One common question we get is why we strongly recommend hand washing cookware. The other part of that question is, what happens if I do put it through the dishwasher?
Why Shouldn't I Use the Dishwasher?
The biggest issue with using the dishwasher on your cookware is that it begins to become dull. It loses its shine and, depending on the water quality of your home, can get white spots from calcium buildup. Water spots can also occur. These are merely aesthetic results that can be fixed by using a stainless steel cleaner, baking soda, or vinegar (depending on the issue and the severity).
Long-term, larger issues can come about if pots and pans are loaded in the dishwasher carelessly, if the drying feature doesn't do a great job, or if there are other instances of misuse (like scratching, putting hot pans in cold water, using corrosive cleaners, etc.) in addition to dishwasher cleaning. These issues can include rust and pitting.
Our very best piece of advice is this: hand wash for longevity.
Another thing to consider is drying. The dishwasher's dry cycle can be the most damaging part of the process. And, it doesn't always do a great job of drying the dishes. Try hand-drying whenever possible to help keep your cookware in tip-top condition.
Tips for Hand Washing Success
There are a few best practices regarding hand washing that can be useful as well, so let's quickly cover those.
First and foremost, make sure your cookware has had a chance to cool down! Running cold water on a hot pan, or submerging a hot pan in cooler water can cause warping. Let the pots and pans come to room temperature before tackling them.
Here's a quick tip for cleaning stainless pans if you hate waiting or just want to make the hand washing process easier: Make a pan sauce, even if you're not going to use it on your meal. While the pan is still hot and on the stove, add a bit of liquid (water is fine!). Let it come to a simmer, then use a spatula to scrape up the stuck bits.
Next, avoid soaking for extended periods of time. So much can happen in a pot full of water, food remnants, oil, and/or soap. Soaking in hot water can help get the food off, but just let it sit for a little while rather than overnight.
And finally, as we mentioned above, take care with drying. Get all those water droplets from the crevices and dry the entire surface thoroughly. Be sure the cookware is completely dry before storing.