10 things you should keep away from your dishwasher

Did you know that dishwashers can not only save you time and give a much more efficient clean than washing by hand, they can also save you money and can even be more eco-friendly depending on things like:

  1. The model of dishwasher and whether it has an energy star rating.
  2. How you heat the water in your home.
  3. How often you do the dishes, and how fastidious you are about only washing full loads.
  4. Whether you use an eco-friendly detergent.

Dishwasher tablets or powder that's free of chemicals like synthetic dyes, perfumes and phosphates is safer and healthier for you and our waterways. With advances in science and technology, healthier plant and mineral based products should work just as effectively as the harsher chemical ones, providing you with effective stain removal, preventing spots and streaking on your dishes or build up of limescale in your dishwasher.

An efficient dishwasher is hard to beat, but here are 10 things that are still best washed by hand:

  1. Crystal glasses: these are susceptible to scratches and cracks.
  2. Sharp knives: the dishwasher can damage the blade by knocking it against other items in the machine. Detergents and high heat used in dishwashers can also deteriorate the blade. Read more.
  3. Antique or precious china cups, saucers and plates - especially those with patterns or metallic borders
  4. Silver or brass items: these can become tarnished or lose their protective coating.
  5. Some plastics - such as disposable food containers: the high temperatures can damage the plastic making it warp and buckle and potentially leach chemicals into your food.
  6. Jars and cans with labels on: the labels come loose and can block the filter of your machine (here's a great tip we found for removing sticky jar labels with a hairdryer, on Pinterest).
  7. Cast iron pans: will lose their protective coating and may start to rust.
  8. Insulated mugs and containers: vacuum seals can be destroyed if water seeps in.
  9. Wooden bowls and spoons: can warp, split and crack.
  10. Bone handled knives: handles discolour and deteriorate.

Dishwasher tip: Once a week place your dishcloth in the top rack of your machine when you do a load of dishes to ‘sterilise' against any bugs.

Got some dishwasher tips to share? We'd love to hear them.