Plastic/SS pots-pans in dishwasher vs. handwashing in sink

dreamojeanSeptember 19, 2013

How do those of you who don't want to wash most plastic items in the dishwasher, or stainless steel pots/pans, deal with the resulting clutter in the sink that results?

Or more specifically - is there a dishwasher setting for plasticware that would make me happy, as a crunchy person who doesn't want to hand-wash my plastic containers unless they are just too greasy for me to deal with and need sanitizing?

We have a double sink and usually one side of the sink is cluttered with plastic and pans we didn't wash yet and our system simply doesn't work well. I live in NYC with a long commute (usually) and we have cats and cat bowls and a child and I brown bag to work using plasticware and, well, it's too much clutter.

So now that we have just put in a new kitchen with a Miele dishwasher and I'm learning how to use it vs. our old Maytag one, I want to de-clutter and have a better system.

Thoughts/suggestions? (cross posting in Kitchens and probably also posting asking for suggestions on dishracks on the counter vs. in the sink, but the handwashing-plastic issue needs resolving as part of this)

Thanks for any replies!

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Miele doesn't have heated dry so you can put plastics anywhere in the DW. I have a KA with heated dry so I limit my plastics to the top rack. Some of my old pots go in the DW but I do handwash the All Clad and all my good knives.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:44PM
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I have a KA but never use heated dry anyway. The recycled heat dries almost everything, and if I pop the door open for an hour, everything's completely dry when I take them out.

I run almost all my loads on the sterilize option. Everything, including plastics and SS pans, goes in the DW. With the elimination of phosphates, I find using the sterilize option helps cleaning.

Only items that are definitely not high-heat resistant, are hand-washed. Modern DWs save so much water, it's better to run them even if not completely full.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 2:06AM
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Our Bosch does not dry with heat. The Kenmore before it did, but I never used it anyway. The Bosch gets our SS pots and plastic-ware beautifully clean. IN fact, overall, it cleans much better than our old Kenmore Elite. For that reason, I do very little hand-washing at the sink, anymore. It all goes into the Bosch and, thus, I am a happy camper. :-)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 8:04AM
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I have a KA, and I too put nearly everything in the dishwasher. A few big pots that would take up too much space if I already have a full load will be washed by hand, but that's pretty much it. It can get a bit tricky placing plastic items so they don't flip over and collect water, but my dishwasher has some little clips on the top rack to anchor these down.

Just put it all in, and your life will be less cluttered. I'm in my 60s and have always done this with no bad results so far other than 2 incidents I can recall--once in former dishwasher a large plastic container was put in the bottom and touched the heating coil and the corner melted a bit, and once I stupidly put a hand blown vase in and the detergent etched it in places.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:36AM
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We have Teflon lined pots and pans and never put them in the dishwasher because it destroys the non-stick properties, especially in the frying pans. I know for sure this happens because it has happened to us, even with expensive Cuisenart sets. We just wash them immedialty after the meal. The rest goes into the dishwasher. Also we wash all good sharp cutlery by hand. We have an old Maytag heated dry washer and use heated wash and dry all the time. To the poster that said they never use the heated dry on their dishwasher: when you set to sanitize the heater comes on to raise the temperature of the wash water sufficiently to do this. Not sure if it is safe to put plastic ware too close to the heating element when water is present. Do you know?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 11:07AM
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