Some of these might surprise you.

Woman's hand putting wine glass in the washer
Credit: Getty / Iechatnoir

When you put items in the dishwasher, you expect them to come out clean. But if you load certain pieces into the kitchen workhorse, in addition to coming out clean, they might also be warped. This begs the question: Which kitchen staples should you avoid putting through a wash cycle? Ahead, six items that will likely warp in your dishwasher—wash these essentials by hand instead.

Wood or Bamboo

Wood kitchenware is definitely attractive, but if you put it in the dishwasher, it won't stay that way. "Kitchen items made of wood or bamboo including cutting boards, spatulas, utensils, or bowls should never be placed in the dishwasher," says Leanne Stapf, the Chief Operating Officer of The Cleaning Authority. "Not only does the high temperatures of the dishwasher misshape this material, but the abrasive detergent will cause damage, as well." If you have any wood items in your kitchen, it's best to wash them by hand. "Be sure to hand wash and air dry to avoid warping the wood," adds Stapf.

Certain Plastics

A lot of plastic kitchenware is engineered to be dishwasher safe. But "a lot of" doesn't equal "all." "While most plastic items are dishwasher safe, some plastic cookware can warp due to the high temperatures," says Stapf. Before you put a piece of plastic through a wash cycle, make sure to check the label or packaging to make sure it can take it. If it says "dishwasher safe," you're in the clear—at least at first.

Even if plastic is labeled as dishwasher safe, prolonged exposure to the appliance's high heat can cause warping. "Plastic food containers, in the long run, can get damaged from dishwasher use and lose their shape," says Stapf. If you want to preserve the structural integrity of your plasticware, and keep it in working condition as long as possible, try to limit the time it spends in the dishwasher.

Inexpensive Bakeware

While most bakeware is fine to load into the dishwasher, if you purchased yours on clearance from the discount store, you might want to think twice about having it cleaned by your appliance. "The majority of silicone bakeware is dishwasher safe. However, if you got one of the cheaper cupcake, muffin, [or] bun trays, you'll probably regret washing it in the appliance," explains Dean Davies, the Cleaning Supervisor for Regular Cleaning at Fantastic Services. "Low-quality silicone pans often get misshaped or break down due to dishwasher's harsh chemicals and high-temperature exposure." If you're concerned about the quality of your bakeware, it's best to err on the side of caution and wash it by hand.


You might be tempted to throw your rubber spatula into your machine, but you should actually wash it by hand. "Rubber is quite heat-sensitive," says Harriet Jones, Cleaning Supervisor for Go Cleaners London. "This means that your rubber food containers, blender gaskets, and other rubber items should be hand washed only."

Knives with Hollow Handles

If you have a knife with a hollow handle, definitely wash it by hand. "A single dishwasher cycle can easily break apart knives with hollow handles," says Davies. "The sustained heat melts the adhesive that holds both pieces of the hollow handled knife together."

Knives with Sharp Blades

The same goes for knives with sharp-blades. The heat from the dishwasher will cause the blades to become "dull over time," says Diana Rodriguez-Zaba, the President of Service Master Restoration by Zaba.


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