If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that doing the dishes is the worst chore there is, right? No one like to wash crusty food off of dinner plates, or try to get old milk out of a sippy cup straw. Luckily, most of us have dishwashers, which can make the job so much easier. But in an effort to save ourselves time, we may be loading up the dishwasher with some things that don't belong in it. Here are five things you should never put in the dishwasher, so make sure these items get washed by hand (preferably someone else's hands!).
1. Insulated travel mugs or water bottles.
Putting an insulated mug or water bottle in the dishwasher can ruin the insulation, which means they won't keep your drinks hot or cold for as long as they're designed to. But lids and straws for the mugs and bottles are usually dishwasher safe.
2. Cast iron skillets should always be hand-washed!
There's nothing like cooking with a cast iron skillet, but they do require some extra TLC. New skillets might come pre-seasoned, or you may have to season it yourself. But to make sure your skillet doesn't lose that important coat, keep it out of the dishwasher. To wash your cast iron skillet by hand, rinse with warm water and give it a scrub with coarse salt.
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3. Keep jars with the labels still attached out of the dishwasher.
The wash cycle can loosen the label and make it fall off, and it can then become stuck in the filter or heat coils. If that sounds expensive to fix, it's because it is! If you want to keep your washer running smoothly for a long time, remove labels from jars before washing.
4. Wooden utensils or cutting boards.
The high heat and chemicals these items are exposed to during the wash cycle can cause the wood to warp, loose its shape, and even splinter. Use a gentle method for keeping your wooden kitchen stuff safe, but mixing about 3/4 of bleach with a gallon of warm water.
5. Wash those chef's knives by hand to be on the safe side.
We didn't know this one! Some dishwashers have a dedicated knife rack, but if yours doesn't, the knives get knocked out of the racks during the wash cycle and cause some serious damage to the inside of your machine. Additionally, putting chef's knives in the dishwasher can dull their blades and ruin their handles.