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Washing Special Items in a Dishwasher


  • How will the dishwasher affect crystal, china, silver, etc.?
  • Which materials are dishwasher safe?
  • How to clean plastic, wood, silver, glass, crystal, or cast iron in a Cove Dishwasher
  • Where to place knives in the dishwasher


Most common dishware items can be safely washed in an automatic dishwasher. Always wash one item of a set a few times and compare it to the rest of the set before washing all items in the dishwasher.

Consult the chart below as needed:

Information and Recommendations
AluminumYes, with cautionAnodized aluminum may fade or darken. Patches and discoloration may appear, but they can be removed with steel wool. Load aluminum utensils (such as a pie tin or roasting pan) where they do not touch other dishes because this can cause gray or black marks. You can remove these spots with a nonabrasive cleaner.
Cast IronNoThe seasoning is lost and the iron rusts. Hand wash and dry immediately.
ChinaYes, with cautionChina without decoration or with decoration protected by glaze is dishwasher safe. However, you should arrange the objects so they do not touch each other or they could be damaged.
China with a pattern on top of the glaze or with gold leaf decoration may fade. If possible, check with the manufacturer. If that isn’t possible, wash one item over an extended period then compare it with the colors and patterns of the rest of the set. Wash in the Quick program on a low temperature setting.
CopperYes, with cautionDo not wash copper in the same load as silver or silver plate. It could discolor the silver items. Do not let copper items come in contact with stainless steel.

Antiques and very delicate china should not be washed in the dishwasher. Certain types of lead crystal may etch if machine washed. Check with the manufacturer.
Wash at a low temperature setting. Be sure to load crystal dishware so that it is secure and will not fall over or knock against other dishware while being washed.
DirilyteNoGold-colored flatware can become discolored.
Disposable plastic itemsNoCannot withstand machine washing.
Flatware with bonded handlesNoCertain types of adhesives may loosen when machine washed.
GlassYesException: Milk glass may turn yellow.
KnivesNoSharp kitchen knives may become dull if washed in very hot water and allowed to contact other items during the wash. Wood handles may also warp, crack, or loosen. Plastic handles may discolor. Check manufacturer’s washing instructions.
Lead crystalNoCertain types of lead crystal may etch if machine washed.
Non-dishware itemsNoNever wash items such as electronic air cleaners, air filters of any kind, paint brushes, etc. You could damage the dishwasher.
Non-stick coatingsYesIf marked “Dishwasher Safe.” After washing, wipe the non-stick coating area with vegetable oil to maintain its non-stick quality.
PewterNoPewter will tarnish when machine washed.
PlasticYesIf the item is labeled “Dishwasher Safe.” Do not use Extra dry. Do not wash disposable plastic items.
Silver and
Silver plate
Yes, with cautionRinse these items if you’re not going to wash them immediately; salty or acidic foods can stain if left on. Dry dishwasher detergent can produce black marks which are difficult to remove. Do not put silver and silver plate in the same silverware basket with stainless steel. Contact between these metals can damage silver. Do not wash copper utensils in the same load. This could cause a brown film on the silver. Also, adhesives used to attach some hollow-handled knives can loosen.
Yes, with cautionRinse these items if you’re not going to wash them immediately; salty or acidic foods can stain if left on. Dry dishwasher detergent can produce black marks which are difficult to remove. Do not mix different types of stainless steel in the same load.
TinNoTin will rust.
WoodNoUnless marked “Dishwasher Safe” by the manufacturer. Wood can warp, crack or lose shape with any kind of washing.

See also, How to Load a Dishwasher. Refer to the product use and care guide for further information.


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