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How to clean cutlery in the dishwasher

How to clean cutlery in the dishwasher

Learn whether you can put silver cutlery in the dishwasher and how to load a dishwasher cutlery basket properly, with these simple tips from Finish®.

Make sure that you protect your silverware and cutlery and help extend its life by knowing what is safe for the dishwasher and how to properly load it. We can show you how to load a dishwasher cutlery basket properly so that your knives, forks and spoons come out with the ideal clean and shine.

Which way should cutlery go in the dishwasher?

If you've ever argued with a partner or family member about the right way to load cutlery into the dishwasher, you're not alone. There are many opinions on how to best load utensils in the dishwasher, this depends on your preference and your machine's instruction manual.

If you have space, spoon handles can go face-up when you load the dishwasher cutlery basket. However, if you’re filling the basket to capacity, it’s best to point spoon handles down to save room. Large utensils, like tongs and serving spoons, can rest flat on the top shelf, while forks and knives are best off in the basket pointy side down, so you don't poke yourself unloading them.

Whether you’re "Team Up" or "Team Down" it’s always best to consult your dishwasher manual first to be sure.

Can you put silver cutlery in the dishwasher?

Have you received silver cutlery as a wedding gift? Perhaps a family heirloom? Maybe you simply treated yourself. Either way, it’s important to learn how to protect your silverware, so you can enjoy it for years to come.

Technically, you can put silver cutlery in the dishwasher, but after a while you may find yourself asking, "Why does my cutlery tarnish?" Usually, the answer is the natural oxidation that occurs when silver is exposed to oxygen, but it could also be due to the reaction that occurs when silver is in the presence of stainless steel. Never wash silverware alongside stainless steel cutlery.

Can you put knives in the dishwasher?

The answer to the question of whether you should put your knives in the dishwasher will vary from knife to knife. You can put them in, especially regular cutlery, but you may want to wash more expensive kitchen knives by hand. This is because putting sharp knives in the dishwasher can dull them over time. Hand washing the knives you use for peeling, chopping, carving, etc., will keep them sharper for longer.

Which knives can’t you put in the dishwasher?

Some knives definitely should not go in the dishwasher. These usually include expensive carving knives, your best steak knives, and all those that you want to keep particularly sharp. Generally, it’s best to avoid putting ceramic knives in the dishwasher, as they are designed to retain the razor-sharp cutting edge used for tougher tasks. It's best to keep knives with wooden handles out of the dishwasher too, as wood does not react well to heat and moisture, especially over time.

Do dishwashers dull all knives?

Although dishwashers do tend to dull sharp knives over time, this shouldn’t be a massive concern for the cutlery knives you use every day. Plus, we don’t always have time to wash all our knives by hand, so if you are putting them in the dishwasher, just bear these tips in mind:

  • Always separate sharp knives in cutlery baskets: Your best knives should always be kept apart, so they don’t come in contact with other items during the wash that could cause them to dull over time.
  • Purchase a dishwasher knife rack: This will ensure that your knives are cleaned effectively and won’t cause the same issues that stacking them in a single basket might.
  • Always place your knives upside down: You should always put your knives blunt side up to avoid cutting yourself during unloading.
  • Choose the right dishwasher tablets: This will help make the most of your dishwasher's cleaning power and help to maintain the shine of your sharp knives. We recommend Finish® Quantum.