super cute plates and bowls that I bought in Ecuador during a study abroad semester in college. I have used these dishes on and off for the last 15 years, and all of them look great … except the one that was put through the dishwasher. The dish that was exposed to the heat of the dishwasher has cracked paint and looks like it is going to break in to a million pieces one of these days. Hand painted, artisan dishes are often not able to withstand the extremely high temperatures of the water and dry cycle of the dishwasher. Unless the dishes specifically say they are dishwasher safe, avoid the dishwasher at all costs and hand wash those pieces of work.

Insulated Mugs and Bottles

The next item on the list is one that I struggle with, and admit that I cheat with a few times. Insulated mugs and bottles should not go in the dishwasher because the heat can cause the damage to the layers. Once that happens, cracks and water leaks start to happen. If you’ve had an insulated water bottle that suddenly has water stuck in between the inside and outside layers, you’ve likely damaged it through putting it in the dishwasher. While it’s easy to see the water leaks on clear water bottles, the same thing happens, but unseen, with insulated mugs. If you pull your mug out of the dishwasher and have water drip out of it, or you can shake it and hear water stuck, you’ve damaged the mug and made it much less effective at keeping your drinks hot. Protect your insulated bottles and mugs by washing them in the sink with soapy water and a sponge or dish brush.


The final item on the list is one that is an inconvenience rather than something that can be damaged in the dishwasher. The last item I’ll recommend to never be put in a dishwasher is adhesive. If you’re the type of person who likes to save jars and containers to use them again, or to simply maintain good recycling practices, you may throw the jars and containers through a cycle in the dishwasher. This is all well and good, unless you forget to remove the label before running the cycle. Remember, removing a sticker is tough work, but removing a WET sticker is next to impossible. Save yourself the annoyance of a gooey mess and remove all stickers, labels, and other adhesives before adding any water to the situation.

Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.