Figuring out what can and cannot go in the dishwasher can sometimes throw a wrench in your kitchen cleanup. It's always tempting to simply toss everything in the dishwasher and run it, but you'll get better results and help prolong the life of your kitchenware by learning which materials won't fare well in the dishwasher's heat and humidity.
Stainless steel is an alloy formed of iron and chromium. This alloy creates an inert surface which protects the underlying metal from corrosion.1 Not only does this make your favorite stainless steel cookware dishwasher-safe, it also renders it virtually rust-proof. Below are some tips on how to clean a variety of common stainless steel kitchen items.2 Be sure to use a quality detergent like Finish® to get great results.
How to clean stainless steel water bottles in the dishwasher
Nowadays, it seems like everyone has a reusable water bottle in their bag, car or at their desk. They help us stay hydrated on the go while also avoiding disposable plastic bottles, which clutter up landfills. To ensure that your stainless steel water bottle is dishwasher safe, look for the dishwasher safe symbol or icon on the bottle. Follow the steps below to ensure a sparkly clean.
- Check to make sure your stainless steel drink bottle is definitely dishwasher-safe by reading the label. Some drink bottles that are painted or insulated might not be suitable.2
- Place your stainless steel water bottle in the dishwasher upside down with its lid off.
- Place any detachable parts (like the lid, straw or filter) in the dishwasher, too.
- Opt for a regular cycle and allow your drink bottle to dry completely before use.
How to clean stainless steel pots and pans in the dishwasher
Even though stainless steel is one of the safest materials to put in the dishwasher, there’s still a few things you should keep in mind in order to avoid ruining your favorite cookware.3
- Remember to remove any solid scraps from your dirty pots and pans before loading to keep any food particles from clogging your machine.
- Check your item for a "dishwasher safe" label. Stainless steel might be dishwasher-safe but aluminum, for example, is not.
- Consider how you stack your dishwasher—dirty pots and pans should either go on their side, or mess-side-down on the bottom rack.
- Add detergent like Finish® Quantum® and set your machine on a pots and pans cycle (if possible). If your dishwasher doesn’t have this setting, simply opt for the longest cycle to really blast those baked-on stains.
Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure your stainless steel pans are cleaned with the proper care.
To learn how to get your silverware clean every time you put it in the dishwasher, take a look at our article on How to Clean Cutlery in the Dishwasher.