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 Appliances 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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Fori is not pleased

I've always done plastic in my dishwasher. Sometimes it flips and fills up with icky and I just run it through the next load. I've recently decided have better things to do than wash pots and pans so I'm sticking them in when they fit, too.

Just try it and see how it goes. You'll get a system. Check the labels on things--most plastic stuff can be dishwashed just fine. A few items are "top shelf only" but that probably doesn't apply with a Miele--I don't think it'll melt things because it has no heated dry, right?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 5:17PM
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If you aren't supposed to microwave plastic, I don't see how dishwashing plastic is any safer. I've gotten a bit crunchy it seems that if boiling plastic in the microwave is a problem, I don't like the idea of boiling plastic in the dishwasher - mostly for air quality concerns. That's kind of where my aversion to dishwashing plastic comes from.

And our stainless steel pan instructions said that dishwashing isn't as good for them, and we have found that it bakes on crud more than it cleans them.

I do dishwash plastic on more of an as-needed basis. But since our system of washing by hand/dishwasher is just a clutter system, I guess I maybe have to let go of something, somewhere...

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 5:24PM
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I don't really use enough plastic (small household, most often just me) for that to be a problem, but I've always done my stainless steel pots and pans in the DW.

With a Miele I'd put everything in there!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Fori is not pleased

There are some pretty nice glass or stainless steel containers for lunches available now for crunchy types. :) Your DW shouldn't get that hot. Even if it does I'm sure there are special cycles you could run if you didn't mind collecting the clutter until you had enough but that's not gonna work!

Yeah, get new lunch things you won't worry about in the DW. If you're getting crunchier as you age, you will soon not want ANY plastic touching your food, and you'll need those containers anyway. Plus they're good containers (unless you're trying to get a 7 year old to open them....)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 5:35PM
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Is the Miele better than some other manufacturers for putting plastic into the dishwasher? (I sense that it might be but can't say exactly why)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 5:36PM
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The Miele does not have an exposed water heater coil in the bottom, so there's no danger of a plastic item melting or catching fire.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 5:53PM
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robo (z6a)

I think the dangers from plastic, if any, are heating while it touches your food and then leaching into your food. DW should be no problem.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 6:17PM
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Am I missing something are a crunchy person?

Anyway I have a Bosch DW and do lots of plastic (real tupperware and the cheap stuff) in it. It comes out fine. With bosch there is no heating element so no plastic melts even when on the sanitize cycle (which is every load) Of course I only put in DW safe plastic. It will clean pots and pans just fine but I usually wash them by hand and immediately dry and put away.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 6:56PM
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I have a Miele and I wash my plastic in it all the time. I do the pots and pans by hand-- just so I can get more plates and glasses in the dw. If I have room I sometimes put them in. But usually do them by hand. I use a dry mat or towel to drain them on on the countertop. (Saw your other post on drainer). Mine was yucky so I pitched it! Plus, I can pile more on the mat!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 7:02PM
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The DW won't get the plastic as hot as the microwave and the issue is having food come in contact with heating plastic then eating it.

For containers that don't go in lunch boxes, we've switched over to primarily glass from Pyrex. Especially for leftovers that will be heated before eating.

I actually switched to all stainless steel pots and pans just so that I can put them in the DW instead of hand washing. I only have a few items that can't go in because I have one non-stick for scrambled eggs and delicate fish and a couple cast iron pans and maybe one or 2 things that just don't fit.

Otherwise, the things that don't go in are wooden, antique, good knives or just extremely delicate.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 9:19PM
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Having a really good dishwasher will make a lot of your hand washing issues go away. Not enough hours in life or enough counter space in my kitchen for a pile of handwashed stuff. Our Miele which is an older model on a steep discount is a god send. DH who is the main dishwasher loves it. No pre washing.. Just scrape and load and it holds a lot.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:43AM
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I hand wash a fair amount too - specific items. So some plastic goes in but some that I don't want to 'etch' and larger pots that take up too much space (peeve) or a few crystal special occasion bowls I will do by hand.

I do them at kitchen clean up though so they don't really sit around. That's how I handle it. I don't like dishes hanging around either...and I have a deep sink.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 6:50AM
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I solve this by only buying items that can go in the dishwasher!

I have a few specialty pieces that don't (and my aluminum cookie sheets now that DW detergents have changed formulas. Gr.) but for the most part it's a purchase criteria for me.

I don't heat food in plastic in the microwave but have no problem with the dishwasher. It's not that you can't ever heat plastic, it's that you don't want to heat food in it.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 8:56AM
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I put almost everything in our Miele DW except a few hand painted glasses.
Everything comes out clean and dry - except for the plastic rims if they catch any water or flip over if they aren't tucked in between other dishes - just the little plastic container but I try to use glass whenever possible.
The only problem that I encountered was with the black restaurant style catering dishes- thin plastic when I ran on pot scrubber- it turned into a taco
I asp wash my SS pots in the DW. If a lot if them, I run on pots cycle-other wise just on sensor cycle.

Also- read your manual- it tells you not to rinse your dishes :-)
There are a number of threads claiming you need food for the catalyst to work. I don't know if that is true but your Miele has a sensor and is looking for dirt to tell the DW - dishes are clean- go to rinse
So bottom line - don't rinse!

Usual iPhone text errors

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:15AM
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I put my SS All Clad and all plastic in the DW with no problems for 20+ years. The only things I don't put in the DW are knives and non-stick skillets.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:36PM
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I put everything in except wood items.

For my SS, I'll do a quick swish with a little BKF to get any cooked on things loosened. They come out nice and shiny. I have All-Clad, Calphalon, and some miscellaneous.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:49PM
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