Cooking with non-stick pans is fun because you won’t have to worry about your food clinging to your pan. After all the cooking, you have to deal with your used dishes and pans. Many people use dishwashers to clean their cookware faster. But, can you put non-stick pans in the dishwasher?
Can you put non-stick pans in the dishwasher?
Non-stick pans are quite popular in households because they are easy to cook with. One common question that people ask is: Can you put non-stick pans in the dishwasher?
The answer to this depends on your cookware. The safest way to know if your non-stick pan is dishwasher-safe is to check the care instructions stated by your manufacturer. Some brands claim that their non-stick pans are ok for use in the dishwasher.
Generally speaking, though, while non-stick pans may be safe for dishwasher use, it is not recommended. Why is that so? When manufacturers say that their non-stick pan is dishwasher-safe, they mean that no immediate harm will occur if you throw it in your dishwasher.
However, the activities that happen inside the dishwasher during its cleaning process may cause damage to your non-stick pans especially when you do it frequently.
That being said, the best way to wash your non-stick pans is to do so by hand. Continue reading as we share tips on cleaning your non-stick pans.
What happens if you put a nonstick pan in the dishwasher?
So, can you put non-stick pans in the dishwasher? Yes for some brands but it comes with risks. What will happen to your non-stick pan if you put it in your dishwasher?
First, let’s break down what happens when you put any item for that matter in a dishwasher. Dishwashers make use of water pressure and high temperature to get rid of stains and grease. You put in dish detergent or a dish cleaning soap to help in removing these.
Water pressure, heat, and soap work together to make your dishes, utensils, pots, and pans sparkly clean. To ensure that all unwanted particles are eliminated, the washing process can get rough.
Here’s a quick video on how dishwashers work:
Many things can happen to your non-stick pan during the washing process which explains why some don’t recommend using a dishwasher.
Damage during the washing process
What everyone loves the most about non-stick pans is their non-stick property that is brought by a layer of coating added to the pan. Take this away and the pan will not be so special anymore.
When you put your non-stick pan in the dishwasher regularly, the washing process might be too harsh on your pan and may eventually end up damaging its non-stick coating.
This may not happen on your first, second, or even third wash. However, the more it undergoes harsh washing, the more likely its non-stick coating will peel off or disintegrate.
Scratches by other items
More often than not, people only do one wash cycle. They slip their pans, pots, dishes, glasses, and utensils in the dishwasher together.
You cannot be so sure that the items won’t be dislodged because of high water pressure. There is the risk of metal utensils or knives banging on your non-stick pan and scratching its non-stick surface. Metals can scratch non-stick pans that’s why wooden utensils are highly recommended when cooking with them.
Remember: It happens over time!
A couple of washes in the dishwasher won’t damage your non-stick pan especially when its manufacturer says that it’s safe for dishwasher use.
However, always remember that effects may start to show through time. This means that you may spot damage if you constantly use this washing method. Are you willing to take the risk?
How should I wash my non-stick pans?
Now that you know if can you put non-stick pans in the dishwasher, you may start to ask what is the best way to wash your non-stick pans.
The answer: washing it by hand. The safest way to ensure that your non-stick pan is clean and that it will last long is to manually wash it yourself. You get to control the amount of pressure you exert when washing, scrubbing, or rinsing your non-stick pan.
Tips on how to take care of non-stick pans
Non-stick pans are versatile and great for cooking as food slides off and you only deal with less mess and sticking. However, they can be quite fragile, too, in the sense that you have to take good care of them to maintain their non-stick coating.
Here are some tips on maintaining your non-stick pans.
Wash your non-stick pan right away.
Cooking can be quite a tiring task so after eating, some tend to delay washing their dishes and cookware. If you’re using non-stick pans, immediately clean your pan once it has cooled off.
Give it a gentle wash even if there is not much grease and residue. The reason for this is that food particles, stains, and grease might cling to your pan if you wait for days before washing it. That would make these particles stubborn to remove.
Use lukewarm water when washing.
Non-stick pans are good for preparing dishes that require low to medium heat. High temperatures can affect their non-stick properties.
In the same way, high water temperature, like that of dishwashers, maybe too aggressive to non-stick surfaces. That being said, use lukewarm water when washing and rinsing your non-stick pans.
Avoid harsh sponges and brushes.
When washing pots and pans, it’s so tempting to use metal scrubs and sponges to get rid of grease and particles that are stuck. This is a big no-no for non-stick pans.
Rough scouring pads and brushes might scrape and scratch the non-stick coating of your pan. Instead, use a soft sponge to gently remove dirt. Non-stick pans are generally easy to clean so you won’t have any problem cleaning them.
Soak your pan to remove stubborn particles.
Even though non-stick pans are easy to clean, you will still come across food particles and residue that are hard to remove. If you feel that your soft sponge can’t handle it, use water to do the trick.
Fill your sink with water, preferably warm, then submerge your non-stick pan and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. This will soften the residue and make it easier for you to remove with a sponge. You may also add a mild washing liquid to your water.
Don’t use harsh dish soaps.
Check the label of your dishwashing detergent and skip those that have ammonia, SLS, and Triclosan. These are harmful chemicals that can be too harsh on your non-stick pans. Aside from that, these substances may also bring harm to your health.
As an alternative, use dish soaps that are mild, gentle, and eco-friendly but can still do the job. You can find these in grocery stores and also establishments that sell sustainable products.
Dry your non-stick pan with soft materials.
In cleaning your non-stick pans, the goal is to always use the most gentle method possible. This also applies to drying your non-stick pan. Make sure that your pan is dry before storing it in your cupboard or pan organizer.
To dry your non-stick pan, get a soft cloth or a paper towel and gently pat off excess water. Avoid towels that are rough as they may eventually damage your non-stick coating.
Here is how to wash a greasy non-stick pan:
What are the things that you should not wash in your dishwasher?
You would be surprised to know that not all tableware and cookware can be thrown in the dishwasher. While manufacturers may say these are dishwasher-safe, avoid putting these items in your dishwasher to avoid unwanted incidents.
Cast iron is a good alternative if you want cookware that does not stick. However, it can be quite expensive and it needs proper seasoning to maintain its quality. Like non-stick pans, avoid putting your cast iron pans in the dishwasher.
Don’t even attempt to do it. You might end up ruining the quality of your cast iron pan. Wash it by hand instead.
High temperature and harsh dish detergent can stain and scratch the surface of your aluminum cookware. It is among the cookware materials that should never go into the dishwasher.
Wood is one material people use in making utensils, cutting boards, and handles. Avoid putting your wooden wares in the dishwasher as hot water can warp or crack the wood.
Take out your sharp knives and wash them by hand. The wash cycle can dull knife blades especially when your knife hits other items.
Also, you may accidentally cut yourself when putting your knife in the dishwasher or removing it after the wash.
Non-stick pans and dishwashers: final thoughts
Can you put non-stick pans in the dishwasher? If the manufacturer says it is safe to do so, then yes. However, the aggressive nature of dishwashers — a mix of water pressure, high temperature, and harsh detergent — might damage your non-stick pan in the long run. The best and safest way is to wash it by hand.