Why can't you put "good" china in the DW?

Fori is not pleasedJune 16, 2013

My mother always said that if you put china in the dishwasher (the stuff with the painted gold trim) that the gold would come off. Based on my experiences with less good china, I have to agree.

But why?

Is it the detergent? Is there something you could use in lieu of standard detergent that won't rub off the gold?

Do new dishes have this issue (my china is ~1940s)?

I break dishes if I handle them when they're soapy so I'd like to get a dishwasher solution. :)


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I don't know either.

My parents didn't have a dishwasher until I was in high school, and even though my mother was ecstatic to have one, I don't think she put her good (Haviland Limoges, also probably 1940's vintage) china in it. She did, however, put the sterling silver in there. She used the silver every night for dinner, but not always the good china.

I have both the china and the silver, and some of the gold trim on the china is faded. I have put it in the dishwasher, as I don't use it all that often. DH always does the cleanup, so I feel bad if he has to wash everything by hand.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 11:54PM
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Here's an article about the 5 things you should never put into a dishwasher.

Here is a link that might be useful: Things you should never put into a dishwasher

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 12:12AM
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I put my china and crystal in the DW.
I figure it is safer than breaking it by hand washing.

The key is how the gold is put on- is there a glaze over top.
My china has a glaze over the gold and my crystal doesn't have any gold.

I do have some hand painted glasses that I do hand wash.

Crystal - Waterford and Riedel.
China -.rosenthal magic flute and villeroy and boch botanica

I didn't open the article but my understanding is the DW detergents are abrasive and risk etching.

Bottom line - use DW at your own risk and never for hand painted glasses.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 5:16AM
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You can't or you can depending on what you have -- which china, which detergent, which DW. Sigh. Too complicated.

That article has some very outdated information IMO and some unsophisticated assumptions. She certainly isn't hanging out here since she appears to assume everyone has a DW with heated drying.

With heated drying, glazes on older dishes can craze, which makes them look like crackle tile. The writer also seems to think that dishwasher detergent etches crystal which isn't true. If she doesn't believe me she can come over and see the 8 Riedel crystal goblets that came out of my DW yesterday.

With all the changes in cookware, dishware, appliances and with the detergent -- as we've seen from so many threads -- it depends. And I suppose it's something to consider before buying/replacing a dishwasher today.

This post was edited by rococogurl on Mon, Jun 17, 13 at 7:53

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 7:18AM
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A little OT, but many years ago I damaged several sterling table knives in a DW. The heat and detergent dissolved the plaster-like material that held the blade inside the sterling handle (the sterling is quite thin and some plaster-like stuff fills it and holds the stainless blade.)
The knives were easily repaired--no discernible damage done, but since then we always wash the sterling, which we use constantly, by hand. Just takes a minute and helps prevent tarnishing as we don't start the DW after every meal.

I have no idea if modern sterling knives would have the same problem as my 50 plus year old knives did.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 8:12AM
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I think the dishwasher is hard on just about everything. My MIL put everything in it and over the years, all the glass and many of the dishes were ruined. Many were vintage things that had to be thrown out because they were so scarred by the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:09AM
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I use china with a platinum decor as my everyday plates (not that I am super posh, but hey, you only live once :) ), I put them in my DW and never had a problem. They are Bernardaud Limoges and I have had Miele or European Whirlpool (IKEA) DWs.

My china is from the 2000s. I would not put vintage (pre-1970s) china in the DW.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 12:15PM
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For many years I have been putting Lenox china with a fluted edge and platinum ring in the DW. I admit when I had DW's with heated cycle I always kept the heated dry cycle turned off. Not even the slightest wear on the Platinum shows.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 1:36PM
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Fori is not pleased

So, if anything damages the gold trim, it would have to be the detergent--I know the dishes are waterproof!

I suppose I should put in a sacrificial dish and leave it in for a few months.

With my current water supply and detergent, crystal doesn't etch, but I'm sure that varies for every situation.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:05PM
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Regarding the article, if the detergent can cause nicks in METAL knife blades, what is it doing to mere glass and ceramic/porcelain? There has to be nondestructive detergent available.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Oh, I LOVE Rosenthal Magic Flute.

Here's an article in putting sterling in the dishwasher. Bottom line is that it is ok, if you're careful about a few things. I have also always been told not to put sterling knives in the dishwasher, not just because of the resin, but because the handles are silver, but the blades are stainless and so they heat up at different rates and things can go bad. (How's that for specific and scientific?) I assume that wouldn't apply if you don't have heated dry, but I'd check with someone who knows. Even without heated dry, it gets pretty hot in there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Putting sterling silver in the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 5:44PM
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I remember that two little fishies has that yellow Pottery Barn pattern with the little nubs on it. I really like that pattern. I wonder how it does it does in the dish washer? Of course, it hasn't been all that long.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 5:51PM
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I put the bone china we inherited from my MIL in the DW. It's post WWII. I only use it a few times a year, but nothing has happened to the gold edges yet. I imagine if I used it regularly, the gold would come off. I also put my wedding china with platinum-colored trim in the DW, but same story - not very often, and no discernible damage to the edges. I remember when I was a bride-to-be, a Gorham rep at a bridal show told us we could put fine crystal in the DW (although I don't). He also said to be careful with metallic edges when the glasses/plates are hot, because then the trim is warm and can come off if rubbed too hard. Don't know if it's true.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 8:37PM
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Thanks Marcia59 - It was my parents.

I am very bad - I even put knives in the DW - just have them sharpened occasionally.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 9:02PM
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