Can You Put Stainless Steel In The Dishwasher?

The dishwasher is the most convenient way to really care for your dishes, and if you’re not already part of the dishwasher geng, you’re truly missing out.

Dishwashers can handle a lot, and a lot can actually handle them too. We’re talking about yeti cups, fridge shelves, air fryer baskets and even stainless steel materials going inside the dishwasher and returning as pristine as ever.

Yes, you read that correctly!

Stainless steel items can be put inside the dishwasher for cleaning. Stainless steel is made from metal after all, which means it’s super durable under the kind of situation you’ll find in the dishwasher. The only problem you might encounter with cleaning stainless steel in the dishwasher is fading, which would most likely result from the use of the automatic dishwasher detergent.

That said, it’s always best to consult the owner’s manual of your product to see whether it’s safe to put inside the dishwasher or not.

In the next few headings, we’ll discuss further on why stainless steel materials are safe to put inside the dishwasher.

We’ll talk about the possible problems you might face with that practice, what you can do about it, and also what other everyday items you can and cannot put inside the dishwasher.

Without wasting time, let’s get to it.

Why stainless steel is safe for the dishwasher

The first point I would like to draw your attention to is the metal status of the stainless steel.

Stainless steel is a metal, or is at least made with metal as it’s main composition, and metals are known to have very high melting points. This means that the mere 60°F inside the dishwasher is a truly walk in the park for them.

We’re talking about elements that heat up to 1300 F or more depending on the fortifications made inside of them, and still retain their original forms.

You now see how 60 F is completely out of context when it comes to what’s likely to cause a problem.

With the melting problem pushed aside, stainless steel won’t rust also. That’s the whole purpose of the “stainless steel” idea in the first place, to create a material that isn’t as prone to rusting as its natural counterpart, cast iron.

You can’t clean cast iron in the dishwasher and not run into rust problems eventually, with stainless steel however, the story is a bit different.

Stainless steel is basically a ferrous alloy having an element called “chromium” in it (at regulated amounts) which helps prevent rusting and also add to the mix, some heat resistant capabilities.

So unless the integrity of the steel is destroyed at some chemical level, which is to a manageable degree, less likely to happen in the dishwasher, you wont run into rust problems when dishwashing stainless steel.

The problem you might face with dishwashing stainless steel

The problem you might encounter with cleaning stainless steel items, especially pots and pans is fading.

And this is typically the handwork of the automatic dishwasher detergent which is packed with so much harshness that it strips the steel of its on-site applied finishing.

Most manufacturers that warn against putting stainless steel in the dishwasher have this as the primary thought behind their reasoning.

And the recommendation when you encounter fading is to either hand wash or change the detergent you use to a less harsher one.

How to wash stainless steel in the dishwasher

Consult the owner’s manual of your dishwasher to see how to arrange everyday items in the dishwasher. Make sure to follow the instructions diligently as failing to do so can ACTUALLY cause problems for you.

Take for instance, placing knives in the dishwasher. When you don’t heed to the advice on the instruction’s card, you might end up hurting whosoever is retrieving the dishes from the washer when it happens to be someone else and not you, or even hurt yourself!

Also, some stainless steel cutleries might actually fade or discolor when you arrange them close to certain items in the washer, for example copper or silver-plated items.

Additionally, ensure that your stainless steel materials are fully dried out before storing them in a dry cupboard or storage space. You can always run some paper towels into or over them to ensure they’re completely dried.

How to clean stainless steel by hand

Cleaning stainless steel by hand is pretty simple. Create a solution of warm water and liquid dish soap and dip a clean soft sponge in it. Use the sponge to wipe the stainless steel items clean.

For stainless steel items with stubborn food residue on them. Soak them in this solution for at least 15 minutes and try to get rid of the particle using the sponge, a nylon brush or soft abrasive pad.

Avoid using metal scourers, metal pads, or cleaning agents that have abrasives in them. These can damage the surface of the stainless steel.

Also, one crucial warning to sew at the back of your mind is that you must never, at any point, transfer a hot stainless steel pan directly into cold water. Always make sure it cools down completely before you begin any washing exercise.

And when you’re done cleaning, ensure to properly dry the items with a clean paper towel and store in a moisture free space, preferably a cupboard situated high up.

What other things can i put inside the dishwasher?

Yeti drinkware

Yeti drinkware come in all shapes and sizes, and literally all of them are safe to put inside the dishwasher by virtue of their rigid steel construction.

Because different drinkware have different assemblies, you want to make sure you’re paying close attention to the construction and cleaning whatever needs to be cleaned to avoid putting yourself at risk of health hazard.

This article on putting yeti drinkwares in the dishwasher will tell you exactly how to clean every type of yeti drinkware.

Air fryer basket

While the entire setup of the airfryer cannot be put inside the dishwasher for cleaning, some harder to clean parts, like the fryer basket and base, thankfully, can.

Air fryer baskets can be put on the top rack of the dishwasher for cleaning. For a more satisfactory result, treat any stain or stuck on bit prior to inserting the basket inside the dishwasher.

Pots and pans

Nearly most pots and pans, aside cast iron pots and pans can be put in the dishwasher for cleaning. This means you can clean enamel cast iron pans, toughened non-stick pans and even enamel on steel pots.

To be on the safer side however, always consult the owner’s manual of your product as different products are made differently and some might just have elements on them that would react negatively to dishwashing.


Tupperware comes in all shapes and sizes, and nearly all tupperware storage containers are dishwasher safe, so long they pop inside the top rack of the dishwasher cleanly with no issues.

Always ensure to check the product manual though because some lines from the tupperware brand are simply not recommended to be cleaned by machine.

One example is the “Sheerly Elegant” line and the “Tilt N Serve” which are recommended to be cleaned by hand to preserve their pristine nature.

What can I not put inside the dishwasher?

Dish soap

Even when you’re going against all dishwasher rules and regulations, one you should never ever break is the one concerning dish soap.

Don’t ever use dish soap on its own as a substitute for dishwasher detergent (you can use it in a DIY dishwasher detergent formulation however).

These two cleaners have very different compositions each suited for the method of cleaning they’re employed for. Check this article we wrote to learn more about putting regular dish soaps in the dishwasher.

Cast iron

Cast iron doesn’t do well in the dishwasher because it rusts and the seasoning you took years to build over it will wipe off the more you put it in the dishwasher.

All this happens because of the automatic dishwasher detergent. It strips off the seasoning from the surface of the pan which helps prevent rust, and then rust begins to happen almost immediately in the washer.


Drano is a solution meant for solving plumbing issues in the toilet and kitchen sink pipes, and not for the fragile drainage pipe that comes with your dishwasher.

Avoid at all cost, the advice or thoughts to put drano in your dishwasher to unclog the drain.

In this article, we list out more than 3 reasons (with solutions) why you might be experiencing issues with the drainage in your dishwasher, and we’re pretty confident that none of them requires drano as a solution.

Final Thoughts

Stainless steel is perfectly safe to put inside the dishwasher. It typically wont deseason or rust like cast iron or steel on dishwashing at normal cycles and conditions.

If however, for some reason, you have cutleries or pots having little spots of pits or rust on them by virtue of the imperfect nature of man made inventions, soak in vinegar for some minutes, scrub over the rusted spot with a gentle scourer, rinse very well, dry with a paper towel and then apply a stainless steel polish recommended for your product.