Can Skillets Go In The Dishwasher? (Which Can And Which Cannot)

Image of skillets kept on a table

A skillet is an incredibly valuable kitchen tool. Its deep, flat base and slanted sides make it convenient to cook omelets, stir-fries, pancakes, and much more. Now, it would be even more convenient if you could wash your skillet in the dishwasher after using it for cooking. But, can skillets go in the dishwasher?

No, you cannot put all skillets in the dishwasher. You should keep cast iron, iron, and copper skillets away from the dishwasher. Some aluminum, non-stick, and ceramic skillets are dishwasher safe. However, you should check the label or manufacturer’s website to know if a skillet is dishwasher safe.

To understand why washing skillets in the dishwasher is not always possible, let us look at how a dishwasher operates.

How Does A Dishwasher Clean Your Kitchenware?

Not every type of cookware is dishwasher safe. Since dishwashers subject their contents to a rigorous cleaning process, they can damage the delicate and sensitive type of kitchenware.

Dishwashers use water at high temperatures of 80°F 140°F to ensure thorough cleaning. They wash dirty dishes continuously for a long time to get rid of all the food residue. During the dishwashing process, water is pumped and swirled through the device at high pressure. This force helps to remove the detergent and food residue from the dishes.

Although the rigorous and rather rough cleaning method will leave your dishes sparkling clean, all kitchenware cannot tolerate this mechanical strain. Another important factor is that dishwashers use special detergents. These detergents are usually stronger than regular handwashing liquid formulas.

Due to all these factors, many types of skillets are not considered to be dishwasher safe. Even if a dishwasher-safe label is present, handwashing a skillet will prolong its lifespan and efficiency.

How To Identify If A Skillet Is Dishwasher Friendly?

The easiest way to decide if a skillet is dishwasher safe is to look for the label. Manufacturers usually place this symbol on the base or the handle of the skillet. It is represented by a square box with plates or glasses inside. If such a symbol is present on a skillet, you can wash it in a dishwasher.

If you do not see this symbol on the skillet, check the box in which the skillet came or the manufacturer’s website. If neither suggests that the skillet is dishwasher safe, you will have to handwash it.

Another way to decide if a skillet can go in the dishwasher or not is to look at what material it is made up of.

Can Iron Skillets Go In The Dishwasher?

A seasoned iron skillet is a very useful kitchen tool. Not only is it durable, but the heavy base ensures uniform cooking. It is perfect for cooking foods that take too long to cook. Hence, it is a favorite with most cooks.

Cleaning an iron skillet is easy. However, iron is susceptible to rust, and you should be very careful while cleaning it.

Never put an iron skillet in the dishwasher. The long washing process and exposure to high heat can make it lose its seasoning. Dishwashing will also increase the chance of rusting.

Also, pure iron is soft. The rough cleaning process can cause it to lose its shape or develop dents.

Can Cast Iron Skillets Go In The Dishwasher?

Just like with iron skillets, it is best to keep cast iron skillets away from the dishwasher.

With continuous use, cast iron skillets build a layer of seasoning. This layer creates a non-stick effect. Washing a cast iron skillet in the dishwasher can strip off this layer of seasoning. The metal is also very sensitive to harsh detergents used by dishwashers.

Exposing a cast iron skillet to high temperature and rigorous mechanical cleaning can reduce its efficiency. The detergent can enter the metal pores and affect the taste of the food prepared in the skillet.

So, handwashing cast iron skillets with gentle cleaning liquids is the best way to go.

Can Copper Skillets Go In The Dishwasher?

Copper skillets have a beautiful, lustrous sheen. Since they heat up quickly and cook food evenly, they are great cooking tools. Additionally, copper skillets cool down very quickly.

Unfortunately, copper skillets are not dishwasher friendly.

Copper is sensitive to temperature and can easily develop scratches and dents.

Hot water and scrubbing will also damage its luster and leave it looking dull and lifeless.

Related Further Reading:

Are Aluminum And Non-Stick Skillets Dishwasher-Friendly?

There is no general rule that applies to aluminum skillets and non-stick skillets when it comes to dishwasher safety. You should check the manufacturer’s recommendations for each piece.

Aluminum loses its shine when continuously washed in a dishwasher. So, even if an aluminum pan is labeled as dishwasher-friendly, continuously washing it in the dishwasher can make it dull. The same applies to anodized aluminum skillets also.

When it comes to non-stick skillets, you should not put them in the dishwasher unless the manufacturer specifically states so. The rough process can break down the surface coating if the non-stick pan is not dishwasher safe. It will slowly peel away, and the overall look and finish will be ruined.

Flaking of the non-stick coating can also make it unsafe for cooking food.

Can You Wash Stainless Steel And Ceramic Skillets In A Dishwasher?

Most stainless-steel cookware is dishwasher friendly. Stainless steel skillets are usually sturdy, and the material is designed to withstand high temperatures. It does not react with harsh dishwashing detergents. So, you should be able to wash stainless steel skillets in a dishwasher.

Nonetheless, it is a good idea to check for the dishwasher-safe label or visit the manufacturer’s website to avoid confusion.

Similarly, ceramic skillets can also withstand cleaning in a dishwasher. These skillets are not prone to scratches and are heat resistant. So, you should be able to wash your ceramic skillet in a dishwasher unless the manufacturer specifies otherwise.

Interesting Further Reading:

Can Electric Skillets Go In The Dishwasher?

Electric skillets are different from other types of skillets. You can directly plug them into the power source and start cooking in these devices. They can directly be connected to the power source and work independently. You can cook large quantities of food in electric skillets, and it does not require much supervision.

Once you plug an electric skillet into the socket, it works in the same way as any other skillet. However, the benefit of electric skillets is that they will cook food quickly, and you will have more control over the temperature setting.

An electric skillet has different parts, some of which should not even come near water. None of the electric components should be washed at all. You can clean the inner electric pan of the skillet in a dishwasher only if the manufacturer says it is safe.

In case the skillet has a non-stick coating, you should take special care to choose a cleaning product that will not damage it. Rigorous scrubbing or exposure to high water temperature and mechanical banging can damage the shape of the skillet.

We suggest washing it by hand if you do not want the protective coating to deteriorate. Handwashing will help you to keep it in top condition for much longer, even if it is dishwasher safe.