The world can be a seemingly frightening place sometimes, (I imagine) especially so for those with children. Our homes in turn become a safe haven where we feel protected and safe; where the little nuggets can run safely and free from harm.
It’s because of this perceived safety that home-originated sickness, carcinogens, and toxins cause a deeply unsettled feeling. News that lead-paint caused birth defects and learning disabilities and that asbestos, cancer and pulmonary disease rocked our nation to its core in the late 60’s and 70’s.
The revelation that the general public was getting up close and personal with BPA, a discovered carcinogen, through our plastic water bottles, revolutionized the disposable water bottle industry in the 2000’s. So just what makes cookware dishwasher safe? We set out to find out.
While universally considered dishwasher safe cookware, as stainless steel can withstand the high water temperatures of a dishwasher without leaching any harmful chemicals, we do still recommend washing by hand. It’s not an issue of potential harm to you or your family, but rather for the sake of preserving your cookware (and other dishes and glassware!). The harsh detergent and high temperature water can eventually corrode the metal, and not to mention these are some heavy duty pans which could easily damage other precious stuff in the dishwasher.
Alright, we’re going to get all Nancy Regan on you here and tell you to “JUST SAY NO.” Teflon is not a dishwasher safe cookware! Teflon and non-stick cookware contain a chemical called polytetrafluoroethylene which recent research has revealed to be carcinogenic when it begins to break down. There is absolutely no reason to be risking your health by putting teflon or non-stick cookware in the dishwasher. Sure, some sources claim if you put it on the upper rack where the water isn’t quite as hot you won’t be risking leaching chemicals out of the cookware. Um, no thanks. I’d rather have a sure thing when it comes to my health and the health of my loved ones, and just hand-wash the damn dishes.
The common school of thought here is that ceramic is a dishwasher safe cookware and to go for it. Ceramic cookware is durable and unlikely to leach any harmful chemicals into the piping hot water of your dishwasher. Do keep in mind that your ceramic pieces should be securely placed as to prevent potential chips and or scratches. Like always, best practice is to hand wash to preserve and maintain longevity of your cookware.
Let’s be real here, part of the appeal of copper cookware is their gorgeous aesthetic. Who doesn’t love the look of brushed copper pots hung from a pots and pan rack? And we all know you certainly pay for that fabulous look! While dishwashing copper pots and pans may be safe, we say hand wash all the way to preserve these babies. Not dishwasher safe cookware in our book.
Do not, I repeat, do not put your cast iron cookware in the dishwasher. It is not a dishwasher safe cookware. A well-seasoned cast iron piece can last for generations, yes that’s right, generations, but that’s contingent on your care for them. Because of the porous nature of cast iron, it has a tendency to rust. Water seeps into all nooks and crannies and oxidizes the iron. This the least desirable case scenario for this material. If and when you do feel the need to wash your cast iron, refrain from using harsh dish soaps and detergents and be sure to carefully dry the cookware with a paper towel, twice. Then re-season with a generous helping of oil to keep your cast iron in tip-top shape.